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Technology Survey of Small Shipyards in the Pacific Northwest (The National Shipbuilding Research Program)

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Conference paper

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Shipbuilding large vessels in the United States has undergone a dramatic change. In the past decade, a major loss of the commercial shipbuilding market became evident. While this trend of a severely shrinking industry has occurred, the importance of small shipbuilding and small shipyards has emerged. This segment of the marine industry appears to be maintaining its market share and has in some areas experienced significant increases. Although the emerging small shipbuilding and repair industry seems to be a significant part of the future of the U.S. marine industry, there are many unknowns concerning this segment of the industry. Specific questions that exist concerning small shipbuilding can be placed in four general categories. These include 1 the current economic nature of the industry, 2 the current technical nature of the industry, 3 identification of available technology that can be used to improve the industry, and 4 research and development issues that can be pursued to improve the industry. This paper begins to address each of these issues. Previously employed models are applied in the work. On-site surveys of eight shipyards were conducted. Following completion of the surveys, the data have been compiled and analyzed. Based on these results, a description of the current level of technology application is presented and future needs in the areas of technology transfer, and research and development are identified.

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  • Marine Engineering

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