Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Death off Cebu

There is an awful inevitability about the sinking off Cebu with heavy loss of life of the Philippine domestic ferry St Thomas of Aquinas, after a collision with a cargo vessel. Both ships were 41 years old, sizeable relics of the developed world shipping operations that passed them on to the maritime developing nation, whose owners find it difficult to afford anything better. Continue reading

Watertight bulkheads – full of holes.

It is not a brilliant idea, once you have installed a watertight bulkhead of sufficient strength to withstand the sea, should it be lapping at one side of it, to then drill it full of holes to accommodate pipe and cable runs. And while you obviously have to pierce such bulkheads for very good technical reasons, there are ways of going about it that do not effectively render the barrier about as much use as a colander (possibly a more relevant comparison than a chocolate teapot). Continue reading

Piffle at Posidonia

Posidonia has been and gone again and the organisers deserve congratulations for their efforts at putting on a show that perhaps demonstrated that all was not completely lost in the economic wreckage of Greece. Continue reading

Will “gigantism” work?

What’s the attraction in building “mega-containerships” , with these monsters being extruded out of far eastern shipyards in increasing numbers, at a time when demand is flatlining if not actually in decline? Who does it benefit? Continue reading

Ageism returns to shipping

As one who is dwelling in life’s twilight years, it is difficult not to be sensitive to all the angry articles about irresponsible baby-boomers who have spent their childrens’ legacies, and how the younger generation will be working their fingers to the bone to pay the pensions of these non-productive members of society. Continue reading

When times get tough…

Clay’s latest blog is a stark reminder that as an industry, shipping really seems to be in denial about the reality of recession… Continue reading

Even tougher tugs

My recent blog on weak walled ships seemed to have struck a chord with people who spend their time handling them. Continue reading

Weak walls and tough tugs

“T” is for Tug. It is the generally accepted painted mark on the side of a ship where it is safe for a tug to put its nose against the larger vessel and gently push it alongside, assist in turning the vessel short round and generally help in close manoeuvring. Continue reading

Why shipping stays offshore

A small article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal brings back memories. In the article, John Coustas, CEO of container operator Danaos Corporation, reflects on the things that went wrong. Continue reading