The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is a whole new class of aircraft carrier. Officially commissioned by the U.S. Navy and Newport News Ship Building Company, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier represents the first major redesign to a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in over four decades.
When a warship is commissioned, it is legitimized under law, and placed in active service for the first time. Replacing what was known as the Nimitz class of aircraft carriers, the USS Ford will spend its first four years under scrutiny as builder’s sea trials get underway.
The trials test crucial systems and technologies aboard the ship, and will cost USD $780 million on top of its USD $12.9 billion manufacturing price tag. There were delays and overruns because of the complicated task of integrating whole new systems and an entirely new class of technology aboard the ship, which was originally supposed to be completed in 2015 for USD $10.5 billion.
Designing a new class of aircraft carrier means that expectations for improved performance are going to be set extremely high, and you’ll see that the features of the USS Ford make it a true marvel of modern weapons engineering.
Interestingly, the USS Ford also appears to be a minor milestone moment for 3D modeling technology, because this is the first ship to be fully designed as a 3D model. The USS Ford has its own nuclear plant inside of it, which generates a consistent and high enough rate of energy that affords the vessel a top speed of 30 knots (34.5 mph, 55.5 km/h).
Nuclear warships like the USS Ford are designed to be fully autonomous. The amount of nuclear energy produced by the USS Ford means that it could run without stopping to refuel for 20-25 years.
There are two A1B reactor plants (“A” is for Aircraft Carrier, “1” is first-generation, and “B” is for Bechtel, the manufacturer) aboard the USS Ford, and they were specially developed by Bechtel for the new class of supercarrier. Bechtel normally handles engineering and construction for nuclear plants in the USA.
The A1B generates almost 3 times as much power as the A4W reactor plants on the active Nimitz-class carriers. The exact number is classified, but estimates have been made that the total increase in energy is 700 MW.
Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) Versus Steam Catapult System
The US Navy began experimenting with the design and production of a launch system that uses linear induction motors and electromagnets instead of steam-powered turbines because engineers realized that you could improve three things: eliminate the need for housing a separate steam boiler, increase the level of control during jet or drone takeoffs, and reduce the amount of maintenance in two ways—using solid state components and reducing wear and tear on the supercarrier from repeated launches.
The path towards oligopolisation in container shipping took another step forwards with the proposed USD 6.3 billion sale of Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas International Ltd. (OOIL) to Chinese state-owned Cosco Shipping Holdings Ltd. (Cosco) and Shanghai International Port Group Co. (SIPG), announced a couple of weeks ago.
On the completion of the deal, Cosco will hold 90.1% while SIPG will hold the remaining 9.9% stake in OOIL. The joint buyers said they will keep the OOIL branding, retain its listed status and maintain the companies’ global headquarters in Hong Kong along with all management. Employees will retain their existing compensation and benefits, and none will lose jobs as a result of the transaction for at least 24 months after the offer close.
OOIL and its container unit OOCL have a good track record for above-average profits in a challenging market and a reputation for being a very well-run company, earning the moniker “The Perfect Bride” by Drewry Maritime Financial Research. This was reflected in the substantial price-to-book premium of 1.4x, which is a fair bit above OOIL’s historical average P/B of 0.8x. Retaining the management team, processes and systems is a wise move and could be of enormous value to Cosco, in our opinion.
The deal also contributes to the shift in some of the previously entrenched liner fundamentals that have made consistent profits so elusive for carriers. In a new spotlight report (Two steps away from liner paradise?), Drewry Maritime Advisors, argues that with the total system (liner and ports) benefits from economies of scale being exhausted and in a less fragmented market, carriers can finally reach the nirvana of sustainable profitability.
As things stand, upon completion of the latest M&A (the Ocean Network Express, or ONE, merging of the Japanese companies’ container units is expected to become operational in April 2018) and taking into account future newbuild deliveries, there will only be 10 carriers with a minimum 2% share of global capacity by start of 2021, which between them will control approximately 82% of the world fleet. As the figure highlights, as recently as 2015 there were 17 carriers with at least a 2% share.
Figure 1: No. of carriers with min 2% share of world containership fleet capacity.
Shippers are getting used to consolidation in the container industry. That doesn’t mean they have to like it. As their pool of carriers shrinks they are more likely to lobby anti-competition regulators to step in. Recent container M&A such as Maersk Line’s recent takeover of Hamburg Süd and the proposed ONE merger of Japanese carriers have all encountered minor regulatory issues so any future deals may have to contend with conditions being applied that make them less attractive to conclude. The onus will be on carriers to disprove any form of collusive oligopoly is occurring.
The captain of the 30,700 dwt containership Shansi was arrested in New Zealand for sailing the vessel while he was under the influence of alcohol.
A pilot, who was assisting the docking of the ship, thought the captain of the ship appeared to be intoxicated as he was having trouble docking the vessel. The pilot contacted Maritime New Zealand, who subsequently asked the Whangarei Police for assistance on the matter.
The police breath tested the ship’s captain, a 53-year-old Englishman from Devon, at Port Northland, Marsden Point.
After the captain blew what was described as an exceptionally high reading, he was arrested and charged with an offence under the Maritime Transport Act.
The limit for a ‘seafarer’ is 250 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath and carries a 12 month term of imprisonment or a $10,000 fine.
The captain appeared in Whangarei District Court earlier and was remanded on bail.
| A World Maritime News release |August 7, 2017 |||
Bellingham Marine is a world respected company, with a long history of innovative manufacturing of marina pontoons and highly respected design developments. It was started in Bellingham.
Washington State in the USA over fifty years ago and from that it has continued to develop and grow all the time creating new concepts in marina design and in the construction of concrete pontoons to the point where it is now regarded as the world leader in the market segment.
Bellingham started out with a vision to design and build the ultimate facility for their client’s marina business and have remained faithful to that promise over the intervening half century.
They have ensured that both the design and engineering and the physical construction of the concrete pontoons is constantly researched and improved so that today they are considered the benchmark in the industry.
Switch from steel bolts to fibre glass nuts
The latest development that will be introduced shortly by Bellingham is to switch from steel bolts, which create an opportunity for rust intrusion and possible structure failure to fibre glass nuts and bolts which they have developed with a composite specialist.
Bellingham is also committed to ensuring that their marina products preserve the environment and save energy for the benefit of everyone.
They have also supported marine biology studies that helped them to understand how a marina installation affects aquatic life and harbour ecology.
Two marinas in the USA have partnered with Bellingham to pioneer new technologies to produce a “green marina”.
Most Bellingham manufacturing facilities are ISO or PCI certified and all are required to work to existing Bellingham standards worldwide.
Their concrete pontoons are a masterpiece in both the aesthetic design and construction areas.
The pontoons are built around a polyurethane block the design of which has features that allow the inclusion of service conduits such as electricity, water, sewerage and fuel reticulation to client specifications.
Where a series of pontoons are to be connected to provide fast connection adapters are available to extend the services through the marina.
Each marina installation is designed individually to best perform and provided the levels of service and security the marina owner requires.
The pontoons are available in a variety of sizes and are constructed in a special facility and transported to the final site.
While they are constructed around a relatively lightweight block, called a core in the industry, they are covered on all sides with special concrete and steel reinforcing to ensure that they will be able to stand the sort of loads they are called on to handle in the marina environment.
Typically a pontoon is 2.4 metres wide and 5.5 metres long and a little under a metre thick.
This means that each pontoon is reasonably heavy and awkward to handle.
Bellingham transports the pontoons from their manufacturing facilities to locations worldwide but it’s better that they are constructed as close as possible to the placement site to reduce transport costs and maintain the lowest possible price.
For this reason, as they grew their business, Bellingham expanded their manufacturing capability geographically but ensured at all times that each facility was equal to the standard of all the other locations.
The company has extensive training programmes at all levels and they are careful to ensure that all employees are totally aware of the processes and the company standards so that they can guarantee every client.
No matter where they are in the world that the product delivered to them will conform to the stringent standards they have developed.
Pontoons for Fiji are manufactured in New Zealand.
There are a number of marinas in Fiji that use the Bellingham pontoons and up to now these have been manufactured in New Zealand and shipped to Fiji for placement on the site.
Port Denarau is one of the Bellingham sites in Fiji and there are other smaller marinas as well as a number of single pontoon installations for private use. In every case the company provides support in fulfilling local requirements for approvals and requirements.
Because the South Pacific presents a very large opportunity for marina and pontoon placement and because changes in the market on duty, taxation and incentives over the last five years offered a way of reducing the cost of manufacture the company was looking for a way to make Fiji a manufacturing base.
Bruce Birtwhistle, the regional manager based in Auckland, was passionate in achieving the objective of establishing the manufacturing facility in Fiji. New Zealand had for many years supplied Bellingham pontoons out of New Zealand but Bruce realised the many advantages for the South Pacific market in constructing product within the region.
Bellingham Pontoons now manufactured at Fantasy Island.
Local manufacturers can enjoy very real advantages in terms of end price under the Melanesian Spearhead Group arrangements. Fiji is also offering a low duty of only five percent on components imported and used in manufacture. Because of the high local cost for the polyurethane cores which are the basis of the pontoon manufacturing process the company is also considering building their own plant
Just recently two of the country’s best know marine service operators, Hall Dredging and Bob Oldham formed a Joint Venture called Marine Structures and Consultancy (Fiji) Limited.
Bob Oldham had worked on many Bellingham projects in Fiji and had an excellent relationship with the NZ Bellingham group so the new JV entered into an agreement to operate under license to manufacture Bellingham pontoons .
Hall Dredging already had a large land base in the new Port Fantasy Marina, where all Hall Fiji land services are centred and this is where the Bellingham manufacturing plant is situated. In the last week of July the first Bellingham pontoons were manufactured there in the presence of New Zealand management, who gave the Fiji pontoons their stamp of approval.
Marine Structures are certain that the availability of both Bellingham pontoons and the service and advice availably more easily within the region will provide huge marketing opportunities.
And the new plant will significantly reduce the capital outflow, and making a strong contribution to the Fiji economy,
New Zealanders have long been known for their love affair with the sea, but owning a boat is seen as an expensive exercise for most. Tauranga-based boat design company Hallmarine Design has come up with a solution: its Purekraft boats, which are flatpacked kitsets, a bit like IKEA furniture, making them far cheaper to ship around and easier to construct.
Elly Strang writes in Idealog - It’s a romantic notion that plays right into the Kiwi ideal of DIY and do it yourself – building a boat from scratch. However, aside from professional boat builders, most wouldn’t attempt to build their own for fear of the expenses involved – or worse yet, the risk of a poorly put together, leaky boat.
However, Jarrod Hall of Tauranga-based Hallmarine Design says his company has a solution for hobbyists: A boat which has parts that are cut by a CNC machine, with ink markings to show where parts meet and should be welded. It is then folded and are flatpacked to reduce shipping costs.
The result is a boat that’s innovative in the same way IKEA furniture was when it first shook up the furniture scene: A cheaper, build-it-yourself product that can be constructed from scratch, if you follow the (in depth) instructions. There's also the ability to customise the motor, seats and paint job.
“It appeals to those with the do-it-yourself kind of attitude, and they also know that it’s been well built, considering they’ve built it themselves,” Hall says.
Understandably, there’s a few more components to building a boat than say, a bookshelf.
Hall says it depends on the size and the model, but the design process couldn’t get much easier in terms of building a boat. While there may be hundreds of components, parts are printed by the machine and interlock together, while Hallmarine Design folds as many parts of the boat as possible so it reducing welding and build times, as well as wastage.
The most radical of the new Ultime trimarans, the incredible Gitana 17 is designed to foil at over 50 knots and cross up to 900 miles a day, crewed by just one solo skipper. Elaine Bunting talked to designer Guillaume Verdier at the launch
A revolutionary 100ft fully foiling oceangoing trimaran capable of covering more than 900 miles in a day and sailing at speeds of 50 knots was launched in Lorient this week. Designed by Guillaume Verdier, the foil genius behind the America’s Cup winning Emirates Team New Zealand, Gitana 17 is designed to be sailed solo and to beat the round the world record.
Gitana 17 is the latest of the race boats backed by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. The 100ft ‘Ultime’ trimaran is the culmination of three years of work by the team and brings together developments from areas as diverse as the Vendée Globe IMOCA 60s, the America’s Cup and the MOD70 trimarans.
This is a beast of a boat and significantly different from others in the growing ‘Ultime’ development class such as François Gabart’s Macif and Thomas Coville’s Sodebo. For the first time, this is a boat designed around foil performance.
According to the design team, Gitana 17 will be able to foil at speeds of 48-50 knots in 16-25 knots of true wind and seas of 6-8m – typical Atlantic conditions. It could also sail across the Southern Ocean in non-foiling mode at up to 40 knots.
“Foiling is not that [hard] but to do that and be stable in waves is a lot more difficult and this is a first stage to doing that,” explained Guillaume Verdier. “Previously the boats were designed to go offshore and slowly the foils got into that, but we have designed the appendages as a principal [part] and tried to have a platform that goes well with that.
“It makes a boat that is a little heavier because there are more systems to control the foil, more hydraulics and the platform is stiffer in torsion.”
The foils on Gitana 17 share some common thinking with those on the America’s Cup boats – the outer float foils are an L-shape. The main daggerboard on the central hull, however, is a shape never seen before on these boats and features a large horizontal component to help with roll control.
Emirates Team New Zealand’s (ETNZ) win of the America’s Cup is a tremendous sporting victory, but it is also a victory for brand New Zealand, particularly when it comes to shifting international perception of who we are as a country. While the common associations with beautiful scenery and amazing food are positive, we know that as a country, we have so much more to offer the world.
The America’s Cup has helped position us as a smart and innovative nation, filled with entrepreneurs and world-leading tech companies. That’s’ because off the back of ETNZ’s incredible win, there’s an extraordinary story to tell about some of the New Zealand companies whose technology has played a role in helping return the Auld Mug to our shores.
Exclusive Mfat report lays out case for pavilion in 2020, writes Nicholas Jones in The New Zealand Herald 20 Jul 2017
Emirates’ sponsorship of America’s Cup winners Team New Zealand was cited as part of a case for participation in a Dubai expo that will cost taxpayers $53 million, documents show.
Other factors cited for giving “serious consideration” to committing to Expo 2020 included growing defence and security links with the United Arab Emirates — which Dubai is part of — and the economic value of Emirates’ daily flights to New Zealand.
An October 2016 scoping update from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) said the UAE was a political partner in the region, not only from a trade and economic perspective but increasingly in defence and security.
“The UAE has a strong commitment to New Zealand, evidenced by its increased engagement, including development partnerships in the Pacific on renewable energy, investment (e.g. Precinct Properties and significant progress toward a new food security fund), and spon- sorship of Emirates Team New Zealand since 2004,” states the report, released to the Herald with other documents under the Official Information Act.
The Emirates Group is owned by the Dubai Government’s investment corporation.
The National Government put $5m into the recent Team NZ campaign. National criticised the thenLabour Government for agreeing in 2007 to put $38m into Team NZ.
The documents outline the incredible scale of the Dubai expo, which will run from October 2020 to April 2021.
New Zealand’s pavilion could host more than 4.5 million visitors.
The expo will be attended by about 25 million visitors, with up to 75 per cent expected from Germany, Britain, Russia, China, India and Africa.
The UAE will spend close to $12 billion on supporting infrastructure, including the world’s largest airport, 500 new hotels and five new amusement parks.
Act leader David Seymour has been critical of the expo spending, and said the reasons given to support it would make Robert Muldoon “cackle from the grave”.
“His ghost lives on with these silly ideas that all the New Zealand economy really needs is a few very clever politicians to spend our money in the right places,” Seymour said, adding that extreme wariness was needed when considering any cost-benefit analysis.
“You can prove anything if only you let the ever-widening circles of flow-on effects go wide enough.”
Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee said the reference to the Team NZ sponsorship and other commercial and regional links were given as examples of the breadth and strength of the NZ-UAE relationship, and how the UAE has sought to strengthen those ties.
“Participation at Expo 2020 presents a unique opportunity to showcase New Zealand’s innovative products and services . . . our participation at Shanghai in 2010 was a huge success.”
The documents released by Mfat officials also said accepting the invitation would aid efforts to secure a free trade agreement with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC).
Progress on getting the deal over the line has stalled after fallout between Qatar and other council members, but Brownlee said the Government’s focus on concluding an FTA hadn’t changed.
A Treasury panel pushed for a “small size” option to go to Cabinet, similar to New Zealand’s presence in Aichi in 2005 which cost $8m. The “modest” option of $53.24m was selected because it would enable hosting of visitors. New Zealand budgeted $30m for Shanghai.
Mfat officials noted the combined economic value to New Zealand of the five daily Emirates A380 flights is estimated to exceed $700m a year.
In an impact analysis, officials estimated being at the expo would mean a greater likelihood of more international flights coming to New Zealand, bringing forward the arrival of these flights from about 2025 to 2020.
Estimated benefits included an extra 1 per cent a year in inbound foreign investments from the GCC region and a boost to the number of international students and tourists from the region.
The analysis assumed not being at the expo would see the annual economic growth rate for foreign investment from the GCC drop from 4.95 per cent to 2.48 per cent for five years.
Port Denarau Marina general manager Cynthia Rasch said: “It is a great opportunity for industry partners, marine businesses, yachts and agents to network and discuss one on one the latest marine products and services with leading marine operators under one roof.”
This year marks the second year running for this event featuring New Zealand based companies.
“We are expecting over 100 transient vessels to be present to take advantage of this information sharing event to assist them with their on-ward travel to New Zealand.”
Furthermore Peter Busfield, executive director of NZ Marine said the recent win of the America’s Cup promises significant gains for the wider South Pacific “and we expect it to be a topic of discussion whilst we are in Fiji.
“The New Zealand victory in the America’s Cup is a catalyst for South Pacific Superyachting including Fiji,” he said.
“The America’s Cup win will be a big benefit to New Zealand boating industry and the wider South Pacific region.
“During the 2000 defence Auckland hosted 95 superyachts and we would expect this number to exceed 120 for the next event. As many of these vessels will arrive via Fiji or Tahiti, there will be economic gain for each country.
“During the lead up we also expect to see more superyachts and charter companies focusing on the South Pacific as a cruising destination,” he said.
Emirates Team NZ dominated the final stage of the 35th America’s Cup, winning easily against Oracle Team USA.
The NZ marine industry built both finalists’ vessels – Oracle Team USA by Core Builders and ETNZ by Southern Spars.
Key suppliers to both teams have shown once again the capability of the New Zealand marine industry which is the country’s largest manufacturing sector outside of the primary producers.
Another America’s Cup is in the history books and although the actual Cup itself might not have been as exciting as the Louis Vuitton World Series competition with its capsizing, collisions and man overboard, the entire event was pretty impressive. And now, with a new Defender at the helm, the all-consuming, burning question is asked: “What now?”
On the AC site it read: “When Emirates Team New Zealand sped through the finishing line on Monday afternoon in Bermuda to win the 35th America’s Cup, the team also crossed a starting line of sorts – this time for the 36th America’s Cup.” Going on to state: “The moment Peter Burling steered the New Zealand boat across the line to win the America’s Cup, the RNZYS accepted a challenge from Luna Rossa’s Circolo della Vela Sicillia (CVS) for the 36th America’s Cup.”
That is the first installment of the many answers to the “what now” question and it’s definitely a big one – the “who” if you will. Luna Rossa has been part of other America’s Cups and many are glad to see them back in the game. For those who don’t know, the way it works now is that these two teams will huddle together and map out all the logistics, including the rules and boats, for the next event.
“We need to put in place an exciting event that takes a lot of what has happened here, because there is a lot of good that’s happened here…”
Emirates TeamNZ Grant Dalton
Hmmm. Is Dalton hinting that the race will once again be run in high-speed foiling catamarans? Hard to say but it’s probably safe to assume it will be another cutting edge style event. To the dismay of hard-core traditionalists, the smart money isn’t on the 36th America’s Cup being held on J-class yachts. However, there is talk, maybe rumor is a better word, of the Cup possibly returning to monohulls. Some have speculated that perhaps a foiling mono that employs much of the speed and excitement the cats have generated would keep the interest peaked and the technology moving forward. Not too long ago Beneteau announced its plan to race a fleet of foiling monos for the famous Le Figaro singlehanded race in 2019 and the legendary Volvo Ocean Race announced it will use “foil assisted” monos in 2017-18 edition. It certainly seems in the realm of reality that organizers would seize the opportunity to both push the envelope further and placate monohull purists, which there are many.
Of the criticisms of the 35th AC, this notion of meat over mastery has to be on the top of the list. Boiled down there were only a couple of men on the boat actually sailing – the rest of the crew simply generated energy, on bicycles no less! For sailing purists nothing was as disappointing as seeing exercise bicycles installed on flying boats and calling it sailing. But this is the interesting element of the America’s Cup event – rules are written specifically for the contest and design teams get to the business of cracking codes and solving engineering puzzles.
It’s still a rumor but definitely an interesting notion. Beyond the boat design, the new AC Defenders are also expecting more teams to participate. In a recent interview on New Zealand radio Peter Burling & Blair Turk said they anticipated most or all of the 35th teams would be back with expectation of more teams. It would stand to reason that the Kiwi team would concentrate on making the next AC as affordable as possible since they struggled firsthand with what was called an “extremely strict budget.”
For now, while the Challenger and Defender spitball what will become, we sailing fans can blab to each other what we think is best (post your thoughts below!). It’s fun for a while but anticipation gets old. Soon we will see the whats and wheres, only to no doubt be answered with some resounding “whys??!!?”
| A Sailing Association of Ametrica release || July 14, 2017 |||