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Knickerbocker Maritime has been engaged in some very interesting projects.  Here are few items we would like to share.


The Seasnake is a concept of using an articulated vessel comprised of a tractor unit and a series of barges.  The units are connected via bayonet style pin connections that allow for complete rotational movement and fully restrained in translational movement.  The unit has the positive characteristics of both ships and ITB/ATBs, without some of the difficulties encountered in other systems.

The Seasnake has been reviewed by ABS, University of Michigan and AMSEC / M. Rosenblatt & Son among others.

It is being marketed by Jacques Pierot and Sons, Inc. shipbrokers and Knickerbocker Maritime.

Seasnake LLC


Wing Systems

We believe that wind is a good source of energy to propel ships.  It worked for thousands of years on merchant ships and warships and still works for sailing craft.  In fact, that shipping magnate and world class sailor Rich du Moulin only last year broke a major sailing record held by a merchant ship, the Seawitch, since 1849!  In recent decades, several attempts have been made to use wind assistance to help cut energy consumption on ships.

We believe that the Wing Systems method is a solid one because it capitalizes on the following elements:  very large merchant ships, particularly tankers and dry bulk carriers are relatively slow moving given their size.  Fast moving vessels will derive little gain from wind power assistance because the available energy is just not enough in practical applications.  Very large merchant ships have a suitable hull shape to handle the loads from the wing sails.  We also believe the wing sails will also stabilize vessels in a seaway.

While the scaling laws make for a great graduate thesis, we had to get practical.  So we tested it on a thirty foot model (9.2 meters).

We like the results.  We invite you to look into this project even more.

Wing Systems


Rippowam-Cisqua Submarine

We are now in our third year with the Rippowam-Cisqua middle school program whose purpose is to make a conceptual design of a research submarine with a small, deep diving submersible.  Our principals have been instrumental in getting some strong industry backing behind this effort.  The teacher has now been able to take the students on field trips to maritime academies and onboard vessels as well as provide the access to resources such as SNAME, Connecticut Maritime Association, Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, US Merchant Marine Academy, SUNY Maritime, Seaworthy Systems and General Dynamics/Electric Boat.  This project is growing each year in its clarity and program to great success.  It has been a major element in teaching the middle school students math skills, basic science and engineering principals, how to research, how to manage a project and how to present the results.


Columbia University

We have presented an overview of tanker shipping to students at the Columbia University program at the Center of Energy Policy and Marine Transportation.  This seminar outlines the basic structure of the shipping industry and highlights that make shipping so interesting.  Although we concentrate on tankers, we also show how owners, operators, charterers, regulators, suppliers and the public interact in this industry.

This is the time that we stress our beliefs that shipping is more important to the global economy than people give it credit for and that shipping is truly a multinational industry that everyone can learn from.

Our favorite expressions:  "When goods don't cross borders, armies do" and "Ships, by definition, are free trade zones."


Clemson University

Clemson is the location where the State of South Carolina is housing its brand new Center of Excellence called the Center for Historic Preservation.  This is not a typical preservation type program in that this center addresses the issues on "how to" and "what to preserve."

Clemson is located in Charleston, South Carolina which was and still is a major maritime center in North America (and hence the world).  There is an uneasy dynamic between the industry and the location because they both have slightly different views, but both know they cannot survive without each other.  Unlike many programs which cast an excessively romantic light on a particular past, we do not.  Shipping has historically been messy and the piers have been located in the bad part of town.  But the longshoreman make good wages and the goods being traded are often the basis for a strong economy.

We are excited to be involved because we have access to outstanding resources to help our efforts in connecting the geography, economics, social environment and history of the region in ways that are far more sweeping than typically done in the past.



"Don't mess with his rice bowl" is an expression which everyone knows.  Rice is an extremely important commodity in the world.  It is the single largest source of caloric intake on a global basis.  It is the grain that advanced societies move towards after wheat products.  It is more valuable than oil.  It is more difficult to transport than any other grain.  It is politically charged.  It is a fascinating market.

The State of Arkansas is the third largest exporter of rice in the entire world behind Thailand and Vietnam.  We have been working with the farmers, independent mills, shippers and buyers of rice in order to help streamline the process and make a more profitable stream.



Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamship Company

Working for Tritec Marine Consultants, a Stena company, we worked on a project for a basic terminal design and survey document for the ferry service that operates between Bridgeport, Connecticut and Port Jefferson, New York.  The ferry terminal in Bridgeport has been heavily taxed in terms of its infrastructure and fees in order to provide income to the Port of Bridgeport.  Our survey addressed many things including frequency of service, traffic queues and terminal design to integrated into the grand plans of Bridgeport, Connecticut.


Private Customers

Knickerbocker has worked for several private customers on some VERY interesting programs.  However we can say the following:

  •  Private investment firms interested in shipping.
  •  Private individuals with specific projects that have special considerations.

Updated:  4 February 2006

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