Business model: Tender/Parasite Mothership

(Larry G) #1

Wanna sail exotic destinations around the world? Have a small sailboat? Desire more space, safety, and creature comforts?

Why not ship your sailboat aboard our converted cargo vessel as we make the circuit of the South Seas? We installed extra davits for shipping/unshipping your smaller vessel (size/other limitations apply, see brochure) and can:

  • launch/recover you on a daily basis
  • re-supply consumables
  • provide scheduled services and repair minor damage

We’ll save you fuel and wear on your day-sailor, and once we arrive, you have an extended stay available at a number of locations on our regularly scheduled route. Meet us or leave us on the circuit at any time from an airport along our route and have your vessel delivered back home at the end of our circuit. Take advantage of our network of partners for accommodations, services, and entertainment along our circuit.

Don’t want to sail, but enjoy ocean voyages? Looking for a leisurely stay that is not on a cruise ship day-trip schedule? Want to avoid crowds on your voyage? Need to ship inconveniently large individual items to your island retreat? Rent cargo and living space with us to your items to your destination.

(Matias Volco) #2

I love it Larry, but it’s not really, YOUR model is it?

Of course Larry’s Model is not exclusive to Government Institutes and explorer yachts. Cruise ships have become so dull and land like, not unlike floating cities, that explorer cruises are more popular than ever and indeed operate Larry’s Mother model

(Larry G) #3

Nothing is new under the sun. That looks like perhaps one rich person’s nesting toys?

What I pictured came more from watching fast boats on davits on cargo ships, and lifeboats. Sailboats would come with difficulties if there were multiples…

But the business model is the crux. Probably a sideline on a seastead enterprise doing something else as a main line.

(Matias Volco) #4

I very much like your honest idea for such a business. A slow drifting Ramform orbiting the Caribbean or the South Seas could accomodate sailboats.


Would be better off using the type of semi-submersible ships that they use to lift and repair semi-submersible platforms, and ships, for repairs. Very large flat deck with room for all those sailboats to be dry-docked/on-davits. Set them all to a single water-line, so any one, or multiples can be loaded/unloaded at any time…

(Wilfried Ellmer) #6

What ever business you do - if you do it on a Ramform you will probably be able to have a successful phase 1 conversation - getting the right reaction (reaction B interest).

If you do the same business on a ship - you are still “just sitting on a ship” and therefore get probably reaction A - a laughstrorm - wenn saying " - this my friend is the future of ocean colonization - after all you just sit on an old ship - people have been there people have done that - doing it again is pointless in the context of developing ocean colonization technology and solve the bottleneck. The evolutionary step towards seasteading you do, when doing business on a ship is basicly cero. | It is about the inner makings that create a evolutionary line to seasteading | ships are not solving the bottleneck - we know that already - if they did - shipseasteads would be among us already since Isambard Brunel…


At the moment, 4 Ramform vessels are in ‘Cold Stack’ (storage)…

Ramform Viking
Ramform Explorer
Ramform Challenger

and either

Ramform Valiant
Ramform Vanguard

None of which are on the market, even as they are building a new class, the Ramform Hyperion, expected to launch next year.

Ramform Explorer was the first Ramform, and launched in 1995. At 21 years, it still has a considerable service life. I doubt seriously, that anyone will acquire a Ramform ship any time soon. Certainly not from PGS, the current sole proprietor of ALL known Ramform ships. Since they also have the capacity to be converted to an FPSO (Floating Pumping, Storage and Offloading) configuration, they probably will serve until their useful life ends…

PGS has all 10 of the Ramform vessels ever built, that I know of, inspired by the first Marjata, which is still in service of the Norwegian Navy, along with Marjata II, III and IV.

(Larry G) #8

Not being driven by hubris, I neither care much whether “people” laugh nor am I claiming to have the future of an entire industry and an entire lifestyle in my hand.

On the other hand, if somebody wants to do this for their own self, for the PRESENT of ocean colonization, they could probably find a way to get the bills paid and get the lifestyle they want.

And yet, it’s funny, how people tend to do the same thing over and over again regardless of how pointless YOU (or I for that matter) may consider it. You constantly say there is “no value” in used ships. The existing market in used ships belies your opinion.

(Matias Volco) #9

Confused observers should read Wil’s earlier link

A concrete honeycomb shell structure that goes beyond "of the shelf marine technology"
A form to grow in a permanent continuous process
A successful business on it that can power this continuous growth processThe will of the owners to drive the venture trough all three phases of development Investor interest and participation as base condition for frontier development
The making of a point instead of being a pointless developmentThe solution of the seasteading technology bottleneck
Its place in the “history of developments that lead to permanent dwellings at sea”

(Larry G) #10

September 28, 2016

MV Svenja’s voyage began in Shanghai on August 30th when she started loading eight Stan Pontoons that were built at Damen Yichang Shipyard, China.

The 12,975 DWT SAL Heavy Lift vessel then sailed to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam to pick up six tugs that were built at Damen Song Cam Shipyard.

Striving for efficiency
“Transporting multiple vessels on one heavy-lift ship makes the whole delivery process as efficient as possible,” informs Damen Service Coordinator Heavy Lift Rimmert Berlijn. “This, in turn, allows us to keep our prices as low and as competitive as possible.”

While the success of this strategy is proven – last year, for example, 38 vessels were transported in two separate transports

(Larry G) #11

It would appear that a significant number of people who sail the Caribbean are members of organized yacht clubs.:

This would be a potential market for mothership services. Concentration of outreach by contacting clubs and organizations is probably more cost effective than trying to reach customer through sales records, referrals, or other means.

(Matias Volco) #12

a significant portion of the sailboat and yacht charter in the Caribbean

  • sails island hopping closed circuits and often avoids islands farther than a day away
  • complements sailing with a hotel room or villa stay with abundant cost and guilt free water for the shower - ironically since many of those islands get a harsh dry season.
  • gets bitten by female disease carrying moskitos while sleeping landside; but never during shore excursions.

Motherships could change for the better the tourist experience and economic dynamic of the Caribbean.

How can this become 1) Possible 2) Competitive with land resorts and marinas?

(Larry G) #13

Form a Co-op business. Recruit the necessary expertise for a share in the enterprise, raise the money among the co-op members, our base the platform, sell the service to yachties. The same way anyone would start a business. Take a risk, get other risk takers involved.

I’ve already taken an entrepreneurial risk. I’m recovering from it financially (and health too, honestly) but once I have I’ll be looking for another opportunity to master my own fate.

(Matias Volco) #14

Sorry to need clarification but the physical manifestation of the business would be literally a ship much like the Svenja?

(Larry G) #15

Or something a bit more ocean barge-like. But yes, in essence.

(Matias Volco) #16

Sorry Larry I swear you were just making light of the ramform, because it is essentially a floating marina or slow moving mothership. Otherwise what you envision has indeed the same pricetag as the billionaire toy I posted before. Or I don’t understand the model yet.

(Larry G) #17

I have no reason to make fun of the Ramform. Legitimately, it is a patented design of vessels that have been put into operation.

The unofficial “ramform” concepts that have been put forth in conceptual drawings are also fine. The only practical criticism I have is unrealistic scale.

I am talking about a near-term, achievable, affordable conversion. And no, it wouldn’t take tens of millions. I would only propose it for a vessel purchase in the hundreds of thousands to low millions. In other words, within the reach of a handful of middle class Americans or Europeans to self finance as a shoestring startup. Or for a small company with a established track record in something marginally related to get bank financing.

I have pointed out actual vessels, actually for sale right now today, that are within this budget.

Maybe if you prove the concept with a conversion, you’ll ge the millionaire investors interested in building ramform city. (Shrug).