My Supertanker right or wrong

John K Clark (
Sun, 22 Feb 1998 21:57:29 -0800 (PST)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- on Sun, 22 Feb 1998 Wrote:

>"Very Large Crude Carrier" ("VLCC") (295,000 dwt) [...] presumably
>VLCCs are what utopians have in mind when envisioning "floating free
>zones". 95 NB - 2000 Resale
>VLCC: $100MM - $78MM - $140MM
>daily and annual operating costs over the next 5 years
>VLCC: $46,000 - $16.8MM [...]
>these boats are EXPENSIVE.

Some VLCC's are larger than 500,000 dwt, but the economics are even worse
than what you say. For their size supertankers are the cheapest ships on the
sea, partly because they're poorly made and designed to last only a few years,
but mostly because they're nothing but floating oil tanks. To convert such a
hulk into a ship capable of carrying lots of people could easily cost 10
times as much. If you were low on machine guns and thus expected people to
make the ship their home voluntarily then you'd have to make it somewhat more
comfortable than a slave ship, and that would cost at least 100 times as much
and probably much more.

Even if these economic problems could be overcome we'd still only exist at
the whim of the superpowers, if we were not good little boys they'd send a
torpedo up our ass and sink the ship so fast it'd bounce off the bottom.
I think countries suck and there are too many of them already, and I think
David Musick got it exactly right when he said:

"Aren't we *beyond* thinking of countries in terms of land area? Is't it
more realistic to think of countries in terms of organization,
communication and resource movement? [...] I see the idea of a "country"
as a relic from a dying age, as global economics blurrs and erases national

John K Clark

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