Cheap acquiring of ship

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This article is about acquiring (usually somewhat worn out) ships at a very cheap manner, fixing them up and equipping them with ecological propulsion systems, with the intent of cruising and (possibly) living in.

Ways[edit | edit source]

First way[edit | edit source]

In the developing world (e.g. Angola, Mauritania, Somalia, Aral Sea, ...) hundreds of stranded ships lay at beaches/coasts ready to be used for a variety of purposes and environmental projects. These uses/solutions can be :

  • breaking apart the vessel and salvaging materials (this is again commercially profitable due to the increased market prices of raw materials such as iron)
  • detoxifying and sinking the vessel for the construction of artificial reefs
  • fixing up the ship and making it again seaworthy to use it again (e.g. as fishing vessel, transport ship, ...).

Second way[edit | edit source]

A second way on how we might acquire cheap ships is through taking over confiscated ships (e.g. from illegal fishers,[1] pirates still highly active in Somalia, SE Asia, ...). Having heard that today's modern pirates are now using very large ships (motherships) and that some of these have been captured and confiscated by navies (e.g. US Navy, ...), I believe at least the first projects may be set-up by asking these navies to give (or at least acquire at low price) some of these ships for our environmental projects. At present the US Army, Navy, ... is heavily involved in projects to decrease their military vehicles' emissions, ... (again this will seem odd but its true) and would at least be interested in making some financial exceptions for our project. Despite this, some additional funding will still be required, but I believe given the economic background (money can be made afterwards trough reintegration into commercial circuit), your organisation will have no trouble finding organisations which may provide the (now very limited) primary sum of the money required.

Third way[edit | edit source]

A ship can also be simply bought. However, ships are often very expensive, only leaving the option of an end-of-life ship (EOL). The benefit of this option (despite is greater cost) is that very large vessels can be purchased in relative condition (major repairs still required dough). An article describing the costs of an EOL ship is available at Comparison of ecologic seagoing boats.

In practice[edit | edit source]

First way[edit | edit source]

In order to fix up the ship and making it again seaworthy, alternative, zero-emission propulsion technologies may be used. The use of these technologies would not only allow the vessel to operate environmentally but would also promote the technologies themselves and would finally also be very economically attractive for people wishing to buy a boat (as the vessel itself is bought at low-cost and as the zero-emission propulsion technology is cheaper in the long run as well). Examples of boats using zero-emission technology are the E/S Orcelle, Uni-Kat Flensburg and the E-ship. Fixing up the stranded ships is finally well-doable practically as most of them are sturdy and build from iron.

The environmental propulsion technologies that may be used in the latter case (which is the only one actually of interest for our purpose) include:

Alternative sails as

  • kites en royals; the company SkySails has build an automated system for them to be used commercially in ships
  • rotorsails, turbosails and wingsails

Alternative energy storage:

  • compressed air tanks and compressed air engines (an energy storage system is being build by Moteur Developpement International)

I would like to refer to the documentary 'Unknown Africa' (Angola-episode) and dozens of pictures of the Aral Sea to let you verify that indeed so much sturdy iron ships lay stranded at shores in the developing world.

We may :

  • map out the stranded ships slowly decaying at coasts in Africa and other parts of the world and
  • report this to shipbreaking companies, organisations/people in the market for buying boats and organisations occupied with creating artificial reefs (trough the sinking of vessels)

To cut the costs of mapping out the stranded ships, I believe there is an approach which would allow the map-out to be done much more economically. This approach would be the use of satellite imagery from Google Earth/Google Maps (which is easily and freely available online) to allow volunteers at home to spot the ships themselves and report/mark them (marking too may be done with Google Earth). When the images are not clear enough to definitely say whether or not certain items on the map are indeed stranded ships, they may pass along the information to people on the ground (government-sponsored organisations, ...) to go check out the spot/GPS-location in question.

Community-creation[edit | edit source]

As is well known, a ship operating in international waters does not need to restrict itself to much laws or etiquette. This can provide potential in making a large, unrestricted, open community at sea. At present, certain companies as Freedom Ship inc are already preparing on doing this. How the community can congregate/communicate amongst each other can also be easily dealt with due to the arrival of Wireless internet access systems. How this can be further refined may be found at an instructables-article I made (at . Where the members of our -still to be formed community- may be obtained can also be found at the Wikipedia; please refer to the intentional and new age communities articles (see and PS: Please note my "Cheap IRLP Amateur Radio"-proposal will not work here, as this projects only advantage is the sharing of information in a circle of a certain amount of kilometers from a certain point by means of regular communication by radiowaves (which is cheap but does not have much range). As such, its use in open sea (which deals with great distances) is quite useless.

More information[edit | edit source]

  • Unknown Africa documentary

  • Creation of artificial reefs

  • Kites and royals

  • Rotor sails and turbosails

  • Energy storage systems

  • List of ships making use of zero-emission propusion technologies (E/S Orcelle) (Uni-Kat Flensburg) (E-ship)

  • Boat propulsion systems

  • UN Habitat (interested in providing people a shelter; which thus also may be houseboats)

  • Similar map-out project conducted with the search to Steve Fosset's plane

  • Confiscated pirate ships + overview pirates/Somalia

  • BBC Modern pirates documentary (especially part 1 + 2 is to be heard). Documentary provides info on pirates operation, some info on ships confiscated and size of ships/workings of the pirates (they have mostly small but also some large-very large ships)

  • The Belgica Genootschap-a organisation which may help in the fixing/repair of the stranded ships in practice if interest is raised enough. They have intent to salvage a (historical yet sunk) ship from the bottom of the ocean in Norway. To my view, they should be interested in my proposal which would allow the money to be spend much better (recovering more damaged ships and gaining economical profits afterwards as well, if they are fixed up and put again in the commercial shipping; e.g. for transport or living boats, ...).

  • Other useful wikipedia-articles

References[edit | edit source]