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Old 12-12-2010, 13:25   #16
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I'd love to get a job on one of those vessels like my father did (born 1903) but I'll never see the day in my lifetime.


There ae several Tall Ships that take on paid and volunteer crewmembers, i took the summer off in 1997 and sailed for 6 months on 8 different ships,,, do a google search for sailing ships in new england,,, during hte winter months several that work in maine head to the bahamas and the caribbean, i can tell you that the feeling of being 180 feet above the deck underway int he rigging is second to none,,, you will not regret the time,,, several take on crewmembers for 1 week at a time The Tall Ship Gazella,,, tall ship niagara,,, bounty, picton castle,,,
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Old 12-12-2010, 13:58   #17
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Just got off the Bounty taking it from Boothbay to Pourto Rico
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Old 12-12-2010, 14:07   #18
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Just got off the Bounty taking it from Boothbay to Pourto Rico
when i sailed you could not get me out of the rigging,,, most fun i ever had,,, gave a whole new meaning to the words "Getting High"
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Old 12-12-2010, 15:25   #19
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A modern square rigged sailing vessel will take far fewer people than the old ships did. A schooner far less. Put a weather computer into your bridge and you can go where the winds are. I know it is not likely to happen, for reasons having to do with who owns the ships and how much is invested in engines and fuel, etc. Coporate back scratching and all that, rather than the cost of fuel per se. Similar to the electric car fiasco in SoCal [see the film, who killed the electric car]. There is really no need for speed in the shipping of the majority of cross ocean cargoes, though with the afore mentioned computerized weather gear, much of the uncertainty would be alleviated. Designs for these ships have been around for 30 years, at least.
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Old 19-12-2010, 10:07   #20
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I did a little research on the other companies mentioned. Seems the ship used for the coffee company sunk. The sailing company in seattle is struggling but surviving. Too much skulling for me. Pretty cool. I don't see that as a good business model in florida though. Maybe Cuban cigars?
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Old 19-12-2010, 10:58   #21
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i think clipper ships with inboard diesel using bunker fuel is an awesome idea--and tronix. mix it up a lil-- clipper ships were sooooo awesome. fast and sleek.
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Old 19-12-2010, 11:07   #22
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A major problem I see with the return of sailing ships is our expectations of speed. Overnight mail, fax, email, txt messages. How can a sailing ship compete with this type of speed? Ok maybe an America's Cup Catamaran but they have no cargo capacity. It would take the demise of our current system of commerce. Think of Somalia on a global scale.
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Old 19-12-2010, 11:17   #23
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People will never be willing to pay the higher prices caused less cost effective wind powered ships. Economies of scale are why container ships keep getting larger. The only limitations on why they are not getting larger are port accommodations, drafts and the height of bridges.

Sailing ships will need to be smaller than current container ships simply to fit under bridges and to clear the bottom in existing ports. They will not have the same economies of scale that the larger ships have and therefore it will cost more to ship a given amount of cargo.

Crews are also not going to lower their wages because the ships go slower. Crew costs will rise per voyage because of slower speeds and rise in costs per amount of cargo carried because sail ships will need to be smaller than diesel powered ships. The crews will still be getting paid the same per day whether the ship is drifting at 2 knots in the doldrums or going 15 knots.

Also, the more cargo a ship moves in a year, the more money it makes. Also a ship has fixed expenses regardless of its speed.

The wind adds an unpredictable amount of time that it will take for a ship to make a voyage and many many customers need to know when their cargo will arrive.

I'm all for sailing ships but I do not think they will be competitive on a cost per ton-mile against the big boys.

The bottom line is that not many businesses who have to remain competitive are going to be willing to pay more money to have their goods shipped by sail in addition to having it take longer and not really knowing when they are going to receive their goods.
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Old 19-12-2010, 11:23   #24
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Things are manufactured overseas ( as I am sure every knows ), because it can be manufactured or grown and transported for less money and more profit then doing it locally. That being said what does it have to do with sailing? Well as resources become more scarce and salaries go up the advantage to outsourcing manufacturing or importing shrimp, etc does not work as well. Therefore I think you will find china, India and others lead the charge on reusable energy. I think sail assisted for tankers is very viable. Just my two cents
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Old 19-12-2010, 11:39   #25
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Nuclear reactors are another option. The Navy has been doing this safely since the 1950's. There was a nuclear powered merchant ship called the Savannah at one time.

This country is also sitting on an enormous amount of natural gas that we will never see depleted in our lifetimes.
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Old 19-12-2010, 12:27   #26
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hmmm...let's see...sail has been around for how long? Ok. And it's still a viable form of transportation all these years later, even with competing forms of so-called "more efficient means?" There is a little gem here...I think...It's kinda like the russian cosmonauts and the pencils. A good idea, in the concrete form, can solve something seemingly needing greater/different technology (like the american astronauts and the great expensive anti-gravity pen). The fact that sail is still here, still evolving and changing and still in people's lives shows that it yet holds a place of importance. I think in this day and age, anything could happen with sail technology. Nanotech solar and wind sail cloth anyone?
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Old 20-12-2010, 09:48   #27
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The largest container ship in the world with all its efficiencies and crew of less than 20, all the electronics in the world etc, is nothing more than a very large tin can which doesn't even make a good warehouse when its tied to the dock.

If there is no fuel or fuel is too dear, then that's all she wrote. Sail will come back for the simple reason that richer people will still pay for their luxuries. It's been that way since before the roman empire. It will continue on that way until man finally snuffs it.

As for us being used to over nigh mail, emails and all the rest of the oh so technically advanced society, that will also come to a slow and shuddering halt. Right now, petroleum is the stuff that makes the world go round cheaply. It is slowly depleting to the point that the stuff remaining will end up hellish expensive, and certainly not to be used to fuel a boat load of plastic garbage from China.

It may take a few decades but unless someone comes up with a magic replacement for petroleum, air tranport will all but disappear and sea transport will either go to coal with all the ensuing problems that brings with it or they will slow down, and go back to sail. The methods of controlling large sail ships exists now, and it is profitable if the market is willing. At this moment we are not willing to pay proper value for plastic junk. We may never be willing but at some point the trade in plastic crap will die off, and the cargos will become high value items which people will wait for and pay for.

Nuclear is a possibility, but its hideously expensive. And the question remains, what to do with the waste fuel. Look at Russia and all the mess they have decommissioning their nuc subs.

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Old 20-12-2010, 11:33   #28
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Ships will continue to become more efficient, and probably utilize the wind to some degree, as with the sky sail technology (big kite flown from the bow). Engines might be powered by some solar or wind technology or as a hybrid. But, sails and masts are of a bygone era. It's partly that if you rely completely on wind, you can't keep an exact schedule which is important in today's industry. It's also partly that it costs so much to build and upkeep all that extra equipment. Even if its controlled by computerized motors and automatic winches as the Maltese Falcon's masts are. However, except on some small levels (a couple of tall ships do move cargo occasionally), the boats of tomorrow will look nothing like those of yesterday. That's how progress works.

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Old 20-12-2010, 11:40   #29
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Chinese seem keen on Trains for the future. they might be wind powered

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Old 20-12-2010, 11:59   #30
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.... As long as there is a demand for trade, diesel powered container ships will prevail.

.... Another problem would be the danger of working sails up a 100' mast.
When I look at container ships with their 100' + of freeboard, and see my own freeboard of a few feet, and a 50' mast. I'm thinking it's gonna take a whole lot of 100' mast to move that sucker at all. With all the windage thay already have... 100' of mast x many many mast, or a couple of 1,000' mast....

Brian cramp, brain cramp.

I would think that the commercial industry would be more interested in doing what the Navy has done if they could give themselves the license like the goverment does. Nuclear powered targets for Somali pirates.

Darned brain cramp back again.
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