New technology – the root of all evil or the way forward?

We all love to knock new technology it seems don’t we? For many of us, technology can be something of an Achilles heel and because we do not understand it, we go slightly negative and on the defensive! However, I have been genuinely taken aback by the initial feedback following the launch of the IIMS Marine Surveyor Search App last month. Comments received such as “Simplicity itself” and “Fabulous cutting-edge initiative IIMS” have certainly buoyed me up. One gets so close to these projects during the development phase, so it is pleasing to get positive early feedback from real users who see instant benefit. Interestingly only a handful of IIMS members have yet to download the App. I urge you to do so. Our developers, eDot Solutions, have released several updated versions and are continuing to look for ways to enhance the App and the experience of using it. Keep watching for more news. If you have yet to engage with the App, this link will help you do that.

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Inaugural Marine Surveying International Fest 2018 voted a hit

On Tuesday 6th November at 11.00 UK time, IIMS opened the first 24-hour non-stop marathon Marine Surveying International Fest 2018, hosted live from the Institute’s offices in Portchester, Hampshire. The aim of the event was to recognise and celebrate as many different branches of the surveying profession as possible through a series of twenty four presentations with a new subject being introduced on the hour every hour. Presentations were delivered by experts in their field from various worldwide locations including Australia, New Zealand, America, Singapore, South Korea, UAE, India, Europe and the UK.

The heart-warming verbatim comments received immediately after the Fest from some of the delegates speak for themselves:
– “Despite the fact I have been a marine surveyor for 34 years the 24 hour Fest provided me with a massive (probably much needed) refresher course as well as new learning. Absolutely excellent in all respects. Congratulations and thanks to all.”
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Training events, training, events and more IIMS training, not forgetting the Fest!

Dr Malini Shankar addressing the IIMS Mumbai Symposium
Dr Malini Shankar addressing the IIMS Mumbai Symposium

They say we are never too old to learn and that is most certainly the case in the marine surveying profession.

Yes, we are in the middle of the training season once again. Recently we held a Certifying Authority training day for our coding surveyors. The contribution from the MAIB was particularly well received and thought provoking too. Paul Bryson’s case study presentation served as a sobering reminder that things can and do go needlessly wrong at sea.

Coming up is our next instalment of the Inland Waterways Working Group in Cheshire. UK narrowboats are right at the opposite end of the boating scale and require different surveying skills of their own.

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MCA propose a new code of practice to allow pleasure vessels to be temporarily used for business purposes and as race support boats

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is seeking feedback from the public on a new code of practice for intended pleasure vessels (IPV)

The MCA would like feedback on a new proposal to allow pleasure craft to be temporarily used for business purposes and as race support boats.

The organisation has been working with British Marine, RYA, and the Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveyors Association (YBDSA) to develop the new code of practice which is due to be published on 1 January 2019.

The code is divided into parts. The first refers to intended pleasure vessels (IPV) to be used for temporary commercial reasons and the second for said craft to be used to support race boats.

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Rules and regulations – love them or hate them

Rules and regulations seem to be very much the flavour of this month. The three recent ones I’d like to draw your attention to particularly and mention in a bit more detail are the looming EU General Data Protection Regulation, International Maritime Organization’s strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships and the new Yacht Code under development by the Red Ensign Group. And whilst not all three launch this month, it is the fact that such diverse bits of regulation should be in the news together, reminding me of the wide range of skills a marine surveyor needs to master (or at least have a grip on) as business knowledge combines with technical knowledge and maritime regulation to potentially create the perfect storm. Many a marine surveying business has failed, not due to a lack of technical skills, but an inability to embrace core business management skills and the associated red tape.

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What’s a yacht and small craft marine surveyor worth?

Pause for a moment and ponder this question. How much is your life and your safety at sea worth? Most people would say it is priceless and impossible to put a value on. And yet many people seem to misunderstand the worth, value and principle role of a marine surveyor, whose very job it is to ensure your safety at sea by surveying, inspecting and reporting on your expensive, potential new purchase. Instructing a marine surveyor to work on your behalf should never be seen as a distress purchase where price is the all-important factor. View full press release

Where will the next generation of marine surveyors come from?

A belated Happy New Year. As we ponder what 2018 might hold for us and, let’s face it, projections for the marine world appear to be very mixed, depending on who you listen to, I have been shocked and saddened by the awful start to January with one disaster after another.

In the first instance, I am referring of course to the tragic accident and substantial loss of life and potential environmental meltdown caused by the collision between the Iranian owned tanker MV Sanchi and the Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship CF Crystal, leading to the subsequent sinking of the former. That such a shocking event can still occur in 2018 seems hard to understand. It is not known yet if the cause will ever be discovered. What can we learn from this awful incident? And yet this incident has meant that numerous other accidents Continue reading “Where will the next generation of marine surveyors come from?”

Meeting IIMS members is so rewarding

Delegates participating in the IIMS 5th biennial UAE branch conference
Delegates participating in the IIMS 5th biennial UAE branch conference

November. Now where did that go? Ah yes I remember – it vanished in something of a whirl. From one training event and seminar to another. Hugely rewarding for me personally though I have to say and I was delighted to meet so many members, both at the UK events and at the UAE Branch Conference over the course of the month. I have learnt a great deal, which for a highly non-technical person such as me is probably a dangerous thing! However, it occurred to me that if I did, then so did our members too. Certainly the positive feedback would suggest that to be the case.

We have just released dates for our tentative training programme for 2018 and the schedule is published elsewhere in this bulletin. In Continue reading “Meeting IIMS members is so rewarding”

We are never too old as a month of learning opportunities looms

The IIMS web site attracted a record number of unique visitors recently
The IIMS web site attracted a record number of unique visitors recently

The month of November is looming large and for IIMS that means a busy month of training, seminars and a Conference too. Yes the coming weeks will see IIMS personnel out and about meeting members from all over the UK and further afield too. I recommend the programme of events we have put together for your benefit over the coming weeks and hope to meet many members at them. And remember if you cannot be there in person, some of the events you can attend in an online capacity using the Zoom option. Full details about the upcoming events can be found elsewhere on the web site.

But in brief, we kick off with the Large Yacht & Small Craft Working Group Scotland two day training event by Glasgow Airport on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 November. This is rapidly followed by the Large Yacht & Small Craft Working Group ‘Super’ training day near Portsmouth a week later on Monday 13 November. The week after sees the Certifying Authority two day training event taking place in Continue reading “We are never too old as a month of learning opportunities looms”

Tempus Fugit – well it has for me!

Yes I know I look ridiculous; but I could not resist trying the tin hat on at the Cabinet War Rooms
Yes I know I look ridiculous; but I could not resist trying the tin hat on at the Cabinet War Rooms

The past month has flown by and what a progressive month it has been, in fact a non-stop merry go round at times!

The IIMS Conference in London, Dinner and the AGM at Regent’s University were all successful, but I was saddened by the low number of members who came to London this year. As a consequence of the poor turn out, the management board has reassessed the future role of the London Conference and an announcement will be made soon. But for those who did attend, what a treat they had over the two days. I personally thought the presentations were not only relevant but also of the highest quality, delivered by people who were both knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects. You can watch any or all of the 10 videos that we made over the two days on the IIMS YouTube channel. And what a venue we chose for our Conference dinner. On reflection, the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms proved to be an inspirational choice, much enjoyed by those who attended.

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Midsummer madness

Life at IIMS is always challenging. Trying to keep nearly 1,000 members, who work in every conceivable area of marine surveying in its broadest sense, content is never a simple task. So I have been particularly pleased to have heard from a large number of members on three counts in the past month. Firstly, I am grateful that members took the opportunity to write and tell me what a great edition number 80 of The Report magazine was. Indeed some said the best they had ever read. I cannot disagree. It was, in my opinion, a comprehensive publication touching many areas of your profession. If you have not read it, I encourage you to do so by clicking this link.

The second cause for member reaction followed the launch of Version II of the IIMS CPD App. A small handful of members have reported one or two issues with the iOS version, so if you are having problems, please let head office know. But putting that aside, a good number of members have written to say how much they appreciate this development to what was an age old problem.

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More herrings than you can throw a fish at

Sometimes in my role as CEO, I find myself in the unlikeliest of places doing the strangest things. This was true just a couple of week ago and I am grateful to IIMS member, Jacek Goszczynski, who is based in Poland for inviting me to visit Szczecin to participate in the annual ‘Herring Gathering’. This event attracts over 2,000 people for an evening of celebration in the city of Szczecin in the north of the country. I found myself interacting with shipowners, hull insurance brokers, underwriters, educationalists and London P&I Club representatives. What a night and of course all in celebration of the humble herring – indeed I have never seen so many herrings in one place before, but I have acquired the taste.

Planning has been the name of the game recently at IIMS. We have a Large Yacht & Small Craft Super Training day coming up in November and the final finishing touches are being put to that. But more of that in the coming weeks. I am thrilled to announce that we have arranged a three day seminar in Singapore and I very much look forward to welcoming members, eCMID accredited vessel inspectors and anyone involved in the marine sector who would like to participate from 31 July to 2 August. We have a cracking couple of days lined up. For full details click here.

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