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: