Friday, November 06, 2009

Pacific Aerospace Corporation P-750 XSTOL

Photo from Pacific Aerospace

Here we have another outstanding product that could make a great little air freighter for Labrador. Capable of turbine powering itself onto a postage stamp, in a tough as nails, stable platform. And one that can carry 4000 pounds doing it.

Even better, this little jewel does so with a rather stingy diet. Managing to consume only 50 gallons of fuel per hour they say. What's that? Can it handle a short Labrador airfield you ask? Well, it does considerably better then that. Watch it own this mountain top dirt road, with 4000 lbs of goodies!:

Now that is impressive stuff folks. And capability and affordability the Labrador coast sorely needs.

Here is the P-750's company page

Monday, October 26, 2009

More current candidates to serve the coast

Yet another decent ship suited for the small, basic port market is the Pallet Carrier ship. Particularly ones geared with 20/35ton cranes. These are supposed to center around the newer Euro-pallet craze, but are often reefer equipped or will handle TEU containers as well. Perhaps with some effort, large dimension stone as well. Most likely in smaller quanities. Here is a good example as seen at Auckland Shipbrokers:

The listing can be found here:

Here is another Ice classed 1A rated ship at Scandinavian Maritime Services:

Found at this location:

The Ice Class is interesting, as few ship are stated as meeting Canada's new Polar Classing scheme. All existing ships apparently requiring permission from the Authorities to gain a new rating. This is interesting in that the most obvious justification for the expense of a ship lies with utilizing it all year. Bringing in revenue all year. We will explore that in another post.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Serving the Labrador Coast, a different type of Ship

One issue plaguing the Labrador Coast is we try to make the coast fit "Standard" solutions. This imposes costs out of scale to serving the region. For instance the economy does not offer significant exports. In the near term it will not likely develop them. The fact is, heavy importing of goods are not offset by revenue returning exports. Very few coastal entrepreneurs could fill a 20 foot container with their goods. Placing them at the mercy of the mail service and their subsidized rate structure. At least if they want their products distributed.

But again we are dealing with standard options. Consider a small coastal freighter. One uniquely dedicated to coastal trade. We are not requiring a massive freighter. Hence we can dispense with many costs associated with them. Of course we still want a safe, modern and inexpensive to operate type. If it utilizes green propulsion, even better. Perhaps Bio diesel or Natural Gas/Electric Drive. Certainly it should be up to full Canada ice standards.

Consider this as a starting point:

This is a ship used by the thousand in WWII. It is the U.S. Army FS/FP class freighter. It represents a class very adept to working in small out of way places. Ones with little infrastructure. Sound familar?

These little ships were expected to perform, and perform at an austere and organic level of economy. They were designed for autonomy and dependability. Easy and cheap to build. Not fussy over their staff. Many soldiered on many decades after seeing retirement after the war. A testament to their designers.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Shipping on a budget

Currently Labrador sees services from a relatively small seaborne contingent of fleets. Right now, the world is awash with various Marine transports, with a surprising number of cargo types suitable for coastal service. May of these are available at brokers for a pittance of cash. Surprisingly, many of these are in great shape and have much remaining sailing life in them.

The question for Labrador is what type of ships are needed. For sure a Geared Cargo ship is desirable. These have the necessary derricks and cranes to quickly offload the cargo. Ideally ones also carrying passengers would be ideal for a lower transport cost for coastal residents. However, these seem to be infrequently found. A Dry Cargo ship provides plenty of uses, particularly if it's gear allows stacking of containers. Currently there are some Container Carriers available. But they are hard to configure any other way, and tend to be high use items in the surplus ship market. Lastly there are also all manor of Landing craft around. Many of elderly or odd origin.

Aside from those are many types of passenger ships. There are a glut of light, overly top heavy cruise liners. Not particularly good for the Labrador sea. There are also a few genuinely laid out cruise liners that are much safer, but command premium prices. Yet every now and then you can run across a suitable ferry. Although most are unfit for this area. There are many good small ferries suitable for areas like Goose Bay to Rigolet, Cartwright and the sheltered communities just to the south.

Lastly there are all manner of service craft for a song. Tugs,Dredges,cranes and barges, and I'll add in the odd Tanker here, mainly as they garner tougher regulations and must be double hull in Canada. One could assemble quite a service fleet for $400,000 or so.

So there is a viable array of useful ships out and available. The question is what is needed and where. And what Labrador citizens would like to find employment with them. If it is too be done, it should be with local sailors. Even if they share time in the Naval Reserve service. Food for thought.