in memoriam

John Bowen, CEng, Fellow SCMS, Fellow IMarEST,

Deceased Principal Associate of Bowen Marine Associates

BMS started life with John as the owner and operator of a boatyard and dry dock on the Grand Union Canal (GUC) at Bridge 60 in 1984. Canal vessels of every sort, size and material were serviced, repaired and docked there. Surveying these and many other vessels elsewhere together with participation in the "start-up" of the original voluntary BW Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) were both developed at this time.

A fleet of coal carrying narrow boats was operated in conjunction with South Midland Water Transport and narrow boat shells supplied by Colecraft were built up and outfitted to customers bespoke requirements.

The business was relocated in 1996 to the original Malthouse Wharf site at Thames Lock at the entrance to the GUC. A decision made then to concentrate mainly on surveying small steel hulled vessels up to 45 metres O/A was prompted by the purchase of a 1912 Dutch Motor Barge for restoration. On completion, John then lived on and cruised in it for 12 years in UK and Europe.

Being located close by to the historic EC Jones yard (now MSO Marine) enabled the business to develop an enviable reputation in early riveted iron and steel hulls. Surveying these vintage vessels, together with associated marine engineering investigations, became the heart of the business both in UK and throughout Europe. On John’s retirement, he moved the "back office" for BMS to Suffolk on the East Coast.

John was a member of the Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors,(SCMS), YDSA and IIMS and was always keen to develop expertise amongst emerging surveyors, especially in the areas of good fieldcraft and report writing. He mentored several people who have continued to practice successful careers as experts in their own right

John died in January 2021 after a short illness. His lifelong achievements in marine design and surveying were publicly recognised in an obituary published in The Daily Telegraph here.

Ex- BMS Associates

Richard Thompson, Marine Surveyor’ AYDSA. AMIMarEST. AffiIIMS. BSc.Eng. DipMarSur

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