Thursday, 24 April 2014 | 12:45
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Proposed piracy solution

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 | 00:00
Trawlercat Marine Designs, TMD, is a Canadian company who has specialized in power catamaran designs since 1997. We believe we have made a major breakthrough in protecting ships, their crew and their cargo from Pirate Action Groups. TMD has purpose designed a 20m x 7.9m Personal Escort Vessel, PEV capable of escorting 2 or 3 ships at a time through the Gulf of Aden or anywhere else they are needed.
We have also developed a 20 Ship Convoy Plan requiring just 5 PEV’s with 4 to 6 crew that will ensure the safety of 20 ships transiting through known pirate areas. Having 20 ships at a time emerge safely through areas where pirates are known to be active should be a huge relief to all parties, especially the ship’s crew, ship owners and the ship insurers. The 20 Ship Convoy Plan is very cost effective for ship owners as the convoy rate per ship would be less than having 4 security personnel onboard 20 ships and without the issues and logistics involved in getting 80 armed security personnel on and off ships and to and from foreign Ports.
TMD PEV’s have an incredible 8,000 nautical mile range at 14 knots and speeds above 25 knots. This is due in part to their strong, light weight carbon fibre construction and many other unique design features. The PEV is a comfortable live aboard vessels for the crew and hardened with composite or ceramic armor to protect them. They can stay at sea for weeks, or even months at a time by arranging with one of the escorted ships to bring fresh supplies and refuel them at sea. Their long range capability allows them to make a North Bound Convoy, turn around and escort a South Bound Convoy, back to back and as far East as Oman. Our 23m and 26m, 6 to 8 crew PEV’s are capable of escorting ships over longer routes to and from Sri Lanka, India or South Africa.
The TMD 20 Ship Convoy Plan Procedure is simple, Assuming a West Bound Route commencing off Oman to the Gulf of Aden and North towards Suez the 20 Ship Convoy Procedure calls for the 20 ships to rendezvous in a chosen Safe Position where the 5 PEV’s will be waiting to meet them. The Ships Masters will have been forwarded the Convoy Procedures laid out on a Convoy Plan. With active lookouts and radar watches on 25 vessels early signs of trouble should be easy to spot. At the first sign of something suspicious the PEV Leader will dispatch the nearest PEV to take a closer look and keep any intruder(s) a safe distance away. With PEV security this tight there will be no need for ships to increase speed through these waters and this will save billions of dollars in annual fuel costs.
Close convoys are carried out during day and night transits of the Suez Canal with large ships slowing down to maneuver some slight turns. The slowing down and speeding up requires speed changes up and down the convoy line and at night a close watch must be kept on the radar and speed adjustments made to maintain a safe distance. The PEV 20 ship convoy speed will be constant making it much easier to maintain station and it will be nothing new to those Ships Masters and Deck Officers who have transited the Suez Canal in convoys.
TMD would be delighted to have Maritime Security Companies find the funds to purchase our PEV’s and set up PEV convoys. It is in the best interest of Ship Owners and Ship Insurers to help provide loans to these companies as it would be an investment in their own business operations. 40 three day, 1,000 nm convoys a year is achievable for 20 ship PEV convoys and would provide safe passage for 800 ships, their crews and the cargo. Financial returns from 40 convoys would result in a 5 PEV Purchase loan having a 3 year payback period and still allow the Maritime Security Company to invest in more PEV’s to expand its convoy business. In light of 2011 piracy costing US$1.3 billion for military operations, spending a fraction of this for PEV Convoys makes good financial sense.
All 20 ships arriving safely at their destination is the ultimate goal and “Safely” will ultimately be attributed to the 5 armed and armored PEV’s doing their job by keeping the ‘bad guys’ away.
TMD PEV’s use the best features from our proven recreational cruising catamarans including separate independent engine room systems; if one engine room is out of order for mechanical reasons, flood or fire the other engine room systems will take the crew to a safe port. The PEV’s will be built in production molds using the epoxy resin infused foam sandwich carbon fibre and Kevlar closed molding construction method. This method optimizes the amount of resin used resulting in a strong, light weight vessel built faster at a lower cost than one off hand welded heavy aluminum vessels. Carbon fibre nanomaterial is 100 times stiffer than steel and several times lighter than aluminum and is used by Boeing and Airbus in the wings and fuselage of their latest passenger aircraft using a similar resin infusion method. Thanks to positive buoyancy from the foam sandwich construction, watertight compartments and designed void areas, TMD PEV’s are UNSINKABLE - boats don’t get any safer than this.
TMD is in discussion with a Canadian boat builder who has built several of our catamarans, 16 catamarans for the UK offshore wind farm industry and a 25m catamaran using the epoxy resin carbon fibre infusion method. The Builder has agreed to take on our project and the PEV is ready to go into production, as soon as TMD finds its own funding to build the production plugs and molds and the first five vessels. Building in molds and using our production line methods will allow us to ramp up and turn out one PEV a week when the demand is there.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like further information or have any input that you believe will be helpful in accelerating the TMD PEV program. I trust this information and the attachments are of value to you and we can help each other to get this extremely serious situation under control, keep all our seafarers safe and reduce the US$7 billion cost piracy inflicted on the
Global economy in 2011.
Source: Trawlercat Marine Designs (TDS)
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