The John Excell Award for Outstanding Achievement is announced

The International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS) has launched an award in memory of yacht and small craft marine surveyor, John Excell. The John Excell Award for Outstanding Achievement is open to all students enrolled on the distance learning diploma in marine surveying. It will be awarded on a periodical basis to deserving students – those who deliver not only outstanding academic achievements but who also demonstrate first-class interpersonal skills. Suitable recommendations will be put to the IIMS Education Committee for review and acceptance.

John Excell, who was an Honorary Fellow member of the Institute, died in April 2021 following a long illness at the age of just fifty-one. He held high office within the Institute and was Director of Yacht & Small Craft Surveying, a member of the management board, and an MCA coding examiner. John was passionate about training and sharing his knowledge with fellow surveyors and gave generously of his time to do so. It is, therefore, fitting that this award should be presented in his memory.

Click to read the full Press Release

The IIMS surveyor network is proving its worth

Strange and positive things can and do happen at times of great adversity it seems. And let’s face it, the world is facing adversity like no other most of us will have seen. I repeatedly hear from small craft surveyors around the world that they have had their busiest ever year. Yes, the rules of survey have changed, but many people in the world have decided this is the perfect time to purchase a boat remarkably. Equally cargo and commercial ship surveyors are reporting that they too are busy. But again, the rules of engagement and survey are different now.

A number of members have informed me that they are Continue reading “The IIMS surveyor network is proving its worth”

Mid pandemic and IIMS finally secures its new flagship head office, Murrills House

Murrills House is the new permanent flagship headquarters for IIMS
Murrills House is the new permanent flagship headquarters for IIMS

The news has been so downbeat and tragic for so many people in recent months for the reasons we all know, so it is a good feeling to be able to share a rather more positive news story.

Back in 2018, IIMS members at the AGM voted and mandated me to find office accommodation to purchase as an asset for the Institute when our rental term expired. Little did I know that a little over two years on, we would complete the purchase of Murrills House (offices we had rented for the past 10 years) and which we now own. Yes, on Friday 31st July 2020, we formally completed the deal and are now the proud owners of a delightful Grade II Continue reading “Mid pandemic and IIMS finally secures its new flagship head office, Murrills House”

IIMS is supporting UK Maritime Safety Week

My blog is long overdue for an update and what better time to scribble down a few words than at the start of UK Maritime Safety Week which runs from 6 to 10 July 2020. It seems appropriate to put the IIMS weight behind an awareness campaign of this kind, not least as one of the major roles of any marine surveyor, not just in the UK, is to help to keep lives safe at sea and to help protect vessels, cargoes and maritime assets.

UK Maritime Minister, Kelly Tolhurst MP outlined the objectives of the week:
– Recognise the excellent safety work that already goes on across the sector;
Continue reading “IIMS is supporting UK Maritime Safety Week”

IIMS UAE Branch presents an interactive webinar entitled ‘Proceed with caution now and post lockdown’

IIMS UAE Branch is broadcastng an interactive webinar live on 16 April at 10.45 (UAE local time).

The theme of the webinar is ‘Proceed with caution now and post lockdown’.

The areas for discussion during the webinar include:
– Delayed and abandoned cargo
– Demurrage and detentions
– Claims for failure to take delivery
– Disputes and claims arising from charterparties – a Middle East perspective Continue reading “IIMS UAE Branch presents an interactive webinar entitled ‘Proceed with caution now and post lockdown’”

Coronavirus makes an urgent rethink for the marine surveying profession mandatory

Since I recently published my most recent Coronavirus advice to marine surveyors who travel internationally for work, the situation surrounding the pandemic has worsened dramatically in just a few days. The world we knew has ended abruptly. Put simply, marine surveyors are certain not to be travelling cross-border for work given the alacrity with which most countries are racing to close their borders.

This presents a challenge to the marine surveying profession like never before and one which none of us has witnessed in our lifetimes – and there is no easy or obvious solution either.

Continue reading “Coronavirus makes an urgent rethink for the marine surveying profession mandatory”

We are living in dark and challenging times

I didn’t intend for the title of this blog, or indeed its content, to be gloomy, but it seems to reflect what is going on generally here and in the wider world. And as the ‘glass half full’ person that I am it should not mask the extraordinary things that are going on and bubbling under away from this darkness. The gloominess is, of course, led by the continuing and uncertain spread of Coronavirus (more on that in a moment), coupled with the incessant rain and high winds we have experienced in the UK for several weeks, resulting in the worst flooding I can recollect in my lifetime. And as I look out of my office window, it is pouring with rain once again. Yes there are certainly reasons to be miserable!

Continue reading “We are living in dark and challenging times”

Exhibition and celebration times are upon us

The IIMS head office team as you have not seen them before at play on their team building event
The IIMS head office team as you have not seen them before at play on their team building event

The past few weeks have vanished in a haze. So what’s new I hear you say? But it’s all good as we are now mid way between the two biggest exhibitions in the world for the boating industry – METS and IBEX. I recently attended IBEX in Tampa alongside our USA Regional Director, James Renn. It is a big event and we met some fascinating people and potential future members of the Institute. I won’t be at METS this year, so will miss the chance to catch up with colleagues and industry friends this time round.

My reason for missing METS is simple. I will be part of the IIMS UAE Branch’s celebrations taking place on 20th November onboard the QE2, now permanently moored in Dubai. It promises to be a great event and a high turn out is expected to mark this event. Perhaps I will meet you there?

Continue reading “Exhibition and celebration times are upon us”

IIMS set to collate an international database of known vessel faults

The International Institute of Marine Surveying has set up a campaign to develop a database of known faults in production boats. The Institute is inviting its members who are actively engaged in the sub 24 metre yacht and small craft marine surveying sector to provide examples of known faults.

It is obvious that prior knowledge of known faults before attending survey is of huge relevance to a surveyor. Speaking with surveyors, it is abundantly clear that there are a number of known faults common to some makes of boat.

So, what constitutes a known fault? What IIMS is looking for is the same fault that has been observed on two identical boats. This might be, for example, cracking around the keel area, electrical system defects or engines that are known to have faults. This is not a witch-hunt against yacht and boat builders and equipment suppliers, rather an attempt to give the small craft surveyor some vital additional information as part of their toolkit. Submissions to IIMS can be made anonymously.

Read the press release in full: IIMS set to collate international database of known faults

The opportunities that long haul flights present for strategic thinking

Long haul flights present the perfect downtime for thinking and reflection in my opinion. Those endless hours whiling away the time in the air, wondering how many more absurd movies you can watch or books you can read, is a challenge! It’s true, I do a lot of strategic thinking when I travel. My colleagues tease me whenever I come back from a long trip as my head is stuffed with good ideas, well some are good, some less so.

How lucky for me then that I am about to head out to Australia the week after next – more thinking time – stopping in Singapore on the way back. I am particularly thrilled at the number of members and non-members who have signed up for the two day IIMS Australia seminar in Brisbane. We are quite a crowd. I am very much looking forward to meeting both those I know well and those who I have never Continue reading “The opportunities that long haul flights present for strategic thinking”

Reflections on a memorable 2019 IIMS London Conference

Mike Schwarz (right) welcomes Toastmaster, Richard Palmer, to 10/11 Carlton House Terrace

Great venues. Brilliant speaker content on a range of relevant surveying topics. Meeting old friends and colleagues. Excellent food and the odd beer or two. What’s not to like about an IIMS London Conference? OK so we had non stop rain and a train strike to contend with, but that did not put a dampener on proceedings! Judging by my email inbox, the event would seem to have been a great success not only for those who joined us in person, but also for our increasing number of online delegates who joined online from far afield via Zoom. If I have one regret it is simply that only 75 of our near 1,000 members were present and exposed to some wonderful and pertinent content.

These events are not easy to get right and they require detailed preparation. The IT is always a challenge – trust me I know! Making the right food choices is equally challenging. So my thanks to my colleagues who worked so hard behind the scenes to deliver this year’s Continue reading “Reflections on a memorable 2019 IIMS London Conference”

Are we compromising life due to enclosed spaces?

Once again the subject of enclosed space fatalities is back in the marine news headlines following a spike of fatalities and incidents over the past 18 months. I for one find it very distressing to read about this phenomenon on a regular basis, which could surely be prevented? This news story brings the numbers into stark reality and, as it clearly shows, 2018 was a shockingly bad year, in fact the worst since statistics became available back in 1999; and 2019 has started in a similar vein with more high profile cases. Seemingly we do we not learn as an industry. Why? At the very least it would seem sensible to take appropriate precautions before entering an enclosed or confined space. I wonder if it simply a lack of training and education, because I suspect it runs deeper than that. None of us is immortal and indestructible. We think it will not happen to us. But I urge any marine surveyor to take extreme caution when entering an enclosed space and, let me remind you, small spaces in yachts and small craft can Continue reading “Are we compromising life due to enclosed spaces?”

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