Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Stick it on the bulkhead

Some years ago I spent a couple of days aboard a VLCC on passage, which provided a great deal of food for thought, along with some meat for subsequent articles. Continue reading

Shaken faith

Not a lot seemed to happen during the Christmas and New Year holiday season, although the UK Met. Office managed, on the Blairite principle of “today being a good day to bury bad news” to sneak out, at the height of the festivities, their latest assessment that global warming is happening a great deal slower than the climate alarmists would have had us believe. Continue reading

Schooner rigged, or what?

How many people would you estimate as being adequate for the safe manning of a 6000grt ship, a sizeable lump of metal by any standards, although a minnow by comparison with the monsters wandering around the world today?

The Netherlands maritime administration will happily issue a Safe Manning Certificate which will permit this ship to trade with just six souls aboard. Master and Mate, Chief Engineer, cook and two sailors, which seems quite generous – to the owner.

As I write this I have at hand the manning arrangements for a 3194gt general cargo ship commanded in the Indian trades by a relative, 75 years ago. Aboard this busy little ship there were no fewer than 108 crew, which is illustrative perhaps of the leaps in productivity that… Continue reading