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ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

August 14, 2009

Bryan Nichols joins Marcon International

Bryan Nichols has joined Marcon International, Inc. of Coupeville, Washington as its newest ship broker. He brings with him nearly 21 years experience with Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland,Washington, where he was involved with the sales of tugs, barges, passenger boats and military vessels. In addition to shipyard sales, he was in charge of business development, marketing, contract negotiations and estimating.

His father, Matt Nichols, remains at the yard in a sales and marketing role, with the CEO position now being held by Len York, whose involvement with the yard was initially as an adviser to Ice Floe LLC which bought the shipbuilder's assets when it was in Chaper 11 bankruptcy last year.

Marcon says that Bryan Nichols' background further increases the depth of maritime experience that can be found at the brokerage.

"Although the world is struggling through the worst recession since World War II, we keep writing in our market reports that vessel owners and operators must look beyond the present crisis towards the future," commented Bob Beegle, President of Marcon. "It is time for us to do the same."

Marcon now employs a team of seven brokers and five administrative staff, specializing in the sale, purchase and charter of vessels in the towing, offshore petroleum, marine construction and research industries.

In addition to hiring another broker, Marcon has begun development of internal application software to give its brokers faster and more in-depth access to the information collected in its databases over the past 28 years. Development follows the "Agile Programming" method, which means the "app" will be in the brokers' hands within the next two weeks, with improvements made on a near weekly basis.

Since 1981, when Marcon International, Inc. was established, the company has brokered 1,052 vessels and barges for sale or charter worldwide.

Marcon's sales and charters to-date in 2009 are approximately half that compared to 2008, but it believes this will improve over the second-half of the year. Three newbuildings are scheduled to be delivered and a number of pending second-hand vessel and barge sales are expected to close within the next six months.


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