Noticed a day or two ago somebody from Hobart, Tasmania was clicking on my blog looking for information on the Natchan Rera and Natchan World. It reminded me that they both stopped operations in Japan at the beginning of this month. I tried to find if they have been re-deployed anywhere else yet, but could not find an indication of that. The Natchan Rera and World are large, high-end, luxury Incat fast ferries. Believe it or not, the market for fast ferries is becoming tighter and more narrow each month now. At one end is still relatively high cost of fuel. In the middle, with a large fast ferry, is the need to service a relatively large population with some affluence in a maritime environment where the distance of the transit is ideally less than 80 miles and there is some sort of nitch opportunity relative to air or land transportation. And, at the other end, is the current global economy which is dampening consumer and business spending in almost all locales. That doesn't leave too many places in the world to re-deploy 2 large new fast ferries, but I think I found an idea:
It would be to have the two vessels based out of Ad Dawhah, Qatar with trips to Abu Dhabi or Dubai, UAE and from Qatar to Al Manamah, Bahrain. From Qatar to UAE is a little too long, but the fuel should be cheaper there to make it work. From Qatar to Bahrain would be an ideal distance. The searoute avoids having to take longer distances on land and avoids having to cross borders with Saudi Arabia. The two UAE cities have the population and affluence, even in the current global economy, to make it work. The luxury of the above two vessels would fit the above markets. The economics would work, but I don't know if the logistics or politics would interfere or not.
View Larger Map
I also recently came across the following global map of much of the commercial marine traffic live on the net. Can play around with it, it's interesting: http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx
Lastly, here is a good place to monitor ASB's rollercoaster ride. Click on 'Price Chart' to see a good manipulatible chart and below that official press releases: http://www.investsmart.com.au/shares/asx/Austal-ASB.asp
BTW, I recently installed software where I can see the traffic on this blog. It's between 100 to 200 hits a day. About a third of them are Google searches where I can tell a lot of them don't know how to do good boolean searches, and miss the data they are looking for, which is often somewhere in this blog. Remember, with Blogger or blogspot.com, there is a search field in the top left corner for what you are looking for in the entire history of the blog, not just the current post you are on. About another third of the traffic on this blog is from industry and government sites directly involved with this technology, including from cities like Honolulu, Perth, Hobart, Canberra, Mobile, Washington, DC, Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong, and various related sites in Maine, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Virginia, Maryland, and Florida. The other third seem to be interested Hawaii residents and visitors planning their trip from the mainland.