" Yuri Dedov's Third Way "
All was good, simple, and clear in our childhood: the smile is a flag of a ship, a song is an assistant of a builder, and it is fun to walk together..
After a number of years we become more reasonable, more cynical and apathetic, everyone enjoys her/his own life, both old habits and methods quite often pass to the section “how we were young”.
Unfortunately in the difficult life of a repatriate the bitter line is often drawn with an obvious stress on wasted time: “How we believed in ourselves”.
After a number of years I appreciate more an opportunity to meet a person who emphatically takes the way of the first “halutzim” (pioneers) regardless of the pressure of “that life” and the millstones of absorption: “We have come to this country to build it and ourselves in it!”. And I am not going to ask pardon for elevated style - such people have not died out yet.
For the most time of the three-hour conversation with Yuri Dedov he was smiling. But the shades of the smile varied from certainty to perplexity, from pleasure of success to confusion of misunderstanding, and hope.
Yuri, do you think that before you nobody thought of an idea of establishing the sea passenger service along the Israeli coast between the seaside cities?
No, quite the contrary, I precisely know that the similar ideas have been up in the air for a very long time. Many enterprising people repeatedly tried to set up such a service. We have to give due to their frequently reckless resolve!
So approximately 6 years ago some guys, the natives of the Eastern Black Sea Coast, simply brought here the hydrofoil, advertised it, and invited aboard journalists and the MKs, and with exclaiming “Wow!” they left the harbor...
In an hour the respectable passengers demanded mooring to the pier in order at no time to board this kind of ships.
It happens when people who have no imagination about the hydro-meteorological conditions typical for our coast undertake a business, and choose a ship type unprofessionally.
To go to the officials with the project prepared on the professional highest level, which provides all features of the coast, is a simple thing. But to go to the officials who experienced seasickness is extremely difficult. Their ears are deaf, eyes are blind, acts are obtrusive, and silence is eternal!
Well, about reeves and sand-banks on the way of the project we will talk a bit later, and now, captain, can you explain the idea of your project?
It is an establishment of the regular passenger service with the line Ashqelon - Ashdod - Tel Aviv - Herzliyya - Haifa. A regular service is economically profitable, because the Israeli coastline is created for ships to go along, transport passengers, and earn money.
- Because it is practiced all over the world, in places, where a coastline is economically less suitable.
- Because the country chokes in traffic jams.
- Because a trip by comfortable coaches and more comfortable trains cannot be a reason not to choose the third way - by sea.
- Because the competition is not a situation when one transport kind suppresses all others, it is a situation when they compete, and a passenger gets an option.
- Because it is practiced all over the world.
“I sailed over three seas – I know”
Basically I worked on commercial dry-cargo ships, but there you should quickly use time to think of a benefit of the cargo, a place of loading, conditions and variants which are expected and not, circumstances..., how to save resources, time for delivery, flexibility and competition.
In fact I am not a typical expert, besides the international captain's certificate I have the diploma of the institute of water transport with specialization “Economics and operation of sea transport”. So I thought of the project “High-speed coastal passenger transportations in Israel” both on the captain’s bridge, and at the office.
Yuri, but you mentioned how several years ago the attempt of demonstrating to the journalists and MKs had ended, what is this - the navigation along the coast of the Holy Land?...
Do you mean how they all imitated the admiral Nelson with “the bucket under the mast”? But the organizers did not take into consideration one well-known, simple and fundamental fact: along the whole Israeli coast there are athwart waves of one direction, that is not convenient for navigation. And for passengers of small one-hull it is a risk of suffering seasickness. Your faces will get green...
“I am not a seaman, I need explanations... "
From the Mediterranean Sea, there always appears a steady wave almost under a right angle to coast, which shakes a "usual" one-hull ship; it is not dangerous for life, but causes extremely not pleasant feelings.
What can be opposed to this sea roughness to sure of success, to receive the blessing of the ministry of transport? What is your proposal?
Catamaran is a two-hull vessel. And the idea is not new, passenger sea transportations by catamarans increasingly wins the market of passenger transportations all over the world.
Yuri, please describe the specifications of these ships, trip schedule, and fare in details.
Length - 24 m
Width - 6 m
Draught – 1.5 m
Power of 2 main engines - 1500 kW
Speed – 25-27 knots (50 km/h)
Seating capacity - 150 persons
Crew - 5 persons
It is the same fare as traveling by shuttle bus. After getting the planned capacity the ships will depart each hour or hour a half.
Today these ships are built at shipbuilding plants of the all world, and in the Far East, in Asia they are built with quality and for lower prices, therefore that economic parameters of this variant of transportations is brilliant, and also for the European ship owners it is a novelty!.. They have been using them for a long time with the name “Sea Bus”.
Today the information of carrying out the project of the coastal high-speed passenger transportations does not surprise anyone in Asia, especially in Europe, if they do not laugh, they will certainly be surprised. No wonder...
By the way, as far as that goes, in case of need the specifications of these ships allow us to convert them into storm-boats in some hours. No problems! In short only armchairs have to be removed. And they have 1.5 meter draught only...
"The draught means how deep the ship is in the water, doesn’t it?"
Quite right! And so such a draught will allow getting closer to any shore in our region, both in the south and in the north. Understand?
With such an idea you were met in Israel
by exclamations “Hip, hip, hurray! At last we will float!”?
Told loudly! Three years of purgatories are like water in sand! But 2 years ago when I came to a person who was interested in capacity of the working marinas, he instantly understood what this project carries to our city (Ashqelon), its sleeping Marina, he introduced me to necessary people almost for a day. And also we quickly found common language. I will never forget this exam.
The cross questions of the chiefs of various services in the Ministry of Transport got me worked up... Why? Because they were asked by professionals. When I was asked what they would have to do, I told the list of all requirements for starting my project.
Soon I have received this list marked with "blessing".
All the economic calculations I have made by “the worse way”:
The charges are maximally overestimated. For example, from port to port there is a loop in the sea with five mile distance from the coast due not to disturb our military.
The capacity for the first year is not higher than 30 %, with putting gradually new ships into operation, as the first ones cover the cost and the construction of new hulls is paid. All the people who are involved into transport and especially sea affairs whom I have met including the administrations of the marinas, the city government, ordinary residents and experts agree that the project is realizable both technically and financially.
“All are “for” and “Hip, hip, hurray!”- But soon there seem not to be any ships, right?”
In fact it is necessary to have a starting capital – and I have found neither sponsors nor the investors yet who are ready "to be engaged" in this business...
"Do you want me to be a gloomy prophet for you?”
Do you mean I will not find?
I do not want to believe, no, I do not believe…
And you know, I’ll tell you, in some months after the project submission one gentleman (Native Israeli) from the sea administration, who had helped carry out the project in the offices called me, and informed in a panic – there came "Israelis" speaking with the American trace offered the project – word for word like yours? He says to me: Why have you given it to anyone, what for?! But I have given nobody, however I do not know those people, I just distributed it in different offices when convinced, proved. Ideas fly not only in air – they can also float.
And I have not found investors, because I do not know who to address to. You know first all ordinary names occur in the head as the ministry of transport, a respectable bank, Mikhail Chernoi, Lev Levaev, Ben Zvi that... there are lots of them selected as Anatoliev and Grigoriev...
“Why so? Good names... "
Honestly, I do not know how to approach to them, many of them who were on my way introduced themselves as their relatives... Where did they vanish away with my papers, only they may know?
I can get no telephone and fax numbers, I do not know those people who could direct me to them. I tried to step up to the principal businessmen engaged in the field, they are not interested in it. For example Ofer brothers, they are our principle sip owners, for them my project is a trifle, they do not need such a head ache, they think it is a swimming in the marsh near the shore, and also with passengers: children, aged people, and disables, but they run hundreds of millions in intercontinental transportations. And here every minute a trouble occur to controllers, permissions, daily fuel bunkerage, moorings, scratches, insurers, God forbid, injuries, and in general for them it is a penny.
For me personally my project is a project of the Century!
For our Country it is prosperity! Real money flows to the Budget.
For the New Repatriates it is a flag – in fact we are able!
"There are banks left…"
In the Israeli banks I was directly told: Go!... Who are you to give you money? For a project at the future incomes? Go!...
It got ridiculous as I sent this project to the World Bank of Reconstruction and Development, and received the following answer: “You may dance yablochko (sailor’s dance)!
They are ready to give for the project 75 % of its cost, but if I find the rest 25 %.
"Tell me, captain, is it great money?”
The maximum amount is seven millions dollars, but we can start with one million.
"It is a ridiculous amount... "
Everyone says that.
“And maybe are you looking for an investor in the wrong way or place?”
Really I do not know where to look for in Israel in the right way, for that I have no Israeli past of the necessary "length"... And there is no organization which would help me look for.
Yuri, I am sure there exist such organizations. We, “the new Israelis”, have no opportunity to pay money to them according to the present pricelist...
One well-known American businessman of Japanese origin noted once: in Israel business will be successful if a project is Israeli, technical equipment is Japanese (also read Korean, Taiwanese...), and an investor is American!
I am afraid, it will be so, with a more accurate definition: the company is Israeli de facto, but the capital is a foreigner, the sailors are foreigners, and they will have their own incomes.
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