Another reason why the US needs to build some serious new bigassed icebreakers


[QUOTE=Drill Bill;187192]look at this one, another nice round of bullying/lobbying by Mr. Don Young himself! Trying to get the AIVIQ ‘sold’ (= leased) to the USCG.


Since bribery has been described in the press as legal when it involves Alaskan politicians does this come as a surprise to anyone?

The place is a 3rd world kleptocracy … Young and his ilk probably have a photo of Mobutu Sese Seko on their office walls.


[QUOTE=Drill Bill;187192]look at this one, another nice round of bullying/lobbying by Mr. Don Young himself! Trying to get the AIVIQ ‘sold’ (= leased) to the USCG.[/QUOTE]

The content of article referenced in this post is one place where the righteous indignation of the banned one would be most welcome. In all caps and bold faced! This Effrontery of this Young is not surprising just disgusting. Speaking of CC, just now watching “The Gallant Hours”, James Cagney as Bull Halsey. Great movie.


[QUOTE=tugsailor;186421]Did Congress approve funding for new icebreakers?[/QUOTE]

Maybe you should do like the British and get an Ice Breaker at a lot less than $1 Bill. and in a matter of 2 years or so:

It will be designed by RRM and most of the machinery and equipment will be from them, but she will be built at a yard in the UK.
The design can be modified to incorporate any special requirements by USCG.


I said exactly this would happen. Called it. I’m special.


No I’m special and I win…again…


I watched the icebreaker hearing live and got the impression the USCG [I]really[/I] doesn’t want the Aiviq.

[QUOTE=ombugge;187205]The design can be modified to incorporate any special requirements by USCG.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, such as upgrade the icebreaking capability from 3 ft to 8 ft, not to mention the other “special” requirements defined in the Polar Icebreaker Industry Data Package. Boaty McBoatface is a research vessel with some ice-going capability, not a heavy polar icebreaker.

Still, I’m not saying RRM isn’t one of the competent designers for the new USCG heavy icebreaker, together with two or three other companies worldwide (not counting the Russians). They just can’t recycle much from RRS Sir David Attenborough or RV Kronprins Haakon.


Russia intend to continue dominating the Arctic:


the GAO has released their report on this matter

in it the costs to reactivate the POLAR SEA or to extend the life of the POLAR STAR are astronomical and the costs for newbuilding several heavy icebreakers are more than $1B per ship so as much as I loathe Gary Chouest, the option that does make the most sense for the taxpayers is for the AIVIQ to be purchased outright and then converted to meet the CG’s use. I just hate the idea of ECO making a massive excess profit on the deal considering that Shell already paid off the charter leaving ECO owning a ship already fully paid for. Anyway, that option is not really explored in the report but it is mentioned.


No. I’d rather have new icebreakers built in Finland.


Russia needs nine new heavy icebreakers to support the increasing number of ships anticipated to use the Northern Sea Route:


Where does the $1billion figure come from? Am I missing something that an icebreaker is a ship made out of steel that floats on water? Yes, thick steel, but still steel, not carbon fiber, titanium, or gold!

It isn’t the cost of the steel, or the shipyard. It’s the cost of the PAPERWORK (well, more like emails) because of bureaucrats that can’t spec and run a project effectively.

How has the USA fallen so much to find $1billion acceptable for a ship. Though, I guess $80,000 is now acceptable for an SUV or pickup truck for the average man…hmmm


That is certainly part of it. You also have to add the cost of the lobbiest the shipyard hires to get the money and the board seats and executive positions it has to give to retired admirals and politicians.

Another big factor is delay. A ship of this size takes up valuable realestate during the build process, teams of men and equipment waiting for other parts to be completed. Parts taking up room in warehouses. American shipyards do not have the fluidity of overseas yards, no do they have same levels of productivety. When a project pauses many of the components grind to a halt but still need to be paid for.

The cost of steel may not be a problem but the finace charges and interest payments and storage cost of that steel when a delay happens can be huge.

Capital cost is another factor. Finance types like to minimize risk and, because of the sheer number of workers and material, shipyards have large financial needs. They have to borrow money often and the bankers charge higher rates for money based on risk. Will congress cancel the project half way through? Will congress open an investigation on delays and charges? Will budget sequestration grind everything to a halt? Will the governmwnt pay for the delays caused by congress? Will the uscg change design plans part way through based on new threats or a new mission set out by the next commandant? Will third parties sue or charge the shipyards overages based on government delays? Will an USCG Admiral or Class executive or senator put up road blocks because the third party company he has an i terest in was not selected?

Many shipyards overseas (And one US company: edison chouest) do everything from drawing up the design to fabricating equipment, in house so they are not reliant of thrid parties who can threaten delay or overage charges in return for favorable concessions.

The unknowns in these questions increase the level of risk and bankers always charge more for money lent against higher levels of risk.

Another cost are government subsidies. I can’t go fully into this factor here but modern economists agree that even the best subsidies end up costing the company that gets them more than they recieve.


A new pickup cost $80,000? Than these icebreakers are bargain for less then $4 per person.


That method is also used in many government funded projects (and privately funded) in the USA. In the roads, bridges, and buildings world, they call it “Design-Build”. In the more complex power plant/industrial plant world, they call it “Engineering, Procurement, and Construction” (EPC).

The less corrupt states use these methods to get projects completed on time and on/under budget. It works and is much better than the traditional design/bid process because it keeps all the clowns out of the project that want last minute changes.

I only write this explicitly for those that are not familiar with these terms, as I’m sure you are familiar with them.

Everybody claims “my industry is special.” But there is much to be learned by looking around. Also, a hanging of all the MBAs would be a good start too. :rofl:


I see the Finnish icebreaker Polaris 2017-03-23_Eisbrecher_POLARIS_im_Eis_vor_Kemi_01

is 125 million Euros, or 150 USD,

According to Jones Act critics it costs about 3- 5 more to build in the US. That’s 450- 750.

450 to 750 x 2 for USCG military requirements = 0.9-1.5 B

The Polaris specs are not close to the requirements of a heavy icebreaker the CG wants.

1 B USD is a bargain.


Chouest supposedly spent 200 on the Aiviq. I would think that we should easily be able to build a heavy icebreaker that is non DP and not an anchor handler for 450.


In the Offshore Construction business Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation (EPCI) is a common term of contracts used worldwide. (incl. USA I believe)
Here are some examples:


everyone here knows how I feel about Gary Chouest however as a taxpayer I would like to see North American Shipbuilding be allowed to bid on the contract to build these new USCG icebreakers. Bet that billion each comes down to $700M pretty darned quick!