First, sorry to have not posted over the last several weeks. I’ve been in Hong Kong, and then immediately thereafter at the ABYC Annapolis headquarters re-creating our Standards Knowledge Certification program with our friends at NOCTI (national occupational competency testing institute) and a group of 9 industry experts from the different groups within our industry. First China. My mission there was to help the Government of Hong Kong decide what industry standards to embrace as they specify new boats for their fleet of some 400 vessels. These boats ranged from small hover-craft to ocean capable police and customs small ships in the 80 ft. range to high speed gunboats that will reach speeds of about 70 mph. It was interesting working with the procurement officers as well as the maintenance inspectors in this group to see how ABYC can help them. My advice was well received I think.
Hong Kong is a really busy port and depending upon what metric you use, is the 3rd largest port in the world. While there I did take several tours to help familiarize myself with the area and get a better feel for exactly how large this port city’s waterfront actually is. I’ve never seen so many large cargo ships waiting to be loaded or unloaded as they transit the world with Chinese cargo.
Hong Kong is a very interesting place which I’m told has the largest population of billionaires in the world. I can believe that as I passed through neighborhoods in the downtown shopping districts with stores representing Prada, Dior, Mont Blanc, and Rolex, to name just a few. This area of the world is notable in that there is really no middle class as we Americans know it. You see great wealth, thoroughly mixed in with some of the most extreme poverty I’ve ever seen, including a trip to Africa. Relative to this blog site, the most notable was the near total absence of recreational boats. The photo above, which I took while visiting a small fishing village in a remote area away from the city illustrates a more typical type of boat. Mostly work boats in China, as well as a large variety of passenger carrying vessels to deal with moving some 8 million people from one island to another in this region. So, looking for a job as a marine service technician in China with a specialty in recreational watercraft? I don’t recommend it after this latest visit.
As for our ABYC Standards Knowledge Certification, we are finally giving this program a much needed thorough re-write. The bottom line here is that over the last five or six years our technical department has been busy. Enough change and updating of ABYC Standards has occurred that we needed to update our exam and add new material. So, last week was step one of the revision process, completion steps will follow over the next several months and by January 1 st we’ll have what will essentially be a new certification in place. Hard to believe how fast this year is buzzing by me!