Visit any hedge fund or private equity shop that has done a deal involving ships, or even something carried on a ship (be it oil, coal, grains, containers, or any other industrial material) - what is the first thing you notice upon entering their office?
Invariably, in the lobby or conference room you'll find a model, probably three or four feet in length, of a tanker, container ship, Roro, or dry bulk carrier. The models range in quality, size, and detail, but the bottom line is simple - ships are cool. Anyone who's ever been involved in physical commodity trade wants to show that they're in "the club" by emphasizing their maritime connections. And anyone who's ever gone fishing on the Long Island Sound with their grandfather thinks they should be part of the shipping industry.
This page, therefore, is a tribute to that interest - and the passion (or outright amazement) created by something that's either side of one thousand feet long, made of steel, somehow still floats, and is capable of plying the most abusive conditions that the earth can throw at it.
No doubt, planes are amazing things. Concorde, the Airbus A-380, even a first generation 747 is a testament to engineering and the achievement of the human spirit. Trains can be impressive - something over a mile long, hauled by a quartet of locomotive engines, each weighing in excess of 400,000 pounds and generating 5000 horsepower apiece - is a powerful sight. But there is no argument that in the world of finance, trading, and operations, nothing garners more interest, propels more conversations, or gets a crowd's attention the way oceangoing vessels do. Ships are cool.