Future of ships


Meanwhile things are moving ahead for Rolls-Royce Marine and their plans for more shorebased control of ships at sea: http://www.gloryjsc.com/en/news/nor-lines-rolls-royce-ink-1st-power-by-the-hour-service-agreement

Not quite Autonomous, but another step in that direction.


Japan is getting on the band wagon to develop autonomous ships: http://splash247.com/mols-autonomous-shipping-research-wins-state-backing/


Oh beautiful times at sea - we will miss them and they are never coming back.


The future is already here!!
There were two candidates for this years “Ship of the Year” at Nor-Shipping:

And the winner IS!!!: http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/221375/nor-shipping-nkt-victoria-named-ship-of-the-year/

PS> Sorry, wrong link at first. Now corrected.
PPS> Correction to the article in WMN; The Color Hybrid is designed by Ulstein and will be built at Fosen, not the other way around.


I knew it when I saw the skinny hull with the ribs looking trough…


correction - through


I think you will find the technology will change to suit the job, maybe turbines will come back so the vessel can make a voyage without support for long periods.
If you take the crew off a vessel and use clean fuel the engine room gets way simpler.
Or do modular power packs that can be swapped out in ports, maybe we get huge pusher tugs and all ships become barges?
In port tugs full electric and autonomous
There are full electric ferries in Europe now, they may as well be autonomous as well.
You sail into controlled water space its just like controlled airspace.


I don’t think steam, or even gas turbines are the answer, nor is it what is being worked on.
More likely you are looking at Hydrogen Fuel Cells as the main propellant, with electric motors for propulsion and all other drives. To produce hydrogen cheaply is the problem, but there are already several R&D projects in the works.

In Norway there are still a lot of small private hydro electric potential that is looking for a market. Producing hydrogen to power the ferries, coasters and fishing vessels being planned is one such market being discussed.

For short sea shipping and ferries battery power is already being developed as the main source, with fuel cells as backup.
The first such ferry has already been in service for over two year and has already travelled a distance eqv. to approx. 4x the circumference of the earth at equator: [quote]MF Ampere has been in operation for two years and has now sailed a distance which amounts to approximately four times around the equator. This has given us valuable experience for the further development of zero-emission technology, both for this ferry and for other types of vessels, says Edmund Tolo, sales manager at Fjellstrand in a statement.[/quote]
Link: http://norwaytoday.info/finance/fully-electrical-ferry-built-fjord1/

Tender for construction of 5 larger ferries for Fjord1 has just been issued: http://www.smp.no/naeringsliv/2017/05/30/Vard-og-Havyard-i-finalen-om-å-bygge-nye-Fjord1-ferjer-14802192.ece
They already have in order 3 at Havyard and 2 from Tersan in Turkey. Others are already on order or in the planning stage for other ferry operators.

This is no longer fairytales or pipedreams. It is happening right now, right here in “my backyard”.

BTW; The renewal of the ferry fleet in BC is in progress, with ferries being designed and built in Europe and Turkey to a very different standard then what has been the norm in North America until now.
LNG and Battery power is the rage at the moment, but I’m sure the people at BC Ferries are watching what is going on elsewhere in the world.

Doesn’t WSF need a bit of a fleet renewal as well? Are they also watching, or building replicas of the old 1950’s ferries??: http://gcaptain.com/washington-state-ferries-explore/

PS> This just published; Funds for development of the first hydrogen ferry and further improvement to battery powered smaller ferries has been approved: http://www.smp.no/naeringsliv/2017/06/01/To-prosjekt-i-Nordvest-fikk-støtte-–-nå-deles-det-ut-mer-penger-14809912.ece?cx_front_click=baseline_test&cx_front_click_place=1&cx_front_click_articles=5


At Nor-Shipping they are busy discussing the future of ships and shipping.
An American company wants to move port away from shore and out to sea: http://sysla.no/maritim/hyperloop-varsler-storavtale-med-skandinavisk-shippingselskap/

While a Japanese shipping giant and a Norwegian IT company is cooperating on the development of Big Data technology in shipping: http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/nyk-and-dualog-enters-into-strategic-partnership-for-joint-innovation/


DNV-GL is looking at fuel efficient shipping of the future: http://splash247.com/dnv-gl-maps-low-carbon-shipping-route-2050/

Of course none of this will apply to Trump’s America, where shipping will be encouraged to return to coal burning ships. That will protect the dangerous and unhealthy jobs for miners and recreate old seafaring jobs as Firemen, Stokers and Donkeyman.
A win/win situation for everybody and everything. (Except the earth, but who cares about that?)


I started this forum over a year ago, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this, I never thought it would turn into this. I think with the recent post about our Norwegian friend “ombugge” that it would be a good time for the creator of this forum to chime in.

First off, Mr. ombugge, I think you have a lot of valuable information to contribute to this forum and others. However, I believe you need to tone it down. On this forum alone you have 135 posts out of the 390. Secondly, have you or do you sail? The reason I ask this is that I don’t understand why you support this so strongly. If that has already been asked I apologize.

I don’t understand the push for this, all this sounds like to me is to get rid of as many jobs as possible and give all of the money to one small group of engineers. Take away truck drivers, port workers, crews on ships, tugs, ferries, airplanes, subways, buses, taxis, because its all automated now and now what. NO JOBS! Where are all these people going to work, and how are they going to buy the stuff moved by these robots. Seriously we can’t all be engineers.

We are human, and this is our planet, why are we taking ourselves out of the equation in everything. I don’t understand… People need to work, have jobs, make money, spend money, its how this all works! We have made it this far why change it.

Say what you want about my post I know I am going to get attacked for some aspect of it, but I am prepared.

Thank you for the fun.

Very respectfully,

Captain Paddy.


According to him we can’t stop the march of time so we should all get jobs in the factories building our robot overlords.


Furthermore, we are human and we make mistakes. And when mistakes happen people make money too. Spil response, salvage, towing, etc. We have the USCG to help and protect us. (I bet they want USCG robots too!) More jobs out the window. I don’t get it.


Yes I have sailed and worked in all ends of the Marine Offshore business, although I’m now no longer active in the profession.

Whether I like it or not is immaterial, but I post here because I find it interesting to follow and be informed of what is going on in the business I have been a part of all my life. I now live here in the center of where this new technology is being develop and have the time and opportunity to watch what is going on.

Besides, I think it is important for others who are still active, or who are just starting their career in the Maritime field, being it as seafarers or in other aspect of shipping, to know what is likely to happen in their business in the years to come. Hence I shear some of what I learn that I think may be useful for others.

Overpowering?? Maybe so. I also know that some on this forum thinks it is “bragging” to point out that a lot of what is happening is happening in Scandinavia, in Norway and to a large extent right here in Sunnmore, but never the less it is a fact.

I’m also posting links to articles about development in other countries and other parts of the world when I find any that is interesting.

Especially Singapore, Japan and China is active and where things are happening, but there are projects with relevance to development of importance to the future of ships and shipping in many places, incl. USA.

I don’t think many of the forum members here will experience that autonomous ships become a major reason for job losses in their active lifetime, but the young and coming generations better prepare themselves for the opportunities that will come with that development.


What do you mean?? Robots will build robots, humans will design them.
If you are worried that development will overtake you, get a job as a coalminer and live happily ever after. It will be FANTASTIC!!, BEST EVER!!, Thrust me on this!!!


Being part of the “young and upcoming generation,” I am worried about this hence the reason I started this forum. I want to be able to sail. Navigation is an art, and this is taking that art away. You still do not have a response to my point. What happens when transportation jobs are eliminated? How do people make money? We are all going to have to work in the factories building these robots. Do you think everyone fired from the maritime industry can land a job designing robots? You think everyone is a Naval ARC? Also, all these articles that you post fail to cover huge details. How are you going to train the new engineers to work on these or the crew to control them from the control center in the Rolls Royce video? I can tell you now the cadets graduating in 2020, the same year all this robot shipping is expected to come to life, are not training to work on or service robot ships and that the schools have no plans to change the trainning. So these ships will be designed and operated by nerds in Ohio or the middle or Norway that have never even seen the ocean?

I do believe this is, unfortunately, something in our future, I just don’t think it is coming as soon as you think.

I think the “young generation” of Mariners should be warned of this and push to resent this change. Seriously, why are we pushing to take humans out of everything?




This is the same arguments that there were in England when the spinning and weaving machines were introduced, when steam overtook sail and when the cars replaced horses.
Work was developed in other industries, or in services etc. There were a lot less people then, but still, there is no need to believe that there will be any difference this time,

In any case, that one little ship starts sailing autonomous between two ports a few miles apart on the Norwegian coast in 2020 doesn’t threaten the job prospect for Norwegian seafarers immediately.

Much less for US mariners. With the oldest fleet in the world and a total inertia against development, it will take a long time before that happen. They will go on building ITB units and modified 1970’s OSVs for the foreseeable future.

As to navigation being an art that is not so these days, unless you mean switching on the EADIS machine is an art.
It was in my young days, sailing in between reefs in areas where some were charted wrongly by several miles, with magnetic compass, a worn out sextant and no working radar, but with a promise to get a new radar “when a good second hand one could be found”.

Learning to detect changes in motions from backwash, indicating a reef, island or coast near by, then listen for breakers as you got closer, is a lost art today, when most navigators have their head stuck against some screen or another. (or checking Facebook)

How to get job security in the brilliant new future in the Marine Industry??

  1. Make sure you are up to date on skills that is required at all times by attending any courses that is offered, or by self-study.
  2. Be able and willing to change with the times and opportunities that is offered, or create your own. If that take you to a shore job eventually, so be it. (You may get to appreciate it as you get older)
  3. Don’t listen to old farts that is unable or unwilling to change. They will fail to stop development, just like the generations before them that tried and failed to do so. (Read history)

BTW; Norway do have a coastline and the designers are not nerds. Many of them have been at sea, or have grown up with ships and boats. “The Father of modern Offshore vessels”, Sigmund Borgundvaag was a fisherman in his young days. (See the UT 704 thread)


I tell ya buddy you are something else, never let a chance slip by.


Thanks for that complement from an unexpected source.

We can all need some encouragement in these Trump times.
Having just watch another “brilliant performance, best ever, I’m telling you” where he doomed the US to be anything but a world leader, I can only sympathize with you guys.

But don’t worry, the rest of the world will just have to pick up the slack, with China taking the lead. We will not let the earth go to h*ll without a fight.