"obscure" .... 'Jones Act'


I couldn’t get through all replies, but I did talk with a guy yesterday in my office who heads a volunteer organization providing relief in PR and I specifically asked about supplies and his comment echoed what I’ve read, and that the supplies are all stacked up in the ports. He did state that if you donate anything to mark through the barcodes as they are finding a lot of donated items for sale in local shops. His words were the local politicians have to paid off in order to move goods. Removing the Jones Act will do zero in this case IMO.


Like I have said many times; you can have cabotage laws that protect American sailors, but also encourage shipyards to modernize and compete.

You can keep the US flag and US crew in a new Cabotage Law. Many other countries protect their domestic trade and reserve it for national vessels and crews. US Mariners have be on par with others, not “wardens of the Courts”. The reputation for suing and be granted large settlement for small damages, whether true or perceived, has to be dealt with, which can be done by ratifying MLC’06 and scrap those part in the Cabotage Law.

If you remove the “Built in US” requirement you could have a modern fleet of foreign built or second hand vessels to replace old and obsolete vessels at a fraction of the cost and time it would take to do so under present system.

That will force US shipyards to modernize to compete with others, both on price, design, quality and delivery time. Don’t believe that it cannot be done, it just take incentive and willingness to do so.

The days when US Mariners and Shipyard workers were paid way above anybody else is over. If you think that the cost of hiring Americans is still prohibitive then you are wrong. There are no $10/day seafarers or shipyard workers to be found in any major shipping or shipbuilding nations, only in your imagination.

The actual COST of Mariners and Shipyard workers in Northwest Europe is on par with US, but there are still a shipping and shipbuilding industry in existence, at least some of them.
They don’t hem themselves in with 100 year old laws though. If it takes getting sections, or entire hulls built where simple welding can be done cheaper, so be it.

Stopping a newbuilt vessel from being registered under your flag because it has some steel plates that was bent in a foreign country is plain stupidity. Allow market forces to govern, not nationalistic feelings and pride.

As for the discussion about the MultiCat; I have worked with several of the and inspected even more. They are simple but efficient and can do a lot of things quickly and efficiently, both in shallow and deep waters.

Why shouldn’t it be possible to build them in the US as it is done in many other locations? Daman sell Design and Equipment packets (with supervision, if require) It should not be more expensive than to build a push tug, a barge and buy a crawler crane to operate from it. (But a whole h*ll of e lot more efficient)

Can they compete on price with other equipment, like the barge shown in post #73? I would think so.
If they can do the jobs better, faster and safer, the overall cost for the project will probably be less, not more.

Than you have this with crew cost.Why should a Multi Cat require any more and “higher class” crews tha the said Pusher tug + barge + crane operator??

I think all this talk about “$10/day seafarers”, “3rd world villagers” and a belief that US labour costs are the highest in the world, is blurring reality. The fact is that the average wages in USA is only the 9th highest in the world:


That right there is the answer you don’t realize you’re looking for. From the typical American corporate standpoint why pay 9th highest when you could pay 10th highest? Or 110th highest? Invest in the right politicians and media hacks and the wage problem is solved.

I realize your Norway/Singapore background predisposes you to see our world threw your rose-colored glasses. We Americans understand our government is run by politicians who are run by monied investors who care for profit before people.

It’s been spelled out to you before but here it is again: our corporate interests don’t want quality ships. They want to pay the lowest price possible for a ship that’s good enough. They don’t want to hire quality mariners. They want to pay the lowest price possible for a mariner that’s good enough.


The Multicat , if it carries any freight, will be a USCG inspected vessel with a COI that specifies the manning under Subchapter T or Subchapter L. if it tows, it will have a third party inspection under Subchapter M, but no COI specifying crew. If it does what MultiCats do in Europe, it will be USCG inspected with a COI specifying the required crew: a licensed master, Mate, AB, OS, and a DDE engineer.

No one has told me what Multicats cost, but they look like $10 million to $20 million vessels to me. Something with taxation value has to be insured, financed, and operated very differently, than a $200,000 barge with a $50,000 1960’s crawler crane, and $50,000 pushboat. In many cases, the owner owns this old equipment outright and it will not have any financing or hull and machinery insurance, just P&I and pollution.

The old barges with a crawler crane may or may not be inspected depending on size and area of service. Because the crane is not mounted, it’s “cargo” and the USCG cannot inspect it.They are considered unmanned barges with no crew requirements. The pushboat(s) if under 7 meters require no inspection or crew. Often the crane operator runs the boat. If over 7 meters, the pushboat will soon be third party inspected under Subchapter M, but have no COI to specify the crew. It is required to have a licensed Master of Towing, but that’s it. No mate, no ABs, no one else with seamen’s papers. In practice, once the barge is on a job site, it is not unusual for the crane operator run the pushboat without the required license.

We think the US is highly regulated, and it is compared to 40 years ago, but compared to Europe the US Inland and Harbor business, and most other things, is the unregulated Wild West.

How can a $10 million Multicat with full inspection and certicated crew compete? Maybe for some jobs it can, but not most.


Thanks for that enlightening post.

I must admit that that alphabet soup of Subchapters is way beyond me. It is something I cannot remember ever having to deal with, even back in the days when a lot of the boats around were US flag.

I’m very familiar with using simple means and improvisation to get things done in places with little or no infrastructure and primitive equipment, often operated on shoestring budget and by the nearest to the proverbial “$10 villagers” with little understanding of safety.

So yes, I can see that if the job is in a river, harbour or creek, it may be done with simple means. If only day rate counts and time and safety is not of an essence, it would be hard to compete with the outfit you describe.

If the client is interested in efficiency and realize that if a job would takes twice as long, but at half the day rate of what you are offering for an efficient, fast and safe operation, he may also understand that the difference is not only in money, but in time, safety and efficiency.

The last job I did with a MultiCat was setting up a small J/U Barge to drill in the “splaze zone” outside Jambi river in Sumatra. Water dept was on 2.5 m. on high tide so shallow draft was of essence for the tugs to run anchors and to position two Accommodation barges and two material barge around the Drill barge.

We used a Multi Cat from Singapore for this job, although far more expensive per day than the small local tugs available. Time was of essence, since we could only operate during spring high tide periods.
Very successful operation due to the capabilities of the MultiCat.

I dug out a picture of the MultiCat handling mooring chains at night:

J/U barge in place and drilling, using a land rig and all portable equipment


So you are saying that it is the American mentality that is fucking you over?




Yes. American corporate mentality, and the eff’ing government.

However, another factor is that we still have a lot less regulation, relatively few certification requirements, and a lot more FREEDOM in the US that allows both people and corporations to do whatever they want to. Even if it’s wrong.


What the fuck does this even mean? Do you really think you are the only people that has “FREEDOM”?

It’s separating the first and the second world countries.


Hope you are proud of voting a functioning retard to the Presidency. Let’s hope he does not start a nuclear war. Even Rex Tillerson called him a moron.


Correction. A “fucking moron.”


In Europe if a guy wants to be a carpenter, he has to apprentice for five years. the guys that are good learn enough in one year, but they still have to put in four more years to get certified.

In American, if guy wants to be a carpenter he goes to Home Depot buys $500 worth of tools and starts working. If he isn’t any good, he won’t get work so he’ll have to try something else. If he is good, he’ll get work and soon enough he’ll be a good carpenter — no certification required.

I see ABs on the boat with STCW certifcates and all the required training and three years of seatime, who are barely qualified. I see the occasional 18 year old fishermen’ s son, with no training or certifications, and he is usually much better than the experienced ABs within a week. Regulations and certifications are minimum standards designed for the lowest common denominator.


Congratulations you got everything wrong. 1000 years of guild and nothing transferred to America. Did just malfunctioning Germans immigrate to America?

You can do whatever the fuck you want in Europe, but to call yourself a professional you need to prove that you hold the standards. You are not a carpenter without the craft examination, you are a man with “$500 worth of tools”.


We either come from the frontier mentality where you make it or you die, or the slave mentality where you do as you’re told or you die. Our Western-style history doesn’t go back a thousand years.

The malfunctioning Germans went to Argentina.


That’s a lot of dying.

Snappy! A WW2 joke. :stuck_out_tongue:


Some of the certifications are valuable and reasonable, but they are geared to the lowest common denominator. There is no adjustment for the talented.

It takes three years of experience to get certified as a basic plumber. The dumb lazy guys get certified the same as the smart hardworking guys after three years. The smart guys learned it all in six months, and should have been certified then. 20 years later, the dumb and lazy guys are still dumb and lazy, and they have left 20 years of bad work behind for others to fix. But hey, they were certified.

Too many of these certifications penalize natural ability and quick learners, but reward Slow learners and mediocrity. At the end of the day, too many of these certifications have only modest value.

Boathandlers and barge handlers are born, not made. Either you have the natural talent for it, or you don’t. Training develops talent. All the training in the world will not overcome a lack of talent. But anyone who does the training gets the certification. The certification is a measure of time put in, but no indication of actual ability.

A lot of Americans prefer the old fashioned, prove you can do it and succeed system. Or try if you want, but if you can’t do it, you fail, system. We are not keen on the new dumbed down time put in for certifications where standards have to be set low, so snowflakes won’t get their feelings hurt when they fail. Nor do we want the government, or the IMO, or anyone else telling us we don’t have the right to try.


What you are talking about is the depreciation of standards and trade craft, everything should be “easy” now. Retards are just handed a certificate or a trade diploma.

But we disagree on the medicine, I am a totalitarian European and wants more rules, you are a “free” american and just want to burn it all to the ground.

Btw: If my english is slipping, I’m drunk as fuck, “FREEDOM” from work.


Kinda how this whole separate new country thing got started…


Spend a few minutes on Google and see what the average American CEO is paid vs the average American worker. Compare US CEO pay to the rest of the world. They make the best paid mariner look like a 3rd world beggar.


I think I have mentioned the high pay of Executives and CEO, as well as the greedy share holders in the US many enough times for you to know that I have, if not Googled it, know about it.

The big difference is maybe one of the biggest problem, not only in USA but in many parts of the world (Singapore included).

Norway has one if the smallest differences and the fewest “show off” Millionaires, (Although among the most Millionaires relative to population)