Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

An Atlantic Tragedy

The sad end of the yacht Cheeki Rafiki and the death of her four crew, in the cold Atlantic Ocean, touched a lot of hearts around the world. Nobody can fault the humanity and persistence of the US Coast Guard, which kept on looking for the yachtsmen, long after there really was any hope. There has been a commendable lack of people seeking to blame others for the tragedy, although there was some professional surprise that the containership which first found the upturned hull was released to continue her voyage.

Is there anything to be learned from this sad business?  Something perhaps about the vulnerability of the modern yacht and its racing keel, all built for speed but which can detach with disastrous consequences? Could there be a new… Continue reading

Unveiling Maersk

For decades, the extraordinary shipping enterprises controlled by AP Moller were the byword for opacity, the media kept at a polite distance by an efficient and dare we say it ferocious system devised to ensure that nothing meaningful was ever permitted to escape. Goodness, even the size and capacity of ships were closely guarded secrets, shipbuilders ordered on penalty of death (or more realistically no more orders) to never reveal any technical details whatever. For its part, the intelligence-gathering capabilities of the Maersk network were global and very effective at finding out what others were up to.

Today, of course, transparency is in the air, journalists and authors gadding around the world aboard Maersk ships to write “warts and all” books about their experiences. Perhaps more importantly… Continue reading

Maritime TV’s ‘Mondays with Maitland’ – New U.S. Sealift Capacity, Resources and Training Needs


In this twelfth interview in the series, as the 2nd National Maritime Strategy Symposium is about to take place in Washington D.C. on May 6, Maitland predicts the need for additional sealift capacity and trained mariners because of the increasing number of regional crisis points in the world, including the Black Sea, Persian Gulf and Asia… Continue reading

Wise before the event

There is a lot to know about oil pollution, if you are to respond suitably and to avoid the sort of public and media hysteria that often accompany accidental effusions. We cannot all be experts in hydrocarbons, but at least people in responsible positions in government, emergency planning, awareness and contingency arrangements ought to have a basic knowledge of what is happening if oil is spilt on their parish.
Step forward the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd and a suite of seven films designed to help in this way, the first two of which were premiered in London in April. If a picture is worth a thousand words, there is a whole volume of useful information available here, at a very modest price. The first film – Introduction to… Continue reading