Page 22: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (May 2020)

Fleet Management

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Back to the Drawing Board wondered if it may be cost effective to build foating drydocks ued existence. In other words, build the Bear out of titanium, out of titanium. His idea was very interesting and in some ways and we will never have to think about building a replica and conforms to what I described above. Nobody throws drydocks never see a noble vessel like this die an ignominious death.

away until they are rotten to the core, but the economics for So for what other vessels should we think in terms of eter- drydocks are dicey, because drydocks are an upfront invest- nal hulls? Sail training vessels (like the USCG Eagle)? Aircraft ment to make money over time. The less you spend at start carriers? Research vessels? Cruise vessels? Tugs? Staten Island up, the better your chance at cost recovery. Another friend of ferries? The hull design (shape) would have to be mature, and mine, the yacht designer Bruce Marek, with his partner Bruce its technology upgrade expected. Those hulls are out there. The

Nelson, designed a titanium sailboat for a Japanese customer Navy has looked at titanium construction for years, but are con- decades ago. This customer owned a titanium manufacturing strained in starting titanium construction due to an aversion by business and built the boat himself. The boat was, and is, great, congress on infrastructure spending. Still, a few years ago, I but since sailing yacht hull shape fashions still change so much heard a US Navy admiral say that the US Navy spends 20% over time, an old titanium sailing yacht hull does not compete of its maintenance budget on corrosion prevention. Let’s run against a new composite hull. those numbers against the cost of titanium.

But here Bear comes back into the picture. Bear’s hull was perfectly adequate for over 70 years and even almost 150 years later is perfectly adequate for her envisioned use (a research/ long range patrol/training/discovery/remote community sup-

The Author port vessel). Moreover, it is highly unlikely that 100 years into the future she cannot do what she did 150 years ago. And here the economics become interesting.

van Hemmen

Suppose the hull costs three times the cost of a steel hull (a

Rik van Hemmen is the President of not crazy assumption), that will still only increase her overall

Martin & Ottaway, a marine consulting cost by, say 25%. That will be counterbalanced by massively frm that specializes in the resolution reduced maintenance costs, and she will always be a very at- of technical, operational and fnancial issues in mari- tractive candidate for continuous upgrade, ensuring her contin- time. 50 ft Titanium Sailing Catamarn Demi-

MaiTai Nui w weld testing - Jody Culbert 50 ft Subchapter T Titanium hull Mock up Note Trapezoidal shaped

Off the Beach Catamaran stringers at Bettsboats Anacortes WA

Photo: Jim Betts

Photo: Jim Betts 22 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • May 2020

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