Buying a ship


#1

I have always had this dream to get together with a few friends and buy my own cargo (container, general cargo, other) ship for all of us to sail on. I know that it’s an unrealistic goal but, if I did move forward on this idea my question is…

What steps would an average person need to take to buy a cargo ship?


#2

An Insurance Underwriter, and a Banker. More or less in that order.

Then call Marcon.


#3

You will want to get a marine surveyor involved also. You will want the report for an independent evaluation of the vessel’s condition, the bank will want the report to know what their collateral is, and the insurance company will want it to know what the kind of risk they are underwriting.


#4

A very large bank account.


#5

I browse the listings occasionally and often dream a similar dream. Many are not too expensive but the operating costs can be outrageous.


#6

Before anything else…YOU NEED CARGO!

If you have that, everything else is easy but if you don’t, it is virtually impossible. Trust me, I say all of this sadly from experience.


#7

Funny you should ask. I bought a small freighter that ran from Dominica to St John, San Juan, Venezuela and a few other of the islands. Yup, buying it is the easy part, maintaining it and running it is a bit tougher. You better know how to weld, plumb, wire, etc. Oh, and finding crew for the delivery voyage home from the caribbean…never seems to be a problem!

Seriously- I guess the best advice is to start with a good hull and a good engine. Everything else can go on the 5 year plan. Best to line up the banker/insurance ahead of time.

Part of the problem is that if it is small enough to afford, it’s too small to run cargo. If it is big enough to carry a good load, and maintain schedules, you can’t afford it.

I still work mine, but play with it too- I have a big ol slow speed Cat that is very fuel efficient.

Good luck! Make sure you post here when you need crew!


#8

When it comes to insurance, find a good marine broker. They are the ones that deal with the Underwriters.


#9

There are lots of ships on sale cheap right now. There are some they can’t give away. I know a reefer ship that you could probably get for free. Of course you would have to pay a few million Euros to get it released by the French government. There are lots of ships like that around right now. Some are actually good deals.


#10

There is no way in hell someone could convince me to buy a ship to refurbish and sail. You’re talking about non-stop maintenence, money and time. Most working ships, the deck crews NEver stop doing maintenence, as soon as you get one section chipped, prepped and painted another section needs to be done and by the time you’re done with that part the other part you just finished needs to be done again, not to mention all the engineering assets (the engines, plumping, electrical work, hydraulics, yada yada yada)…its a never ending project. The cost alone would be staggering, just the deckside maintenance would run you a fortune when marine paint cost 100$ a gallon… Being that I work on ships, i just don’t see any romance in Ever owning one myself to sail. I’d rather buy myself a nice comfortable fiberglass yacht…

Seriously, you’ve gotta either have a shitload of money, be retarded, or Extremely ambitious: in which case you should go into public service or start your own company…


#11

[quote=c.captain;25552]Before anything else…YOU NEED CARGO!

If you have that, everything else is easy but if you don’t, it is virtually impossible. Trust me, I say all of this sadly from experience.[/quote]

Exactly. If you have demand, you can persuade bank to lend for buying a ship…


#12

[quote=cmjeff;25512]I have always had this dream to get together with a few friends and buy my own cargo (container, general cargo, other) ship for all of us to sail on. I know that it’s an unrealistic goal but, if I did move forward on this idea my question is…

What steps would an average person need to take to buy a cargo ship?[/quote]

I have seen a lot of small, “pocket” cargo ships in the 150-300 foot range trading cargo in the Carribean and there seems to be ships for sale for well under a million bucks, I’ve seen some for $300,000 or less.

It’s also a dream of mine:)


#13

One of the best days of my life was when I sold my 28’ Grady White. Not sure if I can handle the stress of a ship note.


#14

One presumes you would be in this venture to make money? Become a shipping magnate as all young Greek men [used to] dream of? And good for you if so.

It is also good that you would consider having friends join in running the vessel…skipper owners are not usually renowned for paying their crews that well, (although that can be true for most ship owners really).

I guess that from most of the opinion so far you would be engaged in some sort of US - Caribbean trade (?) and that is the real pity for me.

The America’s Marine Highways (http://www.americasmarinehighways.com) promotes domestic freight trade by sea and people with your attitude and conviction could go along way to supporting that movement. Unfortunately, even if you are US owned, operated and flagged, unless your little rustbucket coaster was built here, you could be stuck carrying decks of old trucks, SUV’s and mattresses to the islands.


#15

It would be hard to compete with the current kings of that trade. But, there is a way around the foreign bottom issue, find a little freighter that was siezed by the feds. They can be bought relatively cheaply, and they are eligible for a coastwise endorsement.

It still won’t hurt to have enough $100 bills to bring it down to its marks before starting this venture though.