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Workboats or Warships a National Shipbuilding Strategy for Canada

Workboats or Warships a National Shipbuilding Strategy for Canada

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Published by John Rong

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Published by: John Rong on Apr 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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R O B E R T A L L A N L T D .
NAVAL ARCHITECTS AND MARINE ENGINEERS230 - 1639 West 2nd AvenueVancouver, BC V6J 1H3 Canada
Telephone ral@ral.bc.ca Facsimile(604) 736-9466 www.ral.bc.ca (604) 736-9483
September 14, 2009
Robert G. Allan, P. Eng., FRINA, FSNAMEExecutive ChairmanROBERT ALLAN LTD.Vancouver, BC
I have been an active member of the Canadian Shipbuilding industry for 38 years. I have participated actively in the Canadian Shipbuilding Industry Association for nearly all of thoseyears, including many as a Director. I have sat as a Member of the following committees dealingwith this subject:
Task Force on Canadian Shipbuilding & Ship Repair Industry, reporting to theMinister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (1978);
The Committee on Design Development for PWGSC (1993);
The "Technology Roadmap" Committee for Canadian Shipbuilding (2002); and
As a member of the several iterations of the Shipbuilding and Industrial MarineAdvisory Council as advisers to various Ministers of Industry and Trade from 2002through 2005With that background, it is somewhat difficult to view the present planning process for aCanadian Shipbuilding Strategy without some degree of scepticism. Will we REALLY developa workable strategy on which the industry can move forward, and will the shipbuilding industry,now weakened almost to the point of dissolution, be able to respond effectively?The following is a position paper which I wrote in 2002 as part of the TechnologyRoadmap Committee. It is, to a very large degree, still entirely germane to the debate, andtherefore I attach it here as my considered viewpoint on this subject, with only minor editingwhere events have made the original comments obsolete.
Page | 2September 14, 2009Ref. 00-00
A Personal Position Paper On The Draft Technology RoadmapReport, With A Focus On The Shipbuilding Industry
by: Robert G. Allan, P. Eng.Robert Allan Ltd.Vancouver, BC
(Note: Text in blue italics has been added in 2009 to reflect current issues where relevant.)
The fundamental goal for Canada's marine and ocean industries must be to maintain andideally grow the capability of this sector to support and enhance Canada's claim to sovereigntyover its coastline, territorial waters and all the maritime resources therein, and to enable Canadato exercise jurisdiction over these waters and resources.The achievement of this goal requires the implementation of a long term national policyframework where those sectors of the marine industry which have historically shownindependent strength are reinforced and encouraged to grow, and where new businesses whichcan definitely contribute to growth in the country's maritime industry are similarly nurtured. Inaddition, the industry must be shown to have real potential for long term stability and growth inorder to encourage a new generation of Canadians to carry on and grow the tradition of excellence which has been a hallmark of this industry since the earliest days of the country'sformation.This stability and growth can be accomplished through a protracted, coordinated andcarefully focused effort between industry, academia, and Government. The various sectors of the marine industry should be encouraged to develop those synergies which provide the greatest potential for mutual benefit.
Page | 3
1. SHIPBUILDING...Past Successes and the Reasons why
The Canadian shipbuilding industry has a long and proud history that encompasseseverything from the world's finest 19th century sailing schooners to modern world-classice-breakers. In between are a diverse group of vessels that have been designed and builtin this country to serve our unique, expansive coastline and its network of coastal marinecommunities. This vessel history is primarily comprised of:
Coastal Transportation Systems
- including tug and barge systems, self- propelled barges, ferries, and a limitednumber of coastal trading vessels
 River Transportation Systems
- notably those on the Great Lakes and St.Lawrence River which have high ice-goingcapability, and on the Mackenzie River system where extreme shallow draftcapability is required
 Icebreaker Technology
- the development of oil and gas reserves inthe Beaufort Sea in the 1970's led to thedesign and construction in Canada of themost advanced ice-breaking vessels of their type in the world
Great Lakes Vessels
- the demands and constraints of the St.Lawrence Seaway creates a need for uniquely different vessel types
Special Service Craft 
- the harsh and remote nature of the majorityof Canada's coasts and marine environmentscreates a demand for patrol craft, search andrescue vessels, research vessels, supplyvessels, Nav-Aids vessels and similar specialized workboats which are uniquelyconfigured to Canadian operating conditionsThe Canadian marine industry has for generations successfully provided the designs and built the ships which have ensured that our coastal communities and industries were provided with the supply lines necessary to continue their existence. In some instancesthe example of these vessels has led to demands for similar vessel types in other countries, although these opportunities have accrued more to the design community thanto the shipbuilders.

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