Sunday, January 31, 2010

Commodore Life

(fm the BC thread "Jobs")

I have ideas on how to make money.

This would be a great time to buy up surplus merchant shipping that is sitting at anchorage in places like Singapore. Shipyards are also underutilized right now and this should be a good time to bargain hard for deal if you can bring them work. My idea is to take small to midsize, 6-9000 dwt, freighters and replace the old diesel plants, no one runs steam anymore in a merchant ship, with one of the small sealed nuclear plants that are occasionally mentioned. In addition it should be possible to fit them for modularized defensive systems that could be installed and removed with special teams when transiting pirate infested waters. The two greatest expenses in operating a ship are the crew and the fuel and a third is insurance. Improved technology reduces the crew size and nuclear power eliminates fuel costs as an operating expense, once the plant is installed and subject to refueling once every five years or so. Unfortunately I am not a nuke, and I get to glow in the dark with distressing infrequency. It is my wild ass guesstimate that a 15 MW plant that could easily replace the diesel engine should cost around $15 million. With the cost of obtaining and restoring a suitable vessel, there is no reason to pay for new construction in this market, and the associated engineering and architectural work, the first unit should cost about $50 million and follow units significantly less. Since the economy is so bad this year it is a good time to do the shipyard work and with luck in a 18 to 24 months such a ship could generate profits of $100K/wk. I could see a market for variants that do not even engage in merchant shipping but function as mobile power, desalinization and waste processing plants. They would have lower costs and be in demand around the world.

Anybody have any loose change under their couch?

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