Published at Monday, May 14th 2018. by noah seihan in Cruise Ship Cabins.
The looming SOLAS 2010 implementation date offers both perils and opportunities. The biggest peril is the possibility that the expense to bring a ship into full compliance with international standards will be greater than the value of the ship. However there is a silver lining in this cloud. This pending SOLAS implementation date has already started to show up as a primary factor in the asking and selling prices of ships on the market today.
There is a company called Kiteship that has developed and produces kites for racing sailboats. These sailing kites do not require a mast. The kites fly high above the vessel attached by cable and controlled from the vessel. Dave Culp of Kiteship has done a technical feasibility study on fitting a very large kite onto a conventional cruise ship. This would dramatically reduce fuel consumption. It would convert a fuel guzzler to a green machine. This is tantamount to converting a powerboat into a sail boat. The design of a cruise ship limits the amount of sail that a conventional ship can safely accommodate. A cruise ship lacks the ballast of a sail boat. If used in addition to the main engine(s) the kite will increase fuel efficiency. If the kite is used to pull the ship with the main engines shut down the ship`s speed will be reduced substantially. However in this case not only would the ship save IFO (main engine fuel) but also save MDO (generator engine fuel). If the kite were pulling the ship unassisted by the ship`s engines then the propellers could be used to propel the ship`s generators without firing up the diesel generator engines. Even if the ship were traveling very slowly in the water the propellers would turn in reverse if freed from the main engines. This is a very simple and easy task for the ship`s engineer to accomplish. In other words the ship can be pulled by the kite and that motion will push the ship`s propellers providing power to produce electricity and power the air-conditioning without using any fuel. The trade-off is a loss of speed and also some tacking is required further reducing actual speed. What`s the rush? Why not go for maximum fuel savings? The salient point is that a high flying large kite can pull a cruise ship. If I were a co-owner of a cruise ship I would hope to find like minded co-owners who would be receptive to using such state-of-the-art technologies to save fuel.
It may be hard to believe but the show by the Blue Man Group actually exceeds NCL`s hype! It was the most unique (... yes I`m using that word again... ) and professional act I`ve seen on any cruise ship. Thoroughly funny and entertaining I would rather see that show night after night than to sit through some of the same old Broadway song-and-dance shows I`ve seen on so many other cruise ships. The Blue Man performance was in the ship`s main theatre which considering the size of the Epic was relatively small (with a seating capacity of under 600 people). However despite that fact the theatre was not packed because consistent with NCL`s concept of Freestyle Cruising the Epic was designed with multiple entertainment venues each offering a different show.
Do the math. If one hundred buyers pool resources in exchange for a percentage of ship ownership the acquisition cost will be divided by that same number. One percent ownership of a $250000 cruise ship would cost a mere $2500 for ship acquisition. At the other end of the scale one percent ownership of a brand new mega cruise ship would cost five million dollars.
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