COLUMN: Is it all hype? [The Bow Wave]

Readers are surely aware of anti-ship missiles and the threat they pose to military and civilian ships alike. Western anti-ship missiles have typically travelled at subsonic speeds whilst the Soviet/Russian and Chinese militaries used supersonic weapons that travelled at two or three times the speed of sound (Mach 2 or Mach 3).

COLUMN: Staying the course [Grey Power]

I was talking to some cadets attending a Nautical Institute conference the other day. They seemed exceptionally bright, had plenty of intelligent things to say and asked some searching questions of their elders who were doing the speaking. But in our conversation over lunch, they revealed two worrying facts about their cadetship.

COLUMN: Fuel for thought [The Bow Wave]

Over the past few years I’ve written about various options for fuelling work boats and cargo vessels. I’ve discussed batteries, fuel-cells and methanol, and I’ve also discussed the production of synthetic fuels for use in the maritime industry. This month I’m going to compare the different fuels and explain why I think that for the large vessels with high power and endurance requirements, we’re going to be sticking with hydrocarbons.

EDITORIAL: The great South East Asian maritime industry recovery

We continue to hear tales of doom and gloom about the Asian, particularly South-East Asian, maritime industry. Mostly, those tales are based upon the undoubted disaster that is the over-bought and over-borrowed offshore oil and gas sector. That sector, while obviously important, is not the be all and end all of the wider industry. And, even it is showing very definite signs of recovery after too many years of gloom.

COLUMN: Unmanned ships – because we can... [Grey Power]

In 2019, it is confidently announced, the giant Japanese shipping company NYK will despatch one of its ships across the Pacific under “remote control”. This exciting development undertaken with various specialist partners will, some say, smooth the path to true “autonomy”, although the ship is expected to have a crew on board, to monitor the machinery and to intervene if something goes wrong. It will also make the voyage legal.

EDITORIAL: Neglected Indian Ocean gets some overdue attention

Having recently driven from Fremantle to Sydney, I am well aware of just how wide our brown land is. I am also well aware that less than ten per cent of Australia's population lives in its western half. And, like most people in the eastern half, I was taught that James Cook discovered Australia. Eastern Australians are lamentably ignorant of the West and its enormous importance to all of us. Our ignorance of the Indian Ocean, what you fly over on the way to Dubai, is even more profound.

COLUMN: When size matters [Grey Power]

The other day, we listened to a broadcast of several thousand Italians shouting their anger at a public meeting in Venice. The clue is in the location, because they were vehemently protesting at the failure of their municipal authorities to prohibit giant cruise ships from their regular progress across the famous lagoon.

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