Good time to buy OSVs?

Is this a good time to acquire OSVs?
Maersk Supply is selling two AHTS, but for use in other markets:

The North Sea PSV and AHTS market seem to be totally saturated right now with day rates below break-even most of the time.

You might be able to pick up vessels for cheap, but you better have very deep pockets for the money you will lose on operating expenses. Unless you will use them in a non-competing sector like these Maersk Vessels.

It’s interesting where happened to the Boa Jarl and Bison, they are now Norwegian Coast Guard vessels. The grey colour scheme looks great :rofl:

Might be a good time to buy a cruise ship or drillship also right? Buying a distressed asset that has no immediate market value but requires constant capital outlay just to maintain the shrinking value makes absolutely no sense unless one has a contract in hand for such a vessel prior to the purchase.


That’s right. But where do you need that many HP, other than for towing and A/H?
Yes I know; you can run on less than full power and the Maersk vessels has 4 x MAK 9M32C engines (Total 23,500 Bhp)

(The Boa Jarl & Bison has 2 x 8000 kW engines)

Geeze…This ain’t nothing new. I started in the business in '70 during a down turn. There were several down turns and up tics over the years. Overbuilding during the late '70s saw the supply boats taking over the carribe container run. The down turn in the mid '80s when I left the oilfield for SIU tug jobs, many osvs left for the fishing industry. All of the OSVs I worked on with Wichmann engines had a difficult time procuring spare parts. They wound up as crab boats in Chile.

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the BIG difference I see today with the depressed prices and industry slow down is a result of alternate sources for oils traditional customers, so not just just a supply and demand issue nor global recession although they all contribute.
That has never happened before.
The shipping industry looking at moving away from hfo, it all adds up
Crystal balling you could easily see today a city saying thats it, no IC engines allowed in x mile radius.
Share price of the majors is now based on 5 year reserves not 25 like it was forever.

There are hundreds of full or part completed PSV’s alongside in china since the drop 5 years ago…

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They didn’t learn not to try getting ANYTHING from Norway on weekends, during Summer holiday, X-mas or Easter?
That is when ALL Norwegians are in their “hytte”, either in the mountains, or on the coast, or out in their boats. (Those who are not in “Syden”)

OK, it HAS got better these days, with all the foreign workers available to serve during such times.

PS> Just don’t try to order anything in Norwegian!!! (English is fine)

There are dozens of Drilling rigs and maybe as much as a hundred of OSVs in various stages of construction abandoned at yards in China and now offered for sale at heavily discounted prices:

PS> They may also be made available for charter on bareboat or purchase/hire terms.

After the building boom of the last 5-10 years there are possibly now enough offshore vessels in existence to satisfy demand for decades.


Lots of old and obsolete boats still around that need replacing.

PS> Many of the OSVs and probably ALL of the Drilling rigs available in China are top modern, foreign designs, with foreign machinery and equipment and built to highest IACS class, originally ordered by reputable foreign owners.

Yea I dont know about that.

On the new chinese built Seacor boats all the plates on the house are buckled and you can see the frame.

until you get it and find out you will spend a year just to get it to work
get all the sand out of the hydraulics etc etc etc
China had to instantly make class surveyors to deal with the huge volume of new builds, what could go wrong there?

witnessed plenty of suckers at the receiving end of Chinese built boats, not saying its all but…
One vessel i went on board was towed from China to Singapore in the hope they could get a new diving vessel commissioned.
Nothing built to drawing, no wiring diagrams you can imagine.
saying that Just across from Singapore in the cheap asian yards, Batam is also a disaster
its cheap, and your 2 year project gets delivered in 4 years, not so cheap now

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I’ve worked on a couple of Chinese built ships in my career, one of them wasn’t too bad, but the other one was the worst I have ever worked on.

None of the panels on the bulkheads and deckheads were fitted together properly, so whenever the ship moved everything creaked. It was so bad when the ship was working and tunnel thrusters were going full whack, the cabins creaked so much they were like torture chambers. I had to get nails and coins and jam them into every creaking gap I could find in the bulkheads and deckheads to make it tolerable, my cabin looked ridiculous with nails and coins sticking out everywhere but it had to be done otherwise I couldn’t sleep.

Even with the nails there were a lot of creaks I couldn’t fix so the only way I could sleep is with earplugs and ear defenders on at the same time, I’m not sure I would have been able to hear a ships alarm, I probably would have, but it was a trade off of either that or not sleeping.

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I know more than one dive boat so badly designed you cant sleep with thrusters running so they ended up as moored accommodation barges
no rules in shipping, till they go to Australia and the union comes onboard and applies simple rules from the land, shock horror you cant do that.
I heard one vessel they allowed to stay but said nobody can sleep on it.


Show me a ship built anywhere where you cannot “see the frames” in the right light conditions.

PS> Ships are built of relatively thin plates these days, unlike the old “clinkers”.

It is quite obvious that Shipowners don’t have the foggiest idea what they are doing. Imagine spending millions on building complex ships in China. Stupid!!!

Of course they ensure that there are detailed building specifications, equipment lists and building contract in place before committing their money.

They also ensure they have ample supervision during the building periode and approval by a major Classification Society at every step of construction and commissioning process.

I have seen the result of lacks or no supervision during construction at both Chinese and US yards (at the time they built rigs in the US) Not good.

Really? This amount of warping is acceptable? Well I guess it is since it passed class, but it dosent inspire confidence in the build quality and longevity of the vessel.

Compared to any vessel of this class built in the US for this gerneration it’s no question which is the superior built vessel.

Built to class dosen’t mean built as well as it could be, just built to a minimum standard.

Stop trying to defend everything that isn’t from america. The Chinese jumped on the last boom band wagon just like everyone else and over built using the resources that China is known for, low cost low experiance labor, cheap raw materials, and plenty of corruption.

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US built OSV:

Well played good sir well played.

One of those I have sailed on, the other I’ve seen close up. I’m sure you can guess which one my money is on for the vessel that’s going to have less problems for their 10 year survey. Although I don’t know anything about other class societies big surveys.

non of that works, supposed smart companies still get sucked in and go for cheap builds and always regret it
Fredrickson, Deep Sea Supply built a few AHTS in Singapore, they all had a school boy error in the basic design of the engine, gearbox, shaft gen mounting design so as they hogged and sagged they drove the gearbox to shaft gen shaft into the shaft gens destroying them.

As my mech eng buddy says, asian ship building has been a gift for his business in Asia as for 30 years they keep making the same mistakes and when he comes in as a consultant he just pulls out an old analysis, changes the date and re issues the fault and correction data