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Memorable Moments

Memorable Moments

While preparing for IMCI's 25th anniversary in 2018, many memorable moments from IMCI life came into mind for us at the head office. Then we thought that other colleagues surely had their own special "IMCI moments" too and we asked all all Board Members and Inspectors:

"Is there some memorable moment which gets into your mind when you hear or see “IMCI"?
Do you think when hearing or reading the word "IMCI" on any story or situation?"

Please see below what we received………


25 Years IMCI - Memorable Moments of IMCI Board Members and IMCI Inspectors...


Ulrich (Uli) Heinemann (IMCI CEO)

When I met my mentor Mr. Fritz Hartz someday 1995 in Hamburg (Germany) who was pointing out to me that a gentleman from Finland, who was living in US and working in Brussels (Belgium), was running a so-called Notified Body under the so-called Recreational Craft Directive. Both terms were totally new for me! His name was Lars Granholm and he was in the most urgent need of technical, logistical and administrative support for his young Institute. Fritz was working at that time for the German Boat- and Shipbuilding Association (DBSV) in Hamburg and was in parallel the Technical Manager of the ICOMIA. Lars however was the Director of Engineering Standards and Certification of the NMMA in Chicago, IL (USA) and the initiator of IMCI. He was living in Adamstown, MD (USA) and came over to Brussels every 3 weeks to manage IMCI. At that time I was working as a freelance yacht designer not knowing sometimes how to survive the next month. So I contacted Lars immediately and some weeks later I was both the General Manager of a 2 man office and later, after short education, one of the 11 IMCI-Inspectors. Even today I am deeply grateful for these two gentlemen who gave my professional life the urgently needed twist. I never regretted to have joined IMCI.


Alexander Schlösser, (IMCI Inspector) Germany

Moin Uli, well there are several ones! I never will forget Randall Birnberg’s presentation about “Happiness” during the combined Director’s and Inspector’s meeting in course of the 20th IMCI anniversary on Malta. Rand found out after sort of poll that the majority of the attendees was happy. A nice moment which was underlined impressively in the evening by the Saluting Battery of Valetta. All the best for IMCI!


Roberto Holzhacker (IMCI & NMMA Inspector) Brasil

Hi Uli, I'm a partner of IMCI not for money to earn but for the great affection for the institute. We are a team that despite its diversity stays a strong family. Probably the sincerity and involvement of the relatively small team in facing the big challenges are what most stimulates me in IMCI.


Craig Scholten (IMCI Board Member) USA

Hello Uli, Thanks for reaching out to me regarding IMCI. Here are some thoughts: When the idea of a common certification for boats in Europe was announced, I was very ea-ger to learn this new approach. In 1993, I was a compliance specialist at a major boat builder and one of IMCI’s first customers. There were many foggy points in the CE certification process when it first started. From the beginning IMCI took a leading role to help clear the path and support the industry. This early desire to support the industry and improve both the process and the products lives on in the role of IMCI today. IMCI’s influence has created a consistent and valuable certification method for builders of boats and components for the EU market. Also as a boat builder importing boats into non-EU countries we were often challenged by the authorities for the “IMCI Certificate”. Clear-ly the IMCI certificate was gaining traction and being recognized as the special key that con-firmed the product was worthy. As my years of certifying boats continued, I was asked to represent our company on the IMCI Board of Directors. Over the years I have served in many roles within the IMCI Board including Chairman. During this time I have seen the organization make difficult, but neces-sary decisions “to keep the nose above the waterline” during downturns in the marketplace. Throughout these times IMCI has maintained a high level of service and has not lowered the bar on what it takes to become CE certified. Today IMCI continues to be a leader in the compliance and certification industry. As I look back, I am very proud to have been a part of the IMCI team all these years and look forward to the future.


Diego Fuster Ramos (IMCI Inspector) Spain

Hi Uli, Sorry for the delay in my answer, I am a little bit busy (as always…), on the beginning of the year. From my personal feeling, when I hear, or read, “IMCI “ word, this take to me, mainly, to the IMCI meetings, people from different countries, ages, and conditions, all together, being in a real kind ambient and a very constructive behaviour each other (taken in account that almost of us are men). Also I think about the high-professionality of the people involved (Inspectors and IMCI staff) but with the humility needed to be comfortable. When I hear the word IMCI, I think about a company with a continuous feeling of grow, working with many of the big companies (shipyards), but with a real availability people. An-other word could be security and confidence about the certification process; I mean this is a very serious company, with a long experience on boats as well as on the standards for recrea-tional boats. Regarding a concrete story, or situation, I could think about the, admiration and respect dur-ing my first meeting, when you are getting in, looking at all those people (from different countries) with so much knowledge and experience, but in a few hours, they will make you immediately feel integrated. Congratulations for your work!


Haluk Soygür (IMCI Inspector) Turkey

Yes Uli, Besides of several anecdotes about IMCI and me, there is something special which I did not told anybody yet: I do a lot of pre purchase surveys, and quite often I see the number “0609” on a builder’s plate of a vessel or in the Owner Manual. No matter where this boat comes from or how old she is; I get a warm feeling, like sitting in my own boat.... knowing that one of us touched once the same life lines, lifted the floor pan-els, put his fingers on the same bolt and checked every detail with at least the same knowledge, experience and care. I really enjoy belonging to such a great family. Thank you all!


Doug French (IMCI Inspector) USA

Uli, My most memorable IMCI experience was attending the 20th Anniversary new on Malta. You may recall meeting me in the US to complete my initial internal audit and encouraging me to attend the upcoming Inspector’s meeting. I had previously declined the invitation as I had gotten into the habit of attending the annual NMMA/CE seminars in the US. The Malta meeting was the first Inspector’s meeting I attended, and I will be forever grateful for your personal invitation. Not only was the Malta venue outstanding, the experience of interfacing with the IMCI HQ staff and all fellow Inspectors was invaluable. IMCI is a pro-fessional and well-respected organization. IMCI’s “Modern simplicity instead of classical complexity” is certainly true when it comes to exhaust emission certification. I’m confident all of my clients would agree.


Ilhan Özgören, (IMCI Board Member) Turkey

Hi Uli, I have more than one memorable moment with IMCI. -Our first certifications at 1998 when I was steering Marintek A.S.. It was only Lars Granholm and you at IMCI, with very few surveyors. -My first Board meeting in 2004. Best regards,


Anders Sällström (IMCI Inspector) Sweden

Hello Uli, You asked me to share my best IMCI moments! They are then we meet all the Inspectors and HQ personnel. From the first time when I came as an Affiliate Inspector in 2003 I found out the friendliest reception from everyone. My personal uncertainness I had not to be able to manage the In-spectors work, changed to a positive feeling and I really wanted to be part of IMCI. I am sure that most of the Inspectors that have been appointed later than me had the same feeling. I have a special memory from Malta when we were standing on the Fortress viewing over the harbour listening to the two Crusaders gunshots. Afterwards I realised that it was You, who from the first moment had created the IMCI Spir-it. You are a real leader of our group.


Dave Marlow (IMCI Board Member) USA

Uli, There are so many memories that stir from this question. I would say first and foremost I see IMCI as a trail blazer and industry leader. I remember from very early on of the RMAG how IMCI was the driving force to find the way forward towards “presumption of conformity”. My work with you, Ignace, Lars, Gunner Holm, and others created the Guidelines that led to boat manufacturers having the ability to figure out a way to comply in the absence of ISO standards. IMCI blazed a trail toward CE certification like no other before or after it. I am still proud of that effort. I remember so vividly when IMCI first became a Notified Body recognized by Belgium in 1996 and we started issuing CE certificates. What a great day that was! In 1999 you were named the new Managing Director and we have never looked back. The business has grown so well under your careful hand and guidance. Who can forget our fantastic 20 year celebration in Malta? What a wonderful time celebrat-ing our success as a business – and it was the place where we will be making our own classi-fication society – onward and upward! What I remember most about this organization is that it never looked at a challenge and said it was too hard. It always took on the big bully and it always stood for excellent service at a reasonable price. You and Lars created an organization that consists of so many people all focused on quality inspections and certifications backed up by in depth industry participa-tion. I’ve always been told by our companies how comforting it is to know that our Notified Body is sitting at the standards writing, market surveillance and legislative tables represent-ing its clients. It’s one of our founding cornerstones and it makes me proud to be a part of it.


Clyde Head (IMCI & NMMA Inspector) USA

Dear Uli, There are many wonderful memories that come to mind when I think of you and my relationship with IMCI over the past 16 years. I still recall our first meeting at the Miami Boat Show when Tom Marhevko introduced us and the soon to follow Inspectors meeting in Aachen, Germany. Your warm hospitality and the way Elaine and I were welcomed into the IMCI family was overwhelming. We did not realize that the Aachen meeting was only the beginning of many exciting training activities at interesting locations that included Croatia, Rimini, Vancouver, Brussels, Malta and many other times in the US for combined training with NMMA Seminars. I especially enjoyed participating as a presenter at many of these sessions over the years. Working hard with Michael Vollmer to explain the relationship between cockpit draining requirements in conjunction with stability calculations proved especially challenging on several occasions. More recently, and in 2005 at Zagreb, I have enjoyed leading comparison discussions in sessions where we have looked at ISO electrical requirements alongside ABYC electrical standards requirements. I have also enjoyed the opportunities to inspect a wide variety of boats for CE requirements using the tools provided by IMCI to evaluate vessels ranging from a Category D, 6 meter center console fishing boat to a Category A, 19 meter motor yacht. Being an IMCI Inspector while also being an NMMA Inspector has presented me with a very satisfying second career after many years as an owner of a boat building company. Stamp # 24 is really special to me. The most important things are the personal relationships that will last forever in my memory. Uli, you are the heart of IMCI and you are supported by a great staff led by Udo and Ulli. A tremendous team of Inspectors who all work diligently to make boating safer around the world, are the finishing touch that makes IMCI a truly fine organization. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of IMCI. Best regards,


Claude Fabry (IMCI Board Member) Belgium

Hi Uli, Sorry for the late answer but I was abroad and came back yesterday. When I'm mentioned the word IMCI, I remember a phone call I received in August 90 from David Jones then President of Mercury Marine. I was at that time Managing Director of Marine Power Europe. David asked me to meet with Lars Granholm and help him for the creation of an organisation to certify boats in the EU. On August 30, 1990 I met Lars for the first time in the Sea Ray office in Frankfurt (I know the exact date as I have kept all my diaries since I started to work!). During that meeting Lars explained me the goals and purpose of creating IMCI and asked me to help him create a Belgian "Association Sans But Lucratif " as I was a Belgian citizen and also an important player in the marine industry and member of IMEC. The first IMCI Board meeting was then held in Brussels on Nov 11, 1992. Lars and I met several times in Brussels with a lawyer to understand the needs and conditions to create IMCI which finally was accepted by the Belgian Authorities on 24th June 1993. Its status was finally published in the Moniteur Belge on May 19th, 1994.. That's what I remember from the very early days.


Tim Withrington (IMCI & NMMA Inspector) Australia

Hi Uli, There’s been many memorable moments throughout my years with IMCI. July 2006 10 year celebrations in Brussels, fine hotel, great food and wine...an opulent drinks cart with cigars ignited fellowship with peers that has stood the test of time……the highlights continued over the years with gathering for the Inspectors meeting in Malta, Portugal, Mallorca and the anticipation of Berlin, the adventures and pride of being able to come together to celebrate our successes, develop our strengths and increase our presence on the global stage. Whilst an organisation that spans the globe, the individual attention to the Inspectors resonates with our peers. Whilst it is business as usual throughout the year the biannual conference is the opportunity to engage in the fellowship of the organisation and forge lifelong friendships built upon respect.


Ian House (IMCI Inspector) New Zealand

Hi Uli, Sorry for the delayed response - summer holidays here! For me personally, I think of the word “Family” when I think of IMCI for two reasons. 1. Despite our diverse personalities and nationalities and our global spread of locations, there is a distinct “family feeling” when we get together, and I think this is not common in most companies and other large organisations. 2. The welcoming inclusion of my family and others’ families has made IMCI an extra special part of our lives, and is very much appreciated. Natalia and Sofia have been attending meetings their whole lives! I think the most memorable IMCI meeting moment for me (and my family) was the meeting in Malta, with the cannons and the wonderful dinner in a beautiful location. On the “business” side, I have enjoyed meeting and working with a diverse group of people across North America, often in beautiful locations. This has made up for the “misery” of early-morning drives to the airport, and testing in conditions from snow flurries to sweltering humidity and heat! The most memorable testing moment was in New Jersey when I agreed to stand on a group of pilings in order to get the last two runs of a boat we were testing, but were having problems due to a changing tide, only to find (when the boat wake hit) that only the centre two pilings were solid and the others had all washed away below the waterline! Needless to say, I clung to the piling and the expensive equipment very tightly, but got the job done!


Luís Lopes (IMCI Board Member) Portugal

Hi Uli, There are several moments I remember when I see or hear "IMCI": 1) Meetings at the Brussel airport Sheraton Hotel, where the first steps for the setting up of IMCI were taken. I remember that despite supporting Lars' idea, I was truly doubtful about its success. Firstly having an US American Association (NMMA) leading the setting up of a Notified Body in the heart of Europe was really bold; secondly setting up a company without stockholders was also strange to me, and according to the books the success of such companies is very unlikely. 2) Meetings at the Regus Building in Brussels, where I realised that Lars Granholm had made the impossible become a success, because a low cost and simple Notified Body was really useful for worldwide boat and component manufacturers. Before IMCI they could only count on expensive and complex Classification Societies. 3) Then I remember when you joined IMCI and set up the outstanding team that has been serving the industry so well. I remember you too had some ups and downs during the setting up of the team and during IMCI's expansion worldwide. I remember one conversation we had at a cafe table somewhere in Brussels, where I felt you really needed a helping hand. I hope that conversation had some contribution for your struggle and success. 4) First visit to IMCI's office in Eynatten, where I got the feeling that IMCI was not only virtual - the office and obviously the team working there represented the physical side of IMCI. 5) My contribution to the IMCI Executive Committee, where we had some serious discussions about the future path for IMCI. Helping prepare a business plan for IMCI made me understand better the key success factors and the challenges IMCI had to meet. Above all I felt everybody in that committee was really pro-active and committed to IMCI's success. 6) The celebration in Malta, where I really felt something had to be done about beyond IMCI. 7) The last BOD meeting I attended in Amsterdam, where I raised so many issues about the setting up of the Foundation. Like in the beginning it looked like an impossible step, but I truly hope that it will turn into a huge success, just as IMCI did.


Marc Nugent (IMCI & NMMA Inspector) USA

Hi Uli! I hope you have a productive and fun boat show in Düsseldorf. I have been trying to find my way to Japan to do some skiing, but the airplanes are not cooperating very well today. What has always impressed me the most, was the amount of knowledge between all the staff, Directors, and Inspectors. Just like anything I did not realize the extent of this the first year, but after that it became very apparent. To this day I remember my third meeting, which was in Malta. It was here I was fully realizing the amount of knowledge there was within the IMCI family. It took a couple meetings to get to know the Directors and other Inspectors. Without IMCI spending the time and resources to bring everyone together, I don’t think this would have had the same effect on me. I remember looking over the room at dinner one night, and just amazed how many great people stood alongside me. I knew at that moment there was no other marine industry group or organization like this. I felt completely humbled and honoured to be a part of such amazing group. But at the same time, I felt very small. Here were some of the most intelligent people I have ever met in the industry, and they had acquired accomplishments anyone could be proud of. I felt like a very small dinghy within this vast ocean of knowledge. Thank you for believing in me and giving me the chance to me part of the IMCI family.


Marcia Kull (IMCI Board Member) USA

Dear Uli, Good to hear from you! How was Düsseldorf? Did you run into any of my old Volvo Penta or Torqeedo colleagues there? When I think about IMCI, two things are front of mind: 1) Competency and 2) Customer Service No organization knows the RCD and certification like the professionals at IMCI. From the office staff to the field Inspectors to the back office engineers, clients know that the answers we receive are correct. That leads to peace of mind when exporting products into the EU. The commitment to customer service means that calls and emails are answered promptly and courteously. Difficult questions are researched for the correct answers and advice is provid-ed, when and where needed. Both of these traits ensure that the value provided to your clients is second to none. Take care, and stay in touch!


Martinho Fortunato (IMCI Board Member) Portugal

Hi Uli, Yes, I have! It was probably the first moment I met everyone at the annual IMCI General Assembly meet-ing in 2008. It was my first meeting and, being from the Marina side of our business, there was many I did not know. I really felt welcomed and felt at home. We all spoke the ‘same language’ and I got to know better how the challenges of a marina are so similar to the chal-lenges of a boat builder or a certification body. The marine sector is extremely big all over the world but we all are a big family. IMCI is no different from the rest, Big and close to the global marine sector!


Michael Vollmer (IMCI Inspector) Canada

Greetings Uli, WOW !! Just finished with the Toronto Show and glad to finally catch up! IMCI … what a creation. I was very close to Lars and Leena, we used to stay with them when the trade show ran in Chicago. I was running the Allied Boating Association of Canada (ABC) (NMMA Canada predecessor) when IMCI was formed. And as such I actually signed the incorporation papers on behalf of ABC !!!! My next recollection was sitting at an outdoor café with Lars and Ray Velting at the Brussels’ Christmas Market on the square in front of the Cathedral. I’d never seen one before and was charmed. Lars wanted Ray and I as the first North American Inspectors …naturally we said yes !! The wine had nothing to do with it !! IMCI has always meant a lot to me. Forming IMCI gave the industry some direct clout into developing an internationally recognized certification assessment programme. We didn’t create the legal framework but what we did create was the professionalism that has led IMCI to become the world leader in CE certification. The overall technical qualifications and industry experience of IMCI is unmatched in the world. I’m very proud to have contributed to the success of IMCI on many levels, including as Chief Inspector, a great honour in itself and I look forward to celebrating our 25th in June !!


Nikos Kondylopoulos (IMCI Inspector) Greece

Hello Uli, There are of course thousands of moments that come into my mind like you will, because we both are from the outset of the game, and hope that we will find more of these. However, the first moments I recall were our attempts, done at the hotel Leopold in Brussels, where the first meetings have taken place to implement the intuition of Lars Granholm into procedures and checklists balancing between "flexibility" and "simplicity "and the provisions of our future "quality manual".


Peter Jacops (IMCI Inspector) South Africa & Thailand

Hi Uli, There are lots of good memories but I am sure you do not mean the ones that involve Dennis and Tim as those are not really suitable for publishing. I will also never forget that IMCI was supporting the Whisper Boat Building Academy in Cape Town who won the METS award. I enjoy the worldwide network IMCI offers, e.g. at the moment I work a lot with Romain Drouglazet and we just share surveys and customers and that is going very well.


Peter Busfield (IMCI Board Member) USA

Hi Uli, IMCI –congers up in my mind – European based, with international representation-a respected authority on all matters to do with CE approval /advice for recreational boats entering the EU. Knowing that IMCI was the brain child of senior ICOMIA members – particularly the USA, so that boats entering the EU had no additional trade across boarders restrictions, I being from a non EU country put additional value on it . Also having a proven and efficient management - in my mind adds a quality profile to IMCI.


Rich Kolb (IMCI Board Member) USA

Uli, I do not know if any ONE moment sticks out in my mind but I do have thoughts on IMCI. Every time I see the IMCI logo I think how proud I am to be a part of it. The IMCI organization is unlike any other in that IMCI staff realizes its job is to not only certify products to standards but to support its customers to achieve certification. This is unique in my experience with regulatory agencies around the world and something that definitely sets IMCI apart from other notified bodies and agencies. I look forward to IMCI’s continued success.


Nico Kyprianides (IMCI Inspector) Australia & New Zealand

Uli, Just realised while going through all my inbox and flagged messages that I’ve never got back to you re IMCI moments. One of the most memorable and very distinctive moments during my IMCI service was in 2003 at Auckland. Specifically when the mast broke during the race while I was on duty CE-surveying the “Azur De Puig” at Cookson Yachts in Glenfield at Auckland’s northern beaches, which was built for King Juan Carlos’ daughter, Princess Christina, to race at the Copa del Ray in Mallorca. This was the second Bruce Farr 3/4 ton IOR yacht racer after George Andreadis’ Aphrodite, built by Cookson’s to race at Copa del Rays. I was very privileged and very lucky to get involved as IMCI Inspector with these memora-ble and distinctive projects! It’s worth mentioning too that Cookson was the builder of the Kiwi America’s Cup boats. So back on track and to your question... Of course plenty of other countless memorable moments in the IMCI family and a great deal of boats & yachts and very interesting projects. I’m very thankful to IMCI for giving me the chance to be part of this family, as well as especially to you Uli for helping me & my young family at that time to build a new existence & life back in my 40s for myself and my family downunder.


Renze Dijkstra (IMCI Inspector) The Netherlands

Hi Uli, IMCI means a lot to me. It is a big part of my professional life and a great extension of my surveyor work. One memorable moment for me was a BELAC meeting we had in Eynatten back in 2011. Until then I always found you guys in the headquarters always over-reacting about your accreditation and I did not understand the necessity of all that paperwork we had to produce. But that day I found out how thoroughly and deep these BELAC guys looked into the company and the internal files. I found it impressive to see that the IMCI could produce the right files and right answers to their questions. Even e-mails dating a few years back were easily found. This BELAC audit proofed to me how organized and complete the files of a company like IMCI has to be. And I have to be honest, I found it impressive that the head office could produce answers and files for everything the BELAC guys were asking and demanding. Since then I better understood the enormous amount of paperwork we/our yards have to deliver and had more respect for IMCI headquarters…. Off-course we have had some nice Inspector’s meetings those were all memorable moments….


Riccardo Provini (IMCI Inspector) Italy

Actually many! Hearing of or seeing IMCI gives me immediately a strong feeling of being part of a real team - a team of professionals, coming from all over the world, highly qualified with enthusiasm in their work as in their community where they operate with passion and spirit of compliance. Year after year the operations and the image became stronger. Its reputation grows constantly making IMCI part of the elite of institutions. Well qualified it stands firmly on the market year after year compared with other organisations much larger and older. Certainly come into my mind some moments mainly about our technical meetings at memorable places. The Vancouver meeting has been surely fascinating and Michael’s great organisation of the meeting which gave us memorable moments. Another firm mark, was the meeting in Malta in the fall of 2013 for the 20th anniversary. It was organized perfectly, in all aspects, from the trips at the sea and land and it sticks in my mind as a fantastic memory and the wonder of being part of an amazing team. The saluting battery cannon bangs at Valletta won’t be forgotten. Thanks all and.......long life to IMCI


Jürgen Tracht (IMCI Board Member) Germany

Hello Uli, You can ask questions! Indeed something gets into my mind when thinking „IMCI“. IMCI has impressively led front that the success of a company depends much on slim business, because slim means quickly and cost-effectively. IMCI is an eloquent testimony that not large (classification societies) eat the little ones, but the fast the slow. This is what I often think related to IMCI.


Roby Scalvini (IMCI Inspector) Spain

Hi Uli, I hope you and family are all well. When I hear (or think of) IMCI, the first thing that comes to my mind is a wonderful group of people. Some of them come, some of them go, but most of them stay. The unique and wonderful thing about the IMCI family is (or at least this is what I have always perceived) the total lack of competition between the Inspectors but rather a genuine sense of sharing. As you well know, I am a member of a number of very respectable surveyor’s organizations around the globe. But with none of them I have ever experienced that technically driven yet relaxed and commercially detached feeling that fuels the IMCI brotherhood. I hope to be able to keep enjoying it for years to come.


Roko Dejhalla (IMCI Inspector) Croatia

Hello Uli, At this moment I find it hard to say what I think when I hear or see "IMCI", perhaps: - a group of exceptional people and experts, - some kind of family, - travellings, - nice socializing (I can especially emphasize IMCI dinners, - ... As for me personally, IMCI has a great significance in my career. I have been in IMCI for more than 15 years. It has brought me as a professor of naval architecture into contact with the boating industry. IMCI has enabled me to work on the field where I have met a lot of people from the branch, here in Croatia and Slovenia, but also around the world which would certainly not be possi-ble if there was no IMCI. I even travelled to China for the certification. From longer travels I certainly remember Vancouver after which I went to New York... It's nice to go to some boat show and people greet you, have a little chat with you, you real-ise they remembered you. Without IMCI this would not be possible. During the "golden years" I worked a lot, practically every month I had a boat that would have to be certified. Here I can quote Randall, I remember what he said in Malta "You do not sell the service, you are making friends". And this certainly applies to me. I can also mention that I was the chief Inspector for many years. It is nice to experience that the group of exceptional people recognized me warmly as a person, my knowledge and ex-pertise and my friendship.


Romain Drouglazet (IMCI Inspector) France

Hi Uli, I remember my first training with IMCI. I had not so much experience with the standards, with the directive... and I went with Jean-Marc on a trip to Belgium to learn what the CE-Inspector’s job was. We went to see 3 boats running for PCA: 1st boat was a Boston Whaler from US blocked by the customs as non-CE’d product, in a large warehouse next to Brussels. Jean-Marc checked the boat, made his assessments and wrote the discrepancy list. I watched it: This seemed to become a routine job. 2nd craft was more interesting. A retired man, who was building his +20 m yacht, alone in his "garage" at a place in Belgium: Steel hull with aluminium superstructure with 2 big Cat-erpillar engines. The project was really huge, especially for one guy alone. As far as I re-member, the garage door was not even big enough to let the ship out. He would have to cut it. The garage is also kilometres away from the sea. The only water next to it was a small river, maybe half-meter depth. It was the project of his retirement. We only did the first in-spection on this craft and I don't know if he ever will finish it one day. Deep inside he even may not have had the intention to get it ready. 3rd boat was a 15 m catamaran. Building has been started by a shipyard, which went bank-rupt. Its manager went already bankrupt in France some years before and then he tried in Belgium. The manager took the money he had received for the construction but didn't take care for the project and flew away to Brazil. The poor boat owner, however, could at least take the unready hull. Soon he noticed that the inside lamination of the beams were not done, that many lamination were missing, etc. Jean-Marc discussed with the owner; how to pro-ceed. Later when back at home, I thought about these 3 projects, 3 different boats, 3 cases. And I was thinking: “why not, at least working for IMCI cannot be boring!” The other thing I'd like to say is about the IMCI Inspectors network. First about the lan-guages! I personally speak French, English, and Spanish... I used to speak also German, and now a bit of Italian. In France, it's not that common to have someone able with 2 languages, rare to have 3. When I first came to IMCI, I was impressed: so many nationalities... and eve-rybody could speak his mother tongue plus English, and then one or two extra tongues. How-ever, most English native speakers make an exemption from this observation. The IMCI network is about internationality, about several languages to work together. Once I was dealing with a boatyard having a project for export outside EU. I could say : "OK, no problem. I have a colleague there !". I could forward some project to US, receive as-sistance from Roko in Croatia, send one file to Peter in Thailand... and get myself called for a Spanish boat who wanted to come into France, one South African catamaran to inspect at French/Italian border. IMCI is a worldwide network.


Sara Anghel (IMCI Board Member) Canada

I have always felt that the work IMCI does for the boating industry is high calibre and exe-cuted with passion. I recall attending the IMCI celebration in Malta being relatively new to the group and feeling extremely welcomed and appreciated. I find the Inspectors to be out-standingly knowledgeable and professional giving the organization a strong international reputation.


Romano Piculjan (IMCI Board Member) Croatia

Hi Uli, Here few words about my first contact with IMCI. It was June 2001, one of my first ICOMIA / IFBSO congresses in Athens-Glifada. Few of us had an “extended evening” at the hotel bar. One very friendly old man explained to Australi-an members about the CE Certification and IMCI, I had some knowledge about regulations and classification organisations and how to produce and put the boat on the market, but did not know about IMCI. You have to understand that this happened 12 years before Croatia joined the European Un-ion, and my question to the gentleman was like “Who allowed you to certificate something and how it is possible that this certificate is valid all over the EU”. The old man was very positive and patient with the stupid young man and suggested me to join him early in the morning at the breakfast. This old man was legendary Lars Granholm. CBIA joined IMCI and since then, now 17 years, I am still a part of this excellent group. Wonder what the reason is for that.


Thomas Kauffmann (IMCI Inspector) Germany

Hello Uli, When I think of IMCI Ulli Manigel gets immediately into my mind. He embodied IMCI and the subject of CE for me long before I came to IMCI. Whether information events or on fairs Ulli is always friendly and a competent contact person for all questions about CE - not only for me but for everybody.


Thomas J. Marhevko (IMCI Board Member, IMCI & NMMA Inspector) USA

Uli, I have two of them. The first is when Thom Dammrich and Lars Granholm signed our joint NMMA-IMCI inspection agreement while you and I looked on and congratulated each other. We had a new and unique idea about a joint operational partnership and decided to put together the agreement while on the front lawn of the hotel of the ICOMIA meeting in Santa Margarita. We pounded out an agreement in a couple days almost 20 years ago and it has lasted until today! The second is when we had our memorial service for Inspector # 1, Ray Velting. He was the first of us and paved the way for all future Inspectors. He was our trailblazer.


Randall Birnberg (IMCI staff’s coach and English teacher) Germany

Hi there Uli, When I hear or think about IMCI, I think about our time on Malta a few years back sharing special moments with your staff and our wonderful boat ride. IMCI was and is the company with motivated people and with an engaged team spirit. That’s what I think about when I hear the word IMCI.


Fulco Sangers (IMCI Board Member) The Netherlands

Good morning Uli, Hope you are fine. What always be in my memory is good atmosphere and joint atmosphere between the In-spectors during the annual trainings/meeting and the best memories I keep are the meeting in Mallorca and your second hometown in Italy (where we also had an in deep Board meeting).

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