The utter meaninglessness of any flag a ship flies


#21

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;174050]Pop a UN flag on all this ships meeting minimum IMO regs, let the IMO issue COC licenses, sounds like a plan.[/QUOTE]

Are there any US ship that meet anything but MINUMUM required regulations??


#22

Yes there are.


#23

Apparently the Aussies don’t see the flag as meaningless either …

Personally, I would like to see politicians like Turnbull and McCain hoisted onboard the last FoC ship to be run out of American and Aussie ports. Let them live the near slave existence of the crews of those ships rather than the nouveau lord of the manor life they live by selling out their own countrymen.


#24

[QUOTE=Steamer;174102]I am more fed up than surprised. There isn’t much worse than a patronizing troll and we seem to have attracted a good example for some reason.

Why some pedantic twit from Singapore feels it is his obligation to tell American mariners and rest of the world how the US maritime industry works while at the same time claiming his “facts” are merely questions is beyond me.

I just wish the miserable maven of maritime matters would find another hobby.[/QUOTE]

I like the title “Maven”:

A maven (also mavin) is a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. The word maven comes from Hebrew, meaning “one who understands”, based on an accumulation of knowledge.

Yes it is true, I have accumulated knowledge for well over 50 years and I am today passing that on to others in the industry.
I don’t mind the young that is open to learn, but there are far too many in high position that try to hide their lack of knowledge and insecurity behind tough talking. One of the thing I do these days is holding small seminars to teach the basics of the Offshore industry to those who come from other parts of the industry into middle and upper management position in offshore vessel management companies and construction companies.

You and many others here will be happy to know that I have decided to withdraw from this Forum now.
No, you have not managed to intimidate me, but I see no reason to expose myself to insult from people without ability to hold a civilized debate, or exchange of views.

I came to this Forum because I read and heard about the El Faro and wanted to find out why a relatively large ship able to make 20 kts. had manage to get caught in a hurricane. I thought there would be somebody here who could enlighten me.

I am active on other Maritime Forums and whenever I have joined I have been wished a warm welcome by other members, but here, instead, I got “attacked” by somebody with no knowledge of who or what I was about. Foreigner is not allowed to ask questions apparently? I was stupid enough to try to explain my background, but that was met by more hostility.

But I’ll try again though:
I went to sea at 15, in 1959 and have been at sea, or in the Marine field ever since. The last 41 year I have worked in the Offshore Industry in some position or another and still am, although no longer in any high stress positions.
I those years I have been involved in some of the biggest and most complex Marine Operations ever performed and worked worldwide, from the Norwegian Arctic to Tierra del Fuego, in Africa, Middle East and Asia, incl. Russian Far East and Australia.

I have worked with people of all nationalities, races and levels of sophistication, from illiterate Kanakas and Coonasses, to Dr. Eng. and CEOs and everything in between.

In 1978-80 I was Captain on an American owned and operated Drillship under Panama flag and working in S.E.Asia waters.
The regular crew on board consisted of 19 different nationalities (+local crew wherever we worked) It was a good ship to work on and nobody worried about what nationality you were, only what you were able to do and how you handled yourself.
(Before you ask; yes there were ONE American on board, a Welder who has lived in Singapore for many years and now has his own Engineering Company here)

If I have learnt anything from all those years of varied experience it is THIS;
[B]NEVER judge a person by the nationality of his passport, or the colour of his skin.[/B]

Let that be my parting words, although I may look in here to see how you are getting on debating between yourselves, all with basically the same opinion and background.
I will be reading the gcaptain newsletter though and I may post pictures of any American ship I may happen to see on my travels.


#25

[QUOTE=ombugge;174109]Let that be my parting words, although I may look in here to see how you are getting on debating between yourselves, all with basically the same opinion and background. [/QUOTE]

I hope you are preparing to depart but before you go, I want to say that you and my friend Steamer do not have the same backgrounds because unlike yourself, he has a long and extensive career sailing and working on US vessels so he speaks with authority and knowledge concerning them. You on the otherhand only speak from your lack of knowledge and your obvious prejudice against them and those of us who have made our careers in the US maritime industry.

Concerning passports, I do not care if yours is blue, red, green, persimmon, puce or polkadot…one needs to contribute here concerning what they “know” based on their own experience rather from from their misguided perceived “feelings” concerning something they have no direct experience with. Like the now discredited “Captain” Maximus Turdburger’s screed denying the value of the Jones Act, you do not have any standing wantsoever to speak concerning “our” industry! If you only spoke to what you know then you would not have so many wanting to see your head on a pike!

see you in the funny pages Mr. Maven of Misinformation


#26

I think that although ombugge had issues when he first came on here he has recently been contributing in a professional and mostly in condescending manner. I hope he stays and continues to contribute.


#27

First impressions. They go a long way.

Many of us were rubbed the wrong way because he showed up at the peak of the el faro, along with a bunch of other aviators and “expert” yachtsmen. His reputation was forever tainted for said reason. No problem being critical Of the way things are done in the U.S., but it’s no place for a foreigner to come and talk shit in the situation and then expect a glorious reputation afterwards.


#28

[QUOTE=ombugge;174103]Are there any US ship that meet anything but MINUMUM required regulations??[/QUOTE

Yes, APL USA Flag, Horizon/Matson ships going to Alaska / Tacoma and most if not all US coastwise tankers (not ATBs) moving petroleum, and oddly enough, now the Energy Enerprise. I’d say that’s probably close to 25-30 ships. And unless something has changed, dozens of large grey hull military owned / commercially operated RO/ROs.

But more importantly, there is zero point or rational basis in trying to compare what other countries do with their taxes / resident requirements / health care, blah , blah, blah to what America does.

There is no other country on this planet that is anywhere near the size of our 300+ million population of mutlti-ethnic, multi-religion, mutli-language peoples, with a similar landmass, history of slavery, civil war, enormous sacrifice in wars on foreign shores, etc. etc, SO STOP TRYING.

It’s America. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours and I dare say few here would leave it for a new homeland.

America! Fuck Yeah! (Freedom costs a buck o’ five…)


#29

[QUOTE=Capt. Phoenix;174131]I think that although ombugge had issues when he first came on here he has recently been contributing in a professional and mostly in condescending manner. I hope he stays and continues to contribute.[/QUOTE]

I’ll second that. It’s nice to hear some foreign perspective.


#30

[QUOTE=c.captain;174111]I hope you are preparing to depart but before you go, I want to say that you and my friend Steamer do not have the same backgrounds because unlike yourself, he has a long and extensive career sailing and working on US vessels so he speaks with authority and knowledge concerning them. You on the otherhand only speak from your lack of knowledge and your obvious prejudice against them and those of us who have made our careers in the US maritime industry.

Concerning passports, I do not care if yours is blue, red, green, persimmon, puce or polkadot…one needs to contribute here concerning what they “know” based on their own experience rather from from their misguided perceived “feelings” concerning something they have no direct experience with. Like the now discredited “Captain” Maximus Turdburger’s screed denying the value of the Jones Act, you do not have any standing wantsoever to speak concerning “our” industry! If you only spoke to what you know then you would not have so many wanting to see your head on a pike!

see you in the funny pages Mr. Maven of Misinformation[/QUOTE]

I WAS going to leave without any more posting, but I cannot let this latest rant stand unopposed. (That would be "un-American, wouldn’t it?)

Yes, you, Steamer and all your friends at the Blue Oyster Bar know more about US shipping and GOM offshore then I do. I don’t know how many times I have to admit that before it penetrates your thick skulls.

Yes, you have spent your life on US ships, rigs and/or boats, many in that little duck pond called the GoM only.
Some have even been sailing outside the US for some time, but without gaining much knowledge of how the rest of the Shipping and Offshore industries functions. (There are exceptions here, however. To those I apologies)

Now for the passport issue; A US passport does NOT make you a better person, nor does a USCG issued license make you a better Mariner then anybody else. If you work your whole life in the US - with like minded people - you may think so, but it is not true. I know you have been fed this mantra of “we are No.1” since childhood, but as grown men with access to free information, you should be able to make up your own mind.

I am amazed at the attitude that a Foreigner cannot point out differences between US Maritime practices and the way thing are done in the rest of the world without being accused of being critical, or worse, a stupid idiot that know nothing.
At the same time any ill-informed American fell free to criticize any and all things foreign, without the slightest regards to facts, or any experience from foreign lands.

I do admit that when I was met by a barrage of hostile “attacks” and BS on joining, I did retaliate. No, not with swearwords and personal defamation, but with sarcasm and some provocative statement. What would you have done in the same situation?

I appreciate that there are some here who do not think that my posting is hostile or critical of the US, but rather meant to be informative of how things are done in the Shipping and Offshore industries other places in the world, mostly in reply to direct questions, or posting made by others.

I don’t think I have been a “Marven of Misinformation”, although I may not always have been 100% right.

Now that I have manage to enrage the majority on this Forum, I promise I’ll ACTUALLY go away.

PS> I rather enjoyed the free spirited banter with c.captain earlier, but not the ill-spirited, if not downright stupid comment
that has come my way from several sources early on, and again lately.


#31

[QUOTE=ombugge;174212]
Now that I have manage to enrage the majority on this Forum, I promise I’ll ACTUALLY go away.
[/QUOTE] I have appreciated your post on the forum. And don’t mind c.captain, he is a cunt against everybody. And he has a nasty illusion of grandeur.


#32

If I remember correctly, Kraken had a rough go of it at first and now he’s a respected member of this forum just like anyone else. We just had to bring him around to our way of thinking. Lol


#33

[QUOTE=coldduck;174232]If I remember correctly, Kraken had a rough go of it at first and now he’s a respected member of this forum just like anyone else. We just had to bring him around to our way of thinking. Lol[/QUOTE]

I’m just very difficult to get rid of :slight_smile:


#34

[QUOTE=ombugge;174095]I have been wondering about the large ATBs widely used in US waters and how they are being classified as far as certification and manning.
I believe the tug is classed and certified as a Towing Vessel like any other tug and the barge as a non-propelled vessel, but when they are rigidly connected do they keep that same status?

I.o.w. Can a tug crew of 7-10 people or whatever connect to a 50,000 DWT fully loaded tank barge and proceed to say Alaska or Puerto Rico??
I can see that was long as they never leave US water, incl. the OCS claimed by US they are only regulated by US Law and Maritime regulation, but you can hardly claim that on those two routes.

I realize the “rational” behind the ATB configuration; being able to operate a large vessel with a small crew, which is fine in your own inland and territorial waters, but how is it justified when sailing in international, or in somebody else waters?

Some more questions:

  • How many crew and what certification is required to operate a large ATB in international waters?
    (Even if sailing between two US ports)
  • How many crew and what certification is required to operate a US tanker of equal size?
  • Are there any ATBs even on the Hawaii and/or Guam runs?
  • Are there any of these large US owned ATBs registered under foreign flag?
  • Are the tank barges now required to be double hull? (Like eqv. tankers)

I have even seen some ATBs here in Singapore for repairs, which is definitely an international voyage by IMO SOLAS rules.

Here is one seen earlier this year:
[/QUOTE]

Back in the 80s, I was CE on an ATB that is still at work, I believe that Kirby is operating it now. Over the time that I was onboard, we hauled various liquid cargoes, from gasoline and diesel (our longest charter, about 2.5 years, I think) to Chemicals (on the spot market - international in the Atlantic and Caribbean) to veg oil (to the Dominican Republic and Ecuador). It was operated as an uninspected tug. We had a crew of 12. Three engineers (Chief and two assistants), Three deckhands (two ABs and an Ordinary), Two tankermen, a cook, two mates and a captain. Was actually a larger crew than most. I don’t think that Kirby is operating it with that many folks. Pushed a 20,000 T DWT double hull product barge. I guess the equivalent tanker would have a crew of about 20. Of course crew requirements are changing. I know that we had no issue running foreign with the ATB. . . other than the relative fragility of the original Bludworth Connection System. To be fair, in the 4 or 5 years I worked on the ATB, we had only two ejections. . . and only one when I was onboard. Not a pleasant experience, to be sure. Both were preventable if the operators understood the proper maintenance of the connecting system. The modern ATB has a very robust connection system, however.

Interesting picture you have there, though. Thought it was the ITB THUNDER/LIGHTNING that I was involved with during construction, however I see now that it isn’t. I see that Foss has some of these RORO ITB/ATBs in the Far East right now, but not sure of their routes.


#35

As far as the perspective of the average US Mariner, yeah, I have found it to be somewhat constricted. I do know that when I started work as a Class Surveyor, most of my work was on FOC vessels by a large margin. Quite an eye opening experience. I also found that yes, there are FOC vessels out there that are poorly manned, poorly maintained and operated. . . just like some US Flag vessels. . . although the worst of the FOC vessels were by far worse than the worst of the US vessels. By and large, I did find most of the FOC vessels maintained and operated to the equivalent US Flag vessels, some even better. I also know that the Jones Act liability does keep many owners from flagging the Vessels US and from hiring US mariners, and the perceived propensity of Americans in general to sue. I have been told as much many times.

One thing that I have found over the years that outside of the offshore industry, finding a US citizen on an FOC vessel is rare, indeed. That said, other “first tier” nationalities are widely utilized in officer positions, regardless of the flag on the back. . . solution? No idea.


#36

Foss has thunder/lightning and strong mariner hauling military and other odd cargo in the Far East most of the time


#37

[QUOTE=rshrew;174484]Foss has thunder/lightning and strong mariner hauling military and other odd cargo in the Far East most of the time[/QUOTE]

The THUNDER/LIGHTNING has a VERY interesting story behind it. . . . like most Robert Bludworth projects.


#38

care to share if not I understand.


#39

[QUOTE=rshrew;174489]care to share if not I understand.[/QUOTE]

The construction started up on the Great Lakes, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Initially, the Unit was supposed to be engaged as a RORO for rail cars on the Great Lakes. Prior to completion, the shipyard and the customer ran out of money and the shipyard closed. The unfinished vessels were then purchased by an entity out of Miami that ended up being busted for drug smuggling. . . Both were then purchased by Robert Bludworth of Texas. Robert was one of the early inventors, if you will, of the ATB idea. He had the incomplete Tug and Barge towed to Galveston, Texas.

As the construction of the Tug and Barge neared completion, he was able to get a charter to haul veg oil to South Africa, I believe. This last minute change then required the barge to be classed as a tank barge, even though it had a bow ramp and enclosed main deck. This also meant that the tanks, already designed to be ballast (but large due to the initial design as a railroad barge) had to be vented outside of the “garage” and running them up to the roof would cause too much hydrostatic head. . . This problem was solved by an innovative solution of Robert’s (although I have forgotten the details since this was some 20 years ago). I do remember that prior to delivery and issuance of the Class Certificate of the tug (the barge was delivered first), Robert took the liberty of connecting the tug to the barge and sailing to New Orleans to load cargo. . . Last minute wrangling allowed both vessels to be suitably classed and necessary documentation issued before the voyage initiated. . .I have even forgotten the details of the connection system. I do recall that it is different from the usual Bludworth type, and believe that it was rigid, therefore making the unit an Integrated Tug/Barge instead of an Articulated Tug/Barge. I don’t believe that the barge is classed as a Tank Barge any longer.


#40

Anybody who hold COC or Endorsement from Micronesia beware: http://splash247.com/300-ships-1000-seafarers-fall-fake-registry-scam/
Their website looks VERY professional: https://www.misbcr.com/