Modern ‘boat yards’ have moved on

Something very special took place last week. Like many millions of people in the UK, I grew up with deep respect for the RNLI, the world renowned, charitable organisation that keeps the coast of this country safe and saves the lives of those who get into trouble at sea. The brave and exceptional work they do through volunteers who crew their fleet is legendary.

So having admired the work of the RNLI it was rather humbling to be able to take a group of nearly 30 IIMS members to visit their head office and build/refit facility at Poole in Dorset last week. Several things took me by surprise. The sheer size of the RNLI operation is impressive, spread over a large area. The cleanliness and efficieny of the boatbuilding and workshop areas is extraordinary. This is a thoroughly modern, state-of-the-art facility and one that any similar organisation could learn a great deal from. As RNLI Director, Angus Watson said, the RNLI facility is light years away from the boat yards he worked in not so many years ago.

Once we had concluded our extensive tour of the facility, we enjoyed a light lunch and then ‘gate crashed’ the RNLI’s surveyor conference for the afternoon. There were five presentations given covering everything from surveyor standards to report writing. It really was a great day and my thanks to those who helped to stage the event.

Report-June-2016-Cover-354x500The June issue of the Report Magazine published on 1 June – click to read it in e-reader or pdf format. It is a thoroughly thought provoking issue and no matter if you are a small craft or commercial surveyor, much of the content will interest you. I am grateful to those who have prepared specially commissioned articles for your enjoyment and benefit. The future of shipping and in particular autonomous shipping is a challenging subject. But as Rolls-Royce say, it is when and not if. So how will a surveyor survey an autonomous ship and what does it mean for your profession? The sad loss of the CHEEKI RAFIKI and its crew in the Atlantic has inspired Hugo DuPlessis to write about GRP as a material and as you will read, he articulates that there are issues to consider.

Planning for the IIMS 25th Anniversary Conference, Awards and Gala Dinner is escalating as the event approaches. My immediate concern is to chase in as many nominations for the Awards for Excellence as possible prior to the 30 June deadline. I encourage you to make a nomination or to self nominate. What is the worst things that could happen? The judging panel might choose your submission as a winner!

The Gala Dinner is all set for 31 August. The entertainment is booked. It will be a fun and memorable evening.

The second day Conference programme, ‘Marine Surveying: The Next 25 Years’, taking place in The Old Library at Lloyd’s of London is also finalised. A range of excellent presentations and presenters have been brought together. Many of those presenting will be tackling topics that will look at the events and activities that are likely to shape the future of your industry.

If you only come to one IIMS Conference, make sure it is the 25th Anniversary one this year!

Survey well.

Mike Schwarz

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