Which American Ships Are Overdue For Replacement?

We have been getting reports about the Chemical Pioneer (IMO 6806444) which is 10 tears older than the el faro and has some questionable deficiencies.

And Admiral Alfultis at SUNY has been clear and vocal that the TS Emipre State needs to be replaced asap.

What other ships are long in the tooth?


USCGC Polar Star and USCGC Polar Sea.


USTS Kennedy

The Empire State VI turns 57 next month…

Alaska Marine Highway is still running the Matanuska and Malaspina both 1963. The Taku, also 1963 just sold foreign, and the Tustumena is 1964. I have a friend that sailed A.B. On the Taku and he told me one day they loaded the cars and the draft marks didn’t change, it wasn’t long after and it was sewn to the dock until it finally sold. They have been great ships though.

They don’t normally change, they are painted or welded on.

Did your friend say it drew less water as the tide went out?

The newest US-flag bulker operating on the Great Lakes was built in 1981. Then again, they float around in preservative so unless they trade in salt hull life tends to be a non-issue when compared to their saltwater counterparts.

For me, Matson readily comes to mind for aging vessels - especially with the Matsonia being a near sistership to El Faro and all. But aside from her they have quite the collection of house-forward workhorses from yesteryear still in their fleet. Not that thats a bad thing, the Lihue, Manoa and Mahi Mahi are some fine looking ladies.

China tried a subsidy for scrapping and replacing ships over the age of 15:

But now they are scrapping that idea :

In stead they are imposing a law on importing ships to the Chinese register that is over 15 years old:

Note that what they are talking about here is ships far younger than the average age of US merchant ships.

China has a long history of questionable investments. But they have no shortage of trade imbalance that needs to be spent on something.

I see this entire thread as being of questionable value. Aren’t American flagged ships that are still sailing just as likely to be retired without replacement? Replacement vessels will only be built if there is a business case that supports the investment. And I think the business cases that support the need for US flagged deepwater vessels will be very rare unless there is a major policy shift in the near future.

Companies like Maersk shift ships in and out of the American flag all the time, no need to build to replace.

It’s a political thing, not market. If U.S. government / military wants/needs a U.S. flag fleet then one can be maintained. The question of if one is needed or not is outside my wheelhouse.

The ship would reverse hog or sag when loaded. The draft marks are bow and stern and so at those locations the draft was unchanged, it would of course change in the mid section. This was not a normal condition for this particular ship

Sweet Jesus! I’d be breaking articles post haste if I saw that!

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