By TEAM MAY LEE
CRUISING on a yacht with the sea breeze in his hair, Hamie Azuar Hamizan looks like he was born for the sea life.
As head of the maintenance division in Tropical Charters, which provides boat and yacht tours, he seems to be living his dream. Not only does he have a passion for engineering, Hamie, who grew up on the island of Langkawi, truly loves the open sea.
It’s strange, then, that instead of studying marine engineering, Hamie graduated with a degree in business administration. He never expected to end up in engineering but let on that it has been his passion from young.
“I fixed my own bicycle as a child. Ever since then, I’ve been curious to find out the way things work. That’s what engineering is all about,” he said.
It’s that passion and curiosity that has enabled him to lead a team of Tropical Charters engineers specially dedicated to ensuring the company’s fleet of yachts are constantly in tip-top condition.
Hands-on experience is key, said Hamie, and that proves true in his own training modules for new engineers.
Interns and new hires are all given practical training. Most of the time, that includes being a “handyman” in the middle of the sea, fixing engines in pouring rain, and even dealing with the smoke released from boat engines.
But that’s all part and parcel of marine engineering, said Hamie.
“My principle as a marine engineer is to always be self-sustainable. With self-sustainability, even if you are stuck in the middle of the sea, you will still survive. I would say that in any field that you pursue, you should always have first-hand knowledge,” he elaborated.
“My job isn’t always smooth-sailing; every day is a different challenge,” he added.
As a marine engineer, Hamie strives his best to turn things or situations around for the better. For instance, if he is given a second-hand object, he will find a way to repair, rather than replace, it.
“I always tell my crew to make it good if something is bad. If it is good, make it better. It’s a phrase that we live by.”
Born on an island, and now working at sea, it’s unsurprising that Hamie wants to do his bit to preserve the environment.
On his boat rides around the Andaman Sea, he noticed speedboats releasing huge amounts of oil waste.
“Langkawi is my homeland. My childhood was built here. I know what the seawater is like, and it deeply saddens me to see the ocean being polluted by boat engines over the long run.
“One boat already dumps a lot of oil – imagine the damage done daily because of all the speedboats roaming the seas of Langkawi,” he said passionately.
That’s why he introduced the idea of designing a solar-powered engine to the chief executive officer of Tropical Charters, Datuk Alexander Isaac. Six months later, in August 2017, the first solar-powered catamaran named Kasi Chan La was ready to cruise the seas.
“I want to make a change with the knowledge that I have,” said Hamie, watching his pride and joy bob in the water. “I want to share it with up-and-coming engineers, too, so they can also make a change.”