Future of ships


More on the RRM sale to Kongsberg from the local paper smp.no:

The question of whether Kongsberg Group will move their HQ for maritime activities to Aalesund is also being hotly debated:


Wartsila missed that one
goodbye RR DP systems?

Kongsberg can now compete against Wartsila in the bow to rudder business ( complete ship)


Yes Wartsila lost out here and not many in RRM are unhappy with that.They were seen as more likely to pull part of RRM out of Norway, or towards their present operations in the Bergen area.
Wartsila already have s ship design division in Bergen (ex Vik & Sandvik) and the Wichmann engine manufacturing near Bergen.
The have their own trusters manufacturing facilities and are now heavily into automation and autonomous systems, in direct competition with both RRM and Kongsberg.

As to the RRM DP System, I’m not sure. What little I know about the system is that those I have talked to that had the DP system on board was very pleased and found it easy to understand the functions and easy to operate.

The Union boss at RRM Automation at Longva is quoted as saying;


It’s the Gameboy in terms of DP. Good for PSV but not much more. If you are going to learn a DP system Kongsberg is better, when you have learned Kongsberg everything else is easy.


The old L3 NMS6000 is the easiest DP to learn and use by far
Yes the RRM DP is full of unnecessary bling features


How much of RRM did KM get, looks like they just wanted to drop the stuff in Norway rather than sack a few thousand?


Rolls-Royce Marine (Commercial) is mainly situated in Norway. Their HQ is here in Aalesund, with most of their R&D. Production is mainly in Ulsteinvik and around in Sunnmore (The Norwegian Maritime Cluster)

The sale also include the operations in Finland (R&D, Automation and Deck machinery) in Sweden (KaMeWa) and sales and service in 34 countries around the world. (Total 3600 employees)

Both UT designs in Ulsteinvik and NVC in Aalesund are part of the sale.
PS> Kongsberg will probably keep the names, just like RRM has done.

Bergen Engines, MTU and the Naval part of RRM is not included.

The sale will probably not be finalised before early next year, since it has to be approved by the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) and sundry anti-competition authorities around the world;


it looked a bit like a Norwegian gov gift to a few underutilized workers, lets hope the economy picks up to make use of them.


There are lot more involved than a few underutilised workers. RRM is a cornerstone in the Maritime Cluster in and around Aalesund and a major force in the development of marine technology and equipment for the ships of the future.

If this major player had been sold off to some speculators from City or Wall Street and broken up to “maximise profit for shareholders” the momentum would have been lost.
Even a sale to Wartsila could have resulted in all or part of the R&D activity on RRM moving to Finland and be lost to the Maritime Cluster here.


Norway is gambling on hydrogen as clean fuel for use in the heritage fjords:

The facts are a bit distorted. There are already a fully electric excursion boat in Naeroyfjorden, the Vision of the fjords. A similar one for the Geirangerfjord has been built and is presently also in Naeroyfjorden:

Meanwhile, two old car ferries are used in the Geirangerfjord:

There are plans to produce hydrogen from existing small hydro electric power stations locally in the fjords to supply both ferries, buses, trucks and cars in the near future. Problem is that there are no users at the moment.


Wait, wut? You mean I wasted all those matches?






Maybe this will help reducing the risk??:


Portable power pack for electric propulsion on inland and short sea vessels:


Forget shiphandling, auto-berthing will soon be a reality:


Near-time future of shipping as seen by a very knowledgeable commentator:

PS> That Liquid Hydrogen carrier on the illustration looks fairly futuristic.


Here is an article by a Norwegian former Captain that do NOT think that autonomous ships are a good idea:


Michael Grey from LL predicts that OOW#s are becoming amusement arcade machine watcher, and I 100% agree:

" Viewpoint: Mind in neutral

Is smart navigational equipment contributing to incidents of ships running aground or colliding as navigators simply lose concentration?

02 Aug 2018


Written by

by Michael Grey

If watchkeepers must be present, they are better engaged with the task of navigating and not relegated to overseeing equipment

In casualty after casualty the person whose attention might have averted the incident was either suffering from a wandering mind, or possibly even asleep, in the supine role of equipment overseer.

WHY on earth do well-found ships, properly manned by certificated officers and crews, manage to run aground or collide, in circumstances that seem to defy rational explanation?

There seems little excuse, in an era when circling satellites provide all the positioning data those on board a ship might need.

It was understandable in the days of dead reckoning and before the all-seeing eye of radar. But the equipment on a modern ship, if properly set up and diligently used, ought to make such casualties impossible.

It is by no means an original suggestion, but may the versatility and capability of the equipment itself contribute to the human navigator, or engineer for that matter, just losing concentration?

And then, when an unforeseen hazard occurs, failing to put a mind that is coasting along in neutral, back into an operational gear? If we are relegating a ship’s officer, who has probably passed all sorts of statutory examinations, to the role of a mere overseer of smart machines, how can an intelligent person remain focused?

More years ago than I care to remember, when I was serving an apprenticeship at sea, we were forced to relieve the quartermaster on the wheel for a two-hour stretch from 0600 hrs every morning. Quite what it was supposed to teach us I cannot recall, other than patience and fortitude, as it was one of the most mind-numbingly boring jobs you could imagine on a deepsea passage.

Just keeping the wretched ship on course, half-asleep and looking forward to a large breakfast, was a real challenge of concentration. The occasional sarcastic question from the Second Mate, looking up from his star calculations, to find the ship falling off the course and the gyro ticking away reproachfully, was a reminder that I really was not cut out for the job.

“Trying to write your name in the sea, Grey?” It is why automatic steering machinery was invented.

Vigilance and attention are important qualities. Those involved in search and rescue operations are regularly relieved from their visual or radar lookouts because it is known concentration wanes after about 20 minutes. It is the same with air traffic control operators, whose lapse in attention could be fatal. Maybe we should learn from these roles.

There is a debate about whether the “driver-assist” features on the latest high-end road vehicles are too clever for their own good, easing the job of driving to such an extent that concentration lapses. Anyone with half a brain, who is not making or selling cars for a living, can see this problem a mile off.

Devices that ought to be banned

One can only hope that before too many people meet an untimely end on our roads, something may be done about this, because anything that distracts the driver from the main task of keeping the car safe is potentially lethal. It ought also to divert our regulators from their current enthusiasm for “driverless” vehicles, before too much taxpayers’ money is shovelled into this fatal project.

Devices that minimise the need for concentration, permitting the mind to wander and even to become engaged on other tasks, ought to be banned, whether we are talking about a “self-driving” truck or a large ship with equipment that removes all the actual work from sentient human beings aboard.

Initially, automation on land or sea was regarded as wholly positive, as it removed the need for people to be engaged in boring, repetitive work that they probably could not do as well as a machine.

The people could be doing something more useful. But on the bridge or machinery space of a ship, if the watchkeepers have to be there, they are better engaged with the main task of navigating and collision avoidance, and not relegated to “long stop”, overseeing the equipment that is doing all the work and intervening only when it breaks down.

Casualty after casualty reveals the person whose attention might have averted the incident was either suffering from a wandering mind, or possibly even asleep, as there was little to keep them awake in this supine role of overseer.

Casualty investigators often cite “complacency”, but I would suggest that a “mind in neutral”, lulled into a semi-comatose state of non-intervention is as often to blame.

What is the point of this equipment, with its need for frequent updates, its cost and complexity, if it contributes to this state of “operator” non-involvement? Might actual practice demonstrate the negatives outweigh the positives?

You will not get any of the clever folk developing and manufacturing this equipment to admit this, because they energetically lobby the International Maritime Organization to persuade it that fitting their latest all singing, all dancing gizmo should be made mandatory.

I recall a friendship of many years with a chief sales manager of navigational equipment being somewhat strained when I suggested he should wire up watchkeepers to electrodes and give them electric shocks to keep them concentrating, such were the tasks his latest “integrated navigator” was removing from their roles.

I suggest the rule makers ought only to listen to those who actually run ships for a living before letting the manufacturers into the IMO building. But I doubt that this will happen.

Unlike those people at sea, trying to stay awake and focused, the vested interests never lose their concentration. "


They knew this years ago in aviation so Boeing and Airbus have made them fool proof as you will notice 99% of crashes in the last 20 years are when the pilots thought they could fly.
Had they stepped out of the cockpit they would have saved the passengers.

They knew the future young will have half the skills of the old guys and that seems to apply to most industries these days.


The next step; survey by remote control??: