A version of this NAMS eNews was published in an electronic message sent on or about May 1, 2009.

Greetings Website Visitor.

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

NAMSGlobal held its 47th Annual National Marine Conference East March 29 – 31, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. For those who could not attend, this was an excellent venue and beyond the fellowship, provided an opportunity for professional development. NAMSGlobal had a positive influx of new members, listed below. Recognizing the contributions they have made to the association over so many years, we voted two members to Life Member status:

  • Larry Dobbins of California, a member since 1983
  • Bob Wallstrom of Maine, a member since 1972

There were also several changes in the bylaws including:

  • Committee chairman will be appointed with the approval of the Board of Directors for 2-year terms, and can be reappointed to additional 2-year terms
  • The annual budget will not be submitted during the fall meeting
  • Each region shall have on file a written statement of procedures for announcing and holding of regional meetings
  • Change in bylaws allowing Regional Vice Presidents to commence duties according to regional election procedures.
  • We have established a new “International Region”
  • A change in the Executive Committee’s Scope of Authority, stating the National Officers will be directed as necessary by the Board of Directors in sufficient detail and as frequently as necessary, to ensure that the designated officer receives clear and concise instructions as to the day-to-day business of the association.

The actual wording of the by-laws change will be published in the next NAMSGlobal News, after the Board of Directors Meeting transcripts are received and reviewed.

The next NAMSGlobal Conference will be held at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle Washington October 11 – 13, 2009. Anyone interested in assisting in the conference should contact the NVP Dick Frenzel. More news to follow.

NAMSGlobal expresses our gratitude to the following sponsors, exhibitors and/or advertisers who generously supported the NAMS Newark Conference:

Dockwise of Houston, Texas; and Class Instrumentation Ltd. of London, UK supported NAMSGlobal as sponsors.

Salvage Sale, NAMS-Affiliate of Houston, Texas supported NMASGlobal as a sponsor/exhibitor.

The Salvage Groups, Inc., NAMS-Affiliate of St. Clair Shores, Michigan supported NAMSGlobal as a sponsor/advertiser.

Nausch, Hogan & Murray, Inc. of New York, New York supported NAMSGlobal as an advertiser.

William C Hansen, NAMS-CMS, National President

NAMS Applicants, New Members, Changes In Status & Committee Assignments

New Applicants
Name Level Region Sponsor
Steven DeLong Apprentice E. Gulf Ian Cairns
Brook Alderfer Associate S. Pacific J. Strong, T. Crosby, &   L. Lester
Gale H. Chapman, III Certified W. Rivers Gale H. Chapman, Jr.
Members elected March 29, 2009
Certified Members
Name Discipline Region Sponsor
Samiul Amin Cargo N. York Lawrence Stieg
Delwar Hossain Cargo N. York Ghulam Suhrawardi
David Pereira Cargo E. Gulf Ian Cairns
Rajesh Verma Cargo E. Gulf Shankar Panday
Charles Deroko H&M N. York George Farrell
Jan T. Haynes H&M W. Rivers James Pritchard
Rodger G. Morris Y&SC N. Pacific Malcolm Munsey
Associate Members
Sheldon Caughey Y&SC C. Pacific B. Schmidt, K. Parker, & S. Wedlock
E. Earle Brown Y&SC N. England S. Bunnell, J. Simonitsch, & L. Trumbull
Affiliate Members
Company Name Contact Region
Salvage Sale, Inc. Jim Reilly W. Gulf

Edward L. Shearer has kindly accepted the appointment of National Secretary. We wish to thank Desmond Connolly for his service as interim National Secretary, and his many years of service to NAMS.

Jack Hornor was appointed Yachts & Small Craft Technical Committee Chair.

Jerry Edwards, Janet Peck, Richard Learned were appointed to the Marketing Committee.

Recent Events

These photographs were taken at the National Conference East at Newark.

From left, Shawn Barnett, RVP of the New York Region and Dick Frenzel, National Vice-President.
From left, Bob Bartek, Hans Luhland, Claude Pritchartt and Bob Gibble (New York Region screening committee).

UPCOMING EVENTS

MAY 6, 2009
Marine Insurance Issues – Marriott Marquis Hotel– New York City

AIMU is proud to present its 18th Biennial “Marine Insurance Issues” Seminar presenting important topics including the Economic Outlook, Energy Insurance, Pollution, Piracy, Cargo Accumulation Modeling, with a presentation by keynote speaker, John Burnett, world traveler and author of Dangerous Waters – Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas. For further details, please visit http://www.aimu.org/MARINE%20INSURANCE%20ISSUES/MarInsIssProgram09.htm

October 10 – 14, 2009
NAMSGlobal Western Regions Conference: The Edgewater Hotel, 2411 Alaskan Way, Pier 67, Seattle, WA. 98121www.edgewaterhotel.com

May 6-7, 2009
The next Towing Safety Advisory Council (TSAC) meeting will be held at the AMO STAR Center in Dania, (Ft. Lauderdale) FL. For updated information, look for the Federal Register announcement in early April, or contact Mr. Gerald Miante, Ass’t. Designated Federal Officer, at Gerald.p.Miante@uscg.mil. On a related note, the NVIC 04-08, entitled, “Medical and Physical Evaluation Guidelines for Merchant Mariner Credentials” was signed on September 15, 2008. TSAC, MERPAC, and other public volunteers donated extensive amounts of time to successfully complete this project. TSAC is seeking applications for volunteer positions that expire in September, 2009. The TSAC regulations have finished with the Coast Guard and are now under review by OMB (U. S. Office of Management and Budget) and Homeland Security. Should be out the end of June (second quarter) 2009.

May 12-13, 2009
Marine Log’s Tugs & Barges Conference & Expo, Stamford, Connecticut will focus on current hot-button regulatory and technology issues:

  • Harbor tugs: Here come the hybrids!
  • Emissions and environmental stewardship
  • Marine Highways: New opportunities
  • Recruiting and training new mariners
  • Refining barge design and operations

This the annual conference and trade show that brings together key players in the tug and barge market to discuss critical industry issues and to share lessons from operational experience. www.marinelog.com

June 29-30, 2009
American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU) Correspondents Conference: Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Details for the two-day Correspondents Conference, a joint venture with the Marine Insurance Claims Association (MICA), to include education and information programs, have been finalized. AIMU will apply for Continuing Education credits for the event. AIMU is seeking potential presenters for the 30, 40, 60, and 75-minute education sessions. Conference Websitehttp://www.aimu.org and click on global conference.

The Royal Institute of Naval Architects will be providing the following training courses during 2009:

11-14 May 2009            London UK, Basic Dry Dock Training Course.
13-15 May 2009            Antwerp, Belgium, International Conference on Ship
Maneuvering in Shallow and Confined Waters.
13-16 May 2009            Shanghai, China, International Ship and Marine Conference.
27-28 May 2009            Poole, UK, SURV 7 – Surveillance search and rescue craft.
17-18 June                   London, UK, Warship 2009: Air power at sea.
1-3 September 2009      International Conference on Computer Applications
in Shipbuilding 2009 (ICCAS).

For further information: Email: hq@rina.org.uk

October 23, 2009:
NAMSGlobal Great Lakes Regional Meeting at the Country Inn & Suites, Portage, Indiana. Further details can be obtained from Mike Sulkowski, NAMS-CMS, Regional V.P. msulkows@ffic.com

UPCOMING EVENTS
Jack Hornor, NAMS-CMS

Sighting a need for a quality education program to train entry-level marine surveyors, at their March 16th 2009 Board of Directors Meeting, the American Boat & Yacht Council staff presented a proposal to board members for development of a joint Westlawn/ABYC yacht and small craft marine surveying education program.

As presently proposed, in order to earn a Diploma in Marine Surveying, participants would be required to successfully complete Westlawn’s one year distance learning course Elements of Technical Boat Design, at least three ABYC technical certification courses plus a yet to be developed Westlawn course on Surveying Principals and Practices. Alternatively students could earn a diploma by completing Westlawn’s 4-year Yacht and Boat Design program plus the new principal and practices program.

Upon successful completion of the program participants would receive a Westlawn Diploma in Marine Surveying. ABYC’s staff emphasized the intent of the program is to provide “entry level” core competence education only for marine surveyors and that neither Westlawn nor ABYC will ever certify or accredit graduates as marine surveyors.

In order to develop their Surveying Principals and Practices course, Westlawn’s staffs is seeking input and participation from the National Association of Marine Surveyors and the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors on such topics as:

  • recommended survey content
  • ethics, conflict of interest, and impartiality in marine surveying
  • different types of surveys
  • standard survey reports
  • Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) – Not the whole USPAP course but an overview to make the student familiar with industry expectations and practice
  • and other topics to be recommended by SAMS and NAMS representatives

If you are interested in working with Westlawn and ABYC on this project please contact Jack Hornor jack@msdco.com 410-45108133 for further details.

Floating Assets, or Concepts Of Value As They Relate To The Marine Appraising Profession
By Captain Joseph W. Rodgers NAMS-CMS, ASA

The principles of marine surveying and appraisal practice

In our society, the private ownership of property including boats is not only allowed but has been encouraged. Commercial shipping as well as private yachting activities have brought the need for the marine appraiser throughout the economic, legal and social marine activities of our society. The word property is given to all things physical as well as to the legal rights of ownership of such items including vessels. The word “vessel” is a general term of a water craft of every description capable of being used  as a means of transportation on the water.

Marine surveying and appraising operations encompass the determination of condition and the determination of the “value” of a vessel. Be aware that there is a big difference between the interpretation of the word “value” and that of “worth”. To give you an example of such differences note that: A new mega yacht might  have significant monetary value, but it may be of great “worth” to one’s soul and health to go sailing every weekend with the kids on say a small dinghy that has little value.

Marine appraisers’ ethics

Due to the specialized knowledge required by the marine appraiser there is a fiduciary relationship between him and anyone relying on his report. The marine appraiser has an obligation to determine the appropriate numerical result with as high degree of accuracy as possible. He also has an obligation to avoid giving false value results.

The term “Marine Appraisal Practice” has been defined as the determination of the value of vessel. The verb “determined” has the meaning of: Coming to a decision from the result of “investigation and reasoning”.

The appraiser has an obligation to determine the appropriate monetary value result with as high a degree of accuracy as possible. The marine appraiser has an obligation to avoid giving false results, and must practice  ethically. The marine appraiser has the obligation to document his work. This work consists of:

  1. Detailed inspection of the craft
  2. Investigation into its design purpose and present use
  3. Analysis of the market conditions
  4. Descriptive and detailed report.

These procedures are needed to base the value analysis on and must take into consideration all the characteristics of the vessel which may contribute or detract from its value. This will also help prove how the marine appraiser came to deduce the given value.

Marine Valuation Basic Theory

The word “value” has many meanings according to the U.S. Supreme Court, due to the fact that it is actually the public who determines value and not the marine appraiser. Therefore one may say that there are as many different meanings to the word “value” as there are people. Fortunately for the marine appraiser who must “estimate” value there are certain guidelines which may be followed so as to produce a defensible conclusion.

The Function Of The Marine Appraisal

The function of the marine appraisal is to establish values in terms of what an end user would have to pay in terms of $cash for such a vessel. It is important in each appraisal report to give a full description of the vessel being appraised noting its condition and equipment. This description should be based on:

  • Actual visual inspection of the craft
  • A review of the vessel’s registration / documentation / tonnage certificates
  • Recording of Hull Identification Numbers (H.I.N.)
  • Taking overall measurements
  • Documenting vessel’s type of hull, machinery and tankage
  • A review of insurance certificates (noting value)
  • Inventory of vessel’s equipment  (noting its condition)
  • Recording deficiencies and discrepancies.

The Date Of The Inspection

The date of the survey/appraisal should be the date which the value applies unless otherwise stated. The value given should take into consideration the current “market and environmental” conditions on that date as well as any “forces of supply and demand”, “depreciation” and/or other influences that may be relevant or known on the market as of that time.

Concepts Of Value As They Relate To Marine Appraising

The word “value” has many different meanings as we have found out due to the fact that it is actually people who determine values and not the appraiser. Value therefore like beauty “value” is often in the mind of the beholder. Fortunately for the marine appraiser who must estimate values with some degree of accuracy there are certain guidelines which if followed will produce a defensible conclusion.

Determinations

In dealing with marine properties the marine appraiser must first determine:

  1. The purpose of the appraisal
  2. The time reference of the appraisal
  3. The location of the vessel and its relevance
  4. The designed purpose of the craft and its relevance
  5. The relative scarcity of the vessel and its relevance
  6. The general condition of the vessel
  7. The condition of the accompanying gear and equipment

The main purpose of this is to note the overall conditions that will affect the appraisal results so as to deduce realistic assessment information.

Example Of Fluctuation

An example of how values can change with the circumstances was given by Dr. Irving Fields

ASA in his review of the principles of valuation: He used the example of water. We use water every day and it has relatively low value when we go to a restaurant we would be upset if they charged us say five dollars for a glass of water, however if you found yourself in the middle of Death Valley in the summer time without any water and you were dying of thirst what would you give for that glass of water.

Now, if I came along and could sell you all the beautiful blue fresh snow melting water that was in Lake Tahoe it would still have no value to you in the middle of Death Valley because of the location. My water being so far away from your need could not do you any good and thus had no value to you. What I am getting at is that there are many factors that the marine appraiser must consider  that will effect valuation.

Types Of Value

In order to simplify the problem it is first important to determine what the problem is by asking this simple question. What value are we trying to find? Common types of marine values that the appraiser must be familiar with are:

  1. Market value
  2. Assessed value
  3. Loan value
  4. Insured value
  5. Income value
  6. Replacement value
  7. Reconstruction value
  8. Orderly liquidation value
  9. Book value (income value)

There are other value marks one might have to reach such as “historical” or other significant values.

Estimated Fair Market Values. (E.F.M.V.)

However, most requests are to provide what is known as ESTIMATED FAIR MARKET VALUES. (E.F.M.V.) which have been defined in different ways but usually are defined as “The most probable price which a vessel should bring in a competitive and open market, under all conditions requisite for a “Fair Sale”. Implicit in this definition is usually stated as:

  1. Both buyer and seller being typically motivated
  2. Consumption of the sale as of a specified date
  3. Both parties are well informed and acting in their best interest
  4. Reasonable time is allowed for exposure on the open market
  5. Payment is in terms of cash or financial arrangements comparable to and not affected via special deals or creative financing.

“Estimated Fair Market Value” has also been defined as: “The amount paid for “identical” or “most comparable” vessels”.

Supply And Demand

The marketplace is where the marine appraiser obtains real analysis of actual used boat sales and actually finds out what the buyers are paying for boats. However, a review of markets only provides current sales data. It does not provide information on the depreciation or appreciation factors discussed. Be careful about utilizing comparison sales data only. The French derivative of the word “compare” has a pro-verb interpreted to mean “to compare but not necessarily to prove”.

Example Of Marine Values

Let’s look at a U.S. Documented, 50’ steel constructed, motor yacht named the “General Lee”

  1. New Boat Price (Built new in 1995) “established cost” of $500,000
  2. Purchase Price (Used 2000)                                          $250,000
  3. Loan Value (amount loaned by the bank):                      $150,000
  4. Insured Value was reported at:                                     $350,000
  5. Assessed Value was reported at:                                  $ 85,000
  6. Income Value:                                                            $ 00,000

One can see many different dimensions of value.

Depreciation Factors: Straight Line Method

The straight line method encompasses de-valuing the vessel a given percentage from the actual cost of the craft. The percentage subtracted is spread out over the vessel’s anticipated useful service life. The problem utilizing a straight line method is that some vessels actually go up in value due to purpose or need while other crafts will go down in value because of lack of interest or need at a faster rate. Also equipment may readily be replaced and might depreciate at different rate factors from the hull.

Current Economic Conditions

The economic conditions affect the commercial and luxury industries and are constantly fluctuating up and down, but a general seasonal pattern can readily be arrived at. Be aware that some boats may hold value year after year, while others may drop rapidly right from the beginning. Some vessels drop value right at first and then maintain value for a long while before dropping again. Some boats actually appreciate in value again due to supply and demand. Right now in today’s economy used pleasure boats of all kinds and boating equipment of all types have shown a general decrease in value during the last nine months. New building costs and equipment prices like everything have increased in price.

Value Estimates

“Final value estimates” are averaged and should be based on review of these given values plus

  1. The vessel’s overall condition including its machinery and equipment
  2. Current economic and environmental factors
  3. Current location of the vessel
  4. Direct sales comparison
  5. Replacement with new
  6. Replacement with like
  7. Anticipation of net income in the continuing operation (in the case of commercial craft).

The Marine Appraiser must feed all this information into his computer and artfully mix with past experience(s) and some sharp penciled arithmetic to deduce an “averaged” amount that might be considered as reasonable “Estimated Fair Market Value”.

Note

The buyer’s mental and physical feeling about the vessel, his income or availability of financing should not influence the marine appraiser nor the information that was gathered. Collaboration between marine surveyors / appraisers / yacht brokers / dealers / boat owners is desirable to obtain the benefits of combined judgment.

About The Author, Captain Joseph W. Rodgers Nams-Cms, Asa

Capt. Joseph W. Rodgers stems from a long line of maritime professionals. He is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard merchant marine officer, who in the past has worked on ships and yachts of all sizes. “Capt. Jo” is also an active sailor and ocean world adventurer who has sailed ‘Where few have gone before’ and has recently crewed a sailboat through the South Pacific to Australia following in the footsteps of Capt. Cook. He is a senior member of the American Society of Appraisers, Machinery and Equipment section specializing in Technical Valuation of yachts and ships. He is also a Certified Marine Surveyor, member of the National Association of Marine Surveyors, holding a senior rank and is the regional vice president of that organization. His over 30 years experience has given him some insights that may be of interest to all appraisers and especially those that love the sea.

From 1978 to present Captain Rodgers has been professionally involved as a marine surveyor for international and domestic insurance companies, financial institutions, yacht brokers, law firms, corporations, individuals and insurance companies representing American and London Institute of Marine Underwriters. Appointed by Geary Associates Marine Surveyors to the Underwriters at Lloyds he provides surveys on cargo/ships/passenger ferries, charter fleets and private vessels. Capt. Rodgers has surveyed vessels, both commercial and private, power and sail, of all sizes, types and construction, including yachts, passenger ferries, research crafts, cargo ships, commercial fishing boats and small tankers.

Finally, Some TWIC-Related Sanity

Comment by David Krapf, Editor in Chief, Workboat magazine

Hey mariners and workboat operators, still TWIC’ed off about having to fork over $132.50 for a useless ID card that does nothing to increase security or prevent a terrorist attack?

Well, how about spending another $2,000 or so to install a useless device on board every vessel in your fleet to scan and read (if the software works) the useless Transportation Worker Identification Credential that every mariner (and many others who have nothing to do with the operation of a workboat) was forced to get?

The workboat industry told legislators and the Coast Guard seven years ago that the TWIC card was unnecessary, costly, and would do nothing to prevent a terrorist attack and improve security. But it was shoved down the industry’s throat anyway — an expensive boondoggle of a program that was mandated by Congress during the post-9/11 security frenzy. Unfortunately, cooler heads didn’t prevail when the Maritime Transportation Security Act was passed in 2002, which is ending up costing taxpayers and the marine industry billions for useless “security” upgrades.

This time, however, it looks like the workboat industry has finally won a battle, albeit a small one, in the war against the TWIC program. On March 27, the Coast Guard released the long-overdue TWIC card reader proposed rulemaking. In it was a key concession for the tug and barge owners, which somehow came about during a TWIC program moment of sanity. The proposal exempts vessels from having to carry card readers if they operate with 14 or fewer crew. That pretty much exempts every inland and coastal barge operator from having to purchase these expensive and useless devices.

The American Waterways Operators fought hard to secure this exemption for the industry it represents, and won. “We are very pleased that the Coast Guard has recognized that card readers do not make sense and are not necessary from a security viewpoint for vessels with 14 or fewer crewmembers,” said Jennifer Carpenter of the AWO.

Indeed, the card readers “do not make sense.” In fact, from the start, the entire TWIC program has not made sense. Congress should have gone back in and fixed it years ago before this expensive juggernaut got rolling. Let’s hope there are more examples of TWIC sanity as this rulemaking works it way through the regulatory system.

Courtesy Workboat magazine. Email the editor: dkrapf@divcom.com

Underprepared For Maritime Accidents

The existing infrastructure for responding to maritime accidents in the Arctic is limited and more needs to be done to enhance emergency response capacity as Arctic sea ice declines and ship traffic in the region increases, according to new report released by the University of New Hampshire and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The reduction of polar sea ice and the increasing worldwide demand for energy will likely result in a dramatic increase in the number of vessels that travel Arctic waters. The report’s findings and recommendations are based on the panel’s examination of five potential emergency response scenarios: a grounded cruise ship whose 2,000 passengers and crew must abandon the vessel; an ice-trapped and damaged ore carrier; an explosion on a fixed drilling rig north of Alaska; a collision between a tanker and fishing vessel that results in a large oil spill; and the grounding of a tug towing a supplies barge in an environmentally sensitive area near the Bering Strait. (NOAA Report, 1/29/2009.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

USCG – COSCO Busan Investigation Report

The US Coast Guard released its marine casualty investigation report relating to November 7, 2007 allision by the motor vessel COSCO BUSAN with a pier of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The incident resulted in discharge of approximately 53,000 gallons of fuel oil into waters of San Francisco Bay. The report indicates that the primary causes of the allision were:

Navigation error by the pilot, who navigated the vessel at a high, unsafe speed in near-zero visibility, failed to properly monitor the vessel’s position and progress, and lost situational awareness;

  1. Failure of the master to adequately monitor the actions of the pilot;
  2. Failure of the pilot and master to effectively communicate with each other during the voyage;
  3. Failure of the pilot and master to conduct a proper pilot-master information exchange prior to getting underway;
  4. Failure of the master to adhere to restricted visibility procedures of the vessel’s safety management system; and
  5. Failure of the pilot and crew to employ proper bridge management team principles.

The Coast Guard also released an Excel Table showing various USCG and NTSB recommendations, as well as the status of each. (3/10/09). Courtesy Dennis L. Bryant dennis.l.bryant@gmail.com  http://bryantsmaritimeblog.blogspot.com

Boaters, Ethanol Backers At Odds Over Damage By Fuel
By Bill Lambrecht, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Monday, Mar. 30 2009

Washington — At St. Charles Boat & Motor, owner and service manager Jerry Sims used to oversee the rebuilding of 30 carburetors in a year’s time. Last year, Sims says, he stopped counting at 750. They were victims, he claims, of ethanol in gas. “It’s killing motors right and left,” Sims said. “But the EPA keeps shoving it down everybody’s throats.”

Armed with damage stories and test results suggesting more problems on the horizon, the boating industry is fighting to block a drive by fuel manufacturers to increase ethanol in the fuel supply from 10 percent to 15 percent — or E15.

The Environmental Protection Agency probably won’t decide until late this year whether to grant the Clean Air Act waiver necessary to blend more ethanol. Meanwhile, the hard-pressed ethanol industry, its farm allies and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are pushing for incremental increases sooner, perhaps to E12 or E13 gasoline.

But the nation’s $40 billion boating industry — aligned with a host of small-engine manufacturers producing everything from ATVs to chain saws — opposes more ethanol in any quantity. For cars and trucks, the adoption of alcohol in gasoline has been relatively smooth. Over the years, automakers coordinated in the search for rubber and plastic sufficiently durable to withstand the effects of alcohol fuel on tanks, hoses, seals and anything that fuel touches.

But boat manufacturers were not so forward-looking. As a result, boaters endured an initial wave of clogged fuel lines, crumbling gas tanks and malfunctions of various sorts attributed to ethanol, problems that continue to this day in many older vessels.

People typically keep boats longer; 1970s and ’80s models are common along waterways in the St. Louis region. And fuel remains in boat tanks longer, often resulting in a buildup of ethanol, which can draw water and contaminate fuel. Sims said he has sampled fuel in boat tanks that contained as much 30 percent alcohol.

Last week, the National Marine Manufacturers Association submitted requests to the EPA and Department of Energy for testing. The association pointed to disquieting reports from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Tests last fall on several types of small engines showed that ethanol raised internal temperatures, sometimes considerably. The increased ethanol content caused handheld trimmers to idle faster and engage into gear. Overall, some small engines proved to be more sensitive to ethanol than others.

Robert Adriance edits Seaworthy magazine and compiles accident reports for Boat U.S., which has 600,000 members across the country. Adriance said many boaters have minimized ethanol problems by replacing susceptible parts and by keeping fuel tanks topped off, thereby reducing the potential of contamination.

Recent boat motors, Adriance said, contain hoses that can handle fuel containing up to 10 percent ethanol. He added, “Maybe the hoses will withstand 15 percent, but nobody knows.” To John McKnight, the boat manufacturers’ Washington-based safety director, the Oak Ridge results amount to warning signs. “We could do all the testing and change our equipment in new boats. But the problem is the millions of boats out there now. There could be fuel leaks. Boats could blow up,” said McKnight, noting that existing boat warranties would be voided by use of any alcohol fuel beyond E10.

Separate Supplies?

Not long ago, corn-made ethanol was awash in profits, an elixir for rural communities left behind by globalization. But even with an 11 billion gallon market guaranteed this year by law, the return of cheap oil and Americans’ reduced driving has sent demand for ethanol plummeting. The industry’s travails were reflected last week when a Texas oil company, Valero, agreed to buy seven plants of bankrupt ethanol giant VeraSun Energy Corp. for a fraction of their replacement value.

“There’s more ethanol out there than there are homes for it,” said Roger Hill, general manager of Golden Triangle Energy LLC, which operates a small ethanol plant in Craig, Mo. Indeed, roughly 20 percent of the ethanol production capacity in the United States is idled because of unfavorable economics, a reason that Hill and others in the industry would like to see more of it in gasoline.

To help make the political argument, the industry formed a new association called Growth Energy and brought in retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a well-connected Democrat who ran for his party’s presidential nomination in 2004, as co-chairman.

When the EPA starts deliberating soon on the E15 request, tens of thousands of boaters are expected to submit public comments. But the ethanol industry and its allies will be offering their case, too.

“Ethanol is good for the environment and good for national security,” Clark said in an interview. “Moving to E15 will create more than 130,000 new jobs.” To boaters, Clark asserts that there would be no requirement to use fuel with the higher ethanol blend. In other words, marinas could order the type of fuel that suits them, something marina owners say would be costly and impractical. “We’re not advocating a mandatory 15 percent; we’re advocating the right to have 15 percent,” Clark said. “A lot of us have a lot of friends up there (in Washington), and we’re hoping that the administration will go to 12 or 13 right away. Because that would be a powerful signal” to investors, he said.

Sharp Rise In Cargo Thefts

Truck cargo thefts, which cost the U.S. shipping industry tens of billions of dollars a year, have increased significantly in the past year, risk managers and insurers say. In 2008, U.S. truck cargo thefts increased 13% from 2007, according to FreightWatch International (USA) Inc., an Austin, Texas-based logistics security agency that tracks freight thefts. Law enforcement and industry officials estimate that truck cargo thefts cost the U.S. shipping industry $15 billion to $30 billion a year, although many analysts say that range understates the losses. Even now, industry observers say they are not sure the figures capture all theft; some shippers and trucking companies are reluctant to report thefts out of concern for their reputation and insurance costs. But insurers and risk managers agree truck cargo theft is a significant problem that has been growing more acute in recent years. The vast majority of cargo thefts come from stealing unattended trucks. The 2006 reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act directed the FBI to begin tracking cargo theft as a separate category in its uniform crime reports, and the FBI and local police departments will do so this year. (Business Insurance, 2/2/2009.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

TSA – One Million Workers Enrolled For TWIC

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a press release stating that one million maritime workers have now enrolled in the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. When the program is fully effective on April 15, only individuals with a valid TWIC will be allowed unescorted access to secure areas of US port facilities and vessels of the United States. (3/9/09). Courtesy Dennis L. Bryant dennis.l.bryant@gmail.comhttp://bryantsmaritimeblog.blogspot.com

Hard Times Boost Insurance Claims

Hard times are expected to breed more insurance claims as policyholders look for cash in every corner and, in some cases, stretch the truth when reporting losses, experts say. At the same time, insurers are taking a closer look at claims to make sure they are legitimate and to weed out those that are fraudulent, sources say. “It is far easier to commit insurance fraud than to get funds by legitimate means in the current economic situation,” said Bobby Gracey, vp-counterfraud solutions at Crawford & Co. in London. Reliable fraud statistics are hard to come by because the crime often is not caught or reported. But experts agree that the economic crisis is fertile ground for fraudulent claims to grow. (Business Insurance, 3/16/2009.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Last month, the US Coast Guard http://www.uscg.mil/ announced that due to economic conditions, they would be closing down the 24 LORAN-C (Long Range Aid to Navigation) http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/loran/default.htm stations operated under the auspices of the USCG. LORAN stations provide navigation, location and timing services for both civil and military air, land and marine users. According to the USCG, LORAN-C is approved as an enroute supplemental air navigation system for both Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) and Visual Flight Rule (VFR) operations. The LORAN-C system serves the 48 continental states, their coastal areas and parts of Alaska.

Loran-A stations were developed beginning in World War II, and signals were transmitted on frequencies in and around our present-day 160 meter band. Loran-A was responsible for reduced amateur radio operations, including frequency and power limitations, on 160 meters in the United States. In 1979, the Coast Guard phased out the Loran-A stations; they were replaced by Loran-C stations. The newer stations operated on 100 kHz, enabling the restrictions on the 160 meter amateur band due to Loran functions, to be dropped.

According to the Coast Guard, the nation’s oldest continuous sea-going service will continue to operate the current Loran-C system through the end of fiscal year 2009; it is in the process of preparing detailed plans for implementing the fiscal year 2010 budget. According to USCG Vice Commandant and Chief Operating Officer Vice Admiral V. S. Crea, further details of the Loran-C termination plan will be available upon the submission of the President’s full budget. Courtesy Boatpokers

Vessel Salvage Costs Rocket

Wreck removal costs following maritime casualties are spiraling out of control, members of the International Salvage Union heard. ISU president Arnold Witte said that since the Exxon Valdez accident, costs had been increasing, citing as examples the MSC Napoli and the New Flame in Gibraltar. Mr. Witte said he recognized the underwriting community was suffering as a result of cost increases and called for all parties to work together to find a solution to the problem. Given the current economic environment, insurers were under increasing pressure by bearing the cost of wreck removal. The industry needed to “review contracting mechanisms and explore reasons for excessive costs,” Mr. Witte said. They also underlined the importance of special casualty representatives, who represent insurers during a casualty, remaining independent of salvage companies or P&I clubs. (Lloyd’s List, 3/6/2009.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Maritime Whistle-Blowers Split $375,000

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer Publication date: 2009-03-12

Two seamen will split a $375,000 reward for blowing the whistle on a Swedish shipping company that illegally dumped oil-contaminated waste into international waters off the New Jersey coast. The whistle-blowers were crew members aboard the Snow Flower, a 568-foot refrigerator ship operated by Holy House Shipping of Stockholm.

Coast Guard inspectors in Gloucester City boarded the Snow Flower in February 2008 and discovered discrepancies in the vessel’s Oil Record Book. They also located a “magic pipe” that was used secretly to discharge oily waste into the oceans.

A federal judge in Camden yesterday fined Holy House $1 million and ordered it to pay an additional $400,000 community service fee that will go to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to protect marine habitats in New Jersey.

U.S. District Court Judge Jerome B. Simandle also approved a government motion to award $375,000 of the fine to the whistle-blowers for risking their careers by tipping off the Coast Guard to the crime. Courtesy WorkBoat magazine. Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or at samwood@phillynews.com

Abandoned Boats Are Clogging Waterways

Abandoned or derelict boats have plagues U.S. coastal waters for decades. And the problem is likely to get worse because of the economy, with more boat owners walking away from used vessels and cash-strapped government agencies left powerless to do anything about it. “It is unusual for a federal agency to fund or initiate removal of an abandoned vessel under most circumstances, unless it is a navigational hazard or poses a significant pollution risk,” according to a 2006 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report that reviewed state abandoned-vessel programs. “Smaller recreational or fishing vessels that likely compose the majority of reported accidents are seldom removed under federal authorities and funding. Therefore, it is up to state and local authorities to address the issue.”  (Soundings, 4/2009.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Job Openings In The USCG Fishing Vessel Safety Program

Two openings in the USCG HQ fishing vessel safety program just announced. Both positions offer an opportunity to work to improve safety in the most dangerous occupation the US.

  1. Chief, Fishing Vessel Safety Division and Executive Secretary of the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Advisory Committee (CFIVSAC). Serves as the national focal point for improving safety in the commercial fishing industry. GS-14.
  2. Fishing Vessel Safety Outreach Specialist. Responsible for all internal and industry outreach and communication on matters dealing with commercial fishing vessel safety. GS 13

Both opportunities offer exceptional job satisfaction and sense of achievement. These job provide opportunities for travel, excellent job security, federal benefits, training, and true responsibility. These are jobs that can make a difference in the lives of commercial fishermen and their families. If questions on the specifics of the function and activities call, Mr. Jack Kemerer at (202) 372 1245 jack.a.kemerer@uscg.mil Questions on applying contact:– www.uscg.mil/civilian

Job Opening For Technical Officer at http://www.maritimejobs.com

Job ID 102750
Location Panama
Status Full time
Level Mid career
Company International Register of Shipping
Contact Joana Santos Miami, FL 33137
Description Marine Surveyor for Inspection of different types of Vessel’s (such as Cargo Vessels, Oil Tankers, Bulk Carrier etc.)
Requirements Familiar with Engine and Hull SurveysSpecialized in carrying out Class and Statutory Surveys, Conditional Surveys, Follow up surveys

Familiar with IMO Conventions and Regulations (such as Solas, Marpol, ITC, LL, etc)

ISM and ISPS Audits

Affiliated with all Maritime Terminology

Essential Competencies and Skills

Minimum 5 years experience in Maritime Industry

Fluency in English will be preferred

Computer Skills needed for Reporting Purposes

Note Candidates who can apply are 1- Marine Engineer’s / 2- Captain’s /3- Naval Architect’s and Ship Builder’s / etc.

Useful Links

gCaptain: http://gcaptain.com a new site that brings the tools of Web to the Professional Mariner. Launched in May 2007 the site looks to give ship Captains, Mates, maritime industry leaders and those interested in ships a home on the web.

cargolaw: http://www.cargolaw.com The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel The Air & Ocean Logistics – Customs Broker, Attorneys, International Trade Consultants

Dynamar B.V.: http://www.dynamar.com based in Alkmaar the Netherlands, was established in 1981 in response to a growing demand for credit and marketing reports in the maritime sector. They offer a wide range of reports that are tailored to particular market segments. Their vast database enables clients to access information within seconds by downloading the reports on the company required via the Internet. They offer marine investigation and vessel tracking services. Dynamar has developed a comprehensive network of resources and contacts to ensure accurate and fast results. The Dynamar Links page has links to a large number of Liner Shipping Companies worldwide.