The Reflag Merry-Go-Round

I don’t have any experience with the merry-go-round.

Of the four PCC/PCTC I was on; one was new when the company took delivery and the other three were not very old and in good condition.

When the company did have a ship flagged out it was replaced with a newer, larger ship.

There was a certain Norwegian ship owner that used to do this.

Isn’t that the way MSP is supposed to work? I read in the AMO paper ARC just reflagged a few ships and flagged out the old ones. Rumor is a couple of them are going to MARAD? Not sure on the last.

Yes, that’s the expected process which was what I was describing in the post you responded to.

The question in the OP is wrt the practice of flagging ships into U.S. flag and then relatively quickly out again. Far quicker than the normal practice.

Yes ARC/Wilhelmsen has just re-flagged the Tiger (Blt. 2011) and Tomar (Blt. 2008) to US-flag:

They have also sold two older vessels; M/V Freedom (ex.Takamine, blt 1997) and M/V Honour (ex.Takasago, blt. 1996) to MARAD:

So that proves what K.C. said about his former employer, but is there any facts to show that SOME greedy foreign shipowners are using hardworking US seafarers to “fix their rundown ships, then flag out again”?

PS> Wouldn’t it be cheaper to send the ships to a “highly subsidized” shipyard where they could get repaired quicker.

PPS>Where the work is performed by unskilled forced labourers, without safety and environmental rules. (Which is what is holding back US shipyards from competing, according to popular belief. (Sarcasm)

7 posts were split to a new topic: Thread Clean-up

You are entitled to your biased opinion bugge, but I have been part of several re-flags and each time it is quite clear that engineering repairs have been woefully lacking. Everything looks pretty and things are shoestringed together mechanically, but once we get into taking things apart and finding that the spare parts were all used and then re-wrapped in original packaging, we get the real story. Every time it is the same story.

At least in my experience.

Did the ships get re-flagged back to foreign once you had fixed them??
If so, you got any vessel names to show so it can be researched?

Looks like a ship on the reflag merry-go-round would be flagged into U.S. and out again in about 3 years.

Don’t know the reason why this is done but by all accounts getting the ship into satisfactory condition is a long-term project for the crew and is done while the ship remains in full operational status.

I found a a ship that has change back and forth to US flag a couple of times.
Whether the changes has been to take advantage of US crews to “fix 'er up”, or due to market forces is of course not known.
She has been in the Hoegh fleet all the time, but under different names, flags and “brands”.
Built in Korea as Alliance New York, intended for US flag, but probably never sailed under that name and flag.
Sailed as Prestige New York under US flag for 4 years.
Now registered in Norway (NIS), with home port Oslo.:

Why go through the reflagging process twice? If an owner feels their vessel is in need or repair just repair it? Changing flags feels like an unnecessary step and cost. The flag on the stern does not prevent a responsible owner from maintaining their vessels nor hiring a crew that will do so.


What difference does it make.? A job is a job is a job. Has any ever sailed on a ‘rust bucket’ that has been US flag its whole life? Instead of bitching about reflagging, you ought to be promoting reflagging. They are certainly not building new US flag (none coastwise) in the USA.

Obviously those greedy foreign Shipowners/Managers wants to take advantage of the superior skills and hard work performed by US crews. :innocent:

Actually the ship management philosophy has changed from large crews performing repairs and maintenance while underway and in port, to small crews (barely) sufficient for operational requirements.
This is reflected in the Minimum Safe Manning requirement approved by the various Flag State Authorities (incl. USCG) and IMO.

There is nothing in the rule book saying you can’t have a bigger crew on board to carry out repairs and maintenance, which is a quite common practice. (Usually “riding crews” for specific tasks)


A reflagged ship has a very difficult time working coastwise.

Yes. Sealand Innovator.

Ships of all types and sizes, flying all kinds of flags are working coastwise all over the world.
The limitation isn’t the ships, or where they are built, but the rules that is applied in some countries, know as “Cabotage Laws”.
IFAIK only ONE country mixes protection of Shipyard and Seafarer’s welfare into “Cabotage Laws”.
To reserve jobs on ships in domestic trade for national seafarers are quite common, however.

This one??:

Yes .Took it over from full American crew and a floating shit heap.

No shit. I don’t need the lesson.

This is a conversation about reflagging US ships. A reflagged US ship cannot participate in coastwise trade. Hence my comment.

Except for the one that was arrested and confiscated or whatever the story is with that one.

The most important factor wrt the condition of a ship is the standards set by the company / charterer and the level of company support. The older the ship the more support is required.

Presumably when a company plans to sell a ship out of the fleet they reduce the amount of support. Nothing at all to do with the nationalities involved.

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