Correct Ways of Handling Live Crawfish

We all know that crawfish are very close to lobsters. It belongs to the family of Crustaceans. Like any other species God made them to have something to protect them from predators. It is called exoskeleton. It is the hard external shell that protects them from their enemies. However, there are some crawfish with soft shells which is being served by many restaurants. They are aquatic animals. During spring, female crawfish burrow to the water table. This is their moment to hatch their eggs which is about 400 to 800 eggs. You can find them in rivers, streams and highway ditches.

These are few of the characteristics of Crawfish that we need to know. Live crawfish are treasured by many. They all say that it is important to make sure that the crawfish is alive before boiling a crawfish. Well, it is because of the very reason that it taste so good and safe when they are boiled alive. It sounds torturing them, right? However, they are being taken good care of before that. So, the following are the right ways of handling live crawfish.

1. No doubt it is a fragile species due to their shells. It is required to handle it with extra care to maintain its beauty and life when it reaches the customers. In fact, sometimes advice is being spread out that a sack of live crawfish should be carried like carrying a baby. Indeed, it is very delicate but once cooked it will really satisfy you.

2. Once the sack of crawfish is carried, it must be set to the ground gently. Anyone must make sure that the whole body of the sack reaches the ground at the same time. It must not be piled up also in more than three sacks high. This will bring bruise to our most precious crawfish. Of course, you do not want that to happen so carry it with care.

3. It should be put in a cool place like a refrigerator or placed in a basin with ice till they are used in cooking already. In fact, in boiling crawfish among of its steps is to segregate the live ones from the dead ones. Therefore, even they are already bound for cooking there are still some that dies in the last minutes. I know it needs a little effort but it is really worth working on.

4. In case it is transported to a place make sure to give the crawfish an air to breathe in. They also need oxygen like human. So you may keep the lid slightly open but just make sure they cannot escape. Or else you will not experience the crawfish delicious taste.

Well, they say crawfish survives best in cool conditions. In fact, they are well at 50 degrees temperature. According to experts they do stay alive for up to 24 hours. That is why if you can cook them before the time dues you better cook it right away. If not, then just follow the right way of handling the live crawfish to make it stay alive and fresh.



Source by Ralph Crow

The Benefits And Guide To Using A Pizza Stone

A pizza stone is a simple kitchen utensil that is used and known for baking pizzas that come out of the oven with a more crispy crust. Pizza stones are also known for producing pizzas that are less fattening. These baking devices work by stimulating the extreme and even heat of an oven, especially the ones that use wood fire. These stones can also be used commercially in the restaurants of big hotels for instance, to make the perfect pizza for the customers. They can also be used in home ovens or on a grill giving the pizza a crispier and healthier crust. These special stones are quite easy to use as well as maintain.

Why Use a Stone?

There are a number of benefits of using a pizza stone, which include the following;

• Easy to clean. The stone is quite easy to clean, whereby, you will just wipe it off using a sponge and some water. There will be no need for scrubbing it.

• It balances the heat. The stone will also spread the heat evenly on the food being cooked. As a result, the food comes out evenly cooked.

• It gives the pizza a crispy crust. The stone is specifically meant to bake your pizza with a crispy crust, different from ones baked using an oven tray.

• Bakes faster and perfectly. Compared to the aluminum pan, a stone will bake much faster, but it will be well-baked. This helps to save you time.

• Easier to remove food when it is finished baking. When the food is ready, it will be easier to remove, since it will not stick to the stone.

Generally, the pizza stone is not just a stone, but more of a cooking companion, which will make baking easier.

How To Use a Pizza Stone

First things first, before you begin, you must have a pizza peel or paddle, which is used to put the pizza on the stone and into the oven. When that is done, you will need to do the following steps;

• Place the stone in the oven for preheating.

• Spread cornmeal or flour on the peel, prior to putting the dough on it.

• Place the dough over the peel, then add your toppings to the pizza.

• When the pizza is still in the oven, use a long spoon to spread the cornmeal on it.

• Use the peel to insert the pizza that is already on the stone into the oven and set your oven timer.

The baking time and instructions will depend on the type of pizza that you are baking.

Removing the Pizza

When your pizza is done baking, always know that the stone will be very hot at that time. If you want to remove it, never use a kitchen towel or the normal oven mitt. Conversely, you should use the same items you used to place the stone in the oven. Like you will need to use the peel to remove the pizza, before removing the entire pizza stone if that is what you want to do. Many people prefer to just leave their stones inside the oven until they will bake with it again. After you have already removed the pizza, you can remove the stone later when it has cooled down.



Source by Victor Alba

How to Cook With Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware – 3 Helpful Tips for Easier Cooking

If you’re new to cooking with Cuisinart stainless cookware, there are some things you should know about how best to use your new pots and pans. In this article, I’ll discuss how to cook with Cuisinart stainless steel cookware, so you can make the most of your new set.

1.) Do you need to preseason your Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware?

While preseasoning your stainless steel pots and pans isn’t absolutely necessary, it does help to prevent food from sticking. Stainless steel cookware doesn’t have a non-stick interior, like many of the pots and pans you can buy. The steel is very porous, and therefore it’s easy for food to get “stuck” within these pores. Seasoning the cookware helps to seal up these pores and prevent sticking.

To season your stainless steel pan, cover the bottom of the pan with oil and salt. You’ll want to pour in about 1/2″ to 3/4″ of oil. Place the pan on your stove burner, and heat it up until the oil begins smoking. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool, until it is safe to touch and discard the oil and salt. Next, take a soft cloth and wipe out any remaining oil and salt. Your pan is now ready to use!

Now remember the porous nature of the pan I mentioned previously? This also means that whenever you wash the pan in hot water, those pores will open back up, and the oil used to season will be washed away. Therefore, you’ll probably want to repeat this process after washing your pan. Again, the preseasoning isn’t necessary, but it does help to eliminate a lot of food sticking problems caused by not having a non-stick interior.

2.) Use a lower heat setting

You’ll find that you don’t need to use as much heat as your used to, when you cook with Cuisinart stainless steel cookware. Due to how the pots are constructed, they tend to heat up very quickly. Start with a lower temperature than you think you’ll need and gradually increase your temperature until you get used to how the pans heat up.

3.) Prevent food sticking

There are few things you can do (besides seasoning) that can help prevent food from sticking to your pans. First, always make sure that your oil is hot before adding any food. You’ll want to preheat your pan, then add the oil and allow that to heat up, and only then should you add your food.

Don’t try put too much food in the pot at one time. If necessary, cook up smaller batches of food.

What if you get burnt on or stuck on food? Try some vinegar and baking soda to scrub away tough food spots. Another trick is to use a product called Barkeeper’s Helper, or a cleaner specifically made for stainless steel cookware.

By following these tips for how to cook with Cuisinart stainless steel cookware, you’ll not only enjoy cooking more, but you’ll also be ensuring that your pots and pans will last for a long time.



Source by Emily A. Johnson

Is It Safe to Use Scratched Stainless Steel Cookware?

Stainless steel cookware is considered a good choice of cookware for the kitchen. It is the most popular cookware in North America. It is heavy-duty, durable, corrosive resistant and easy to maintain. However, it does get scratched if not being used and cared for properly which makes we wonder if it is safe using scratched stainless steel cookware.

Stainless steel cookware is made of iron, chromium and nickel. When abrasive materials are used on stainless pot or pan, the pot or pan might get scratched eventually. When cooking with a scratched stainless pot or pan, a small amount of iron, chromium and nickel will be released to the foods. Consuming a large amount of iron can cause excessive levels of iron in our blood which can be danger and at risk. The dietary reference intake lists the tolerable intake iron level for adults as 45 mg per day. The tolerable intake iron level for children under fourteen years old is 40 mg per day. The daily chromium intake in the United States is 35 mg for adult male and 25 mg for adult female. Cooking with nickel containing in stainless cookware will not add a significant amount of nickel to the everyday meal. However, sensitive individuals may show allergic reaction to nickel.

Studies have shown that using light scratched stainless cookware does not pose any significant risk to health concerns. It is said that the amount of iron, chromium and nickel released when cooking with the scratched pot or pan is less than the percentage of total daily intake. Nevertheless, if stainless pot or pan is severely damaged with deep scratches or shown signs of corrosion, it is recommended the pot or pan should be discarded. Severe damaged with deep scratches pots and pans should not be used since it is uncertain of the amount of iron, chromium and nickel released when cooking, and therefore might cause significant health concerns. It is also recommended individuals who have allergic reactions to nickel should avoid using nickel containing in stainless steel cookware.

Best of all, it is a good practice to only use soft cloth when cleaning to prevent damaging stainless cookware. To minimize the cause of damages, it is suggested abrasive cleaners are not used when washing, and avoid using sharp and pointy utensils when cooking. Although stainless steel cookware is resilient, without proper care, it can be damaged. When stainless cookware is damaged, it will not be at its best performance. For example, stainless pot or pan with copper-coated bottom can lose its good heat conduction when the copper layer is scratched. Consequently, damages also lessen the pot or pan’s lifetime value and appearance.

In summary, light scratched stainless steel cookware does not pose any risks to health concerns. Using light scratched stainless pot or pan is harmless as only a small amount of iron, chromium and nickel be released when cooking. Consuming a small percentage of iron, chromium and nickel which is less than the percentage of daily intake does not add significant to health issues. However, if the pot or pan is deeply scratched, it is recommended the pot or pan should not be used as the amount of iron, chromium and nickel released when cooking might be poisonous. It is important to properly use and care for stainless steel cookware. In order to keep stainless cookware at its best performance, avoid using abrasive materials when cooking or cleaning stainless pot or pan. By doing so, it certainly will prevent causing damages to the pot or pan and therefore enhance its durability and lifetime.



Source by Mimi Lou

What Is Tri Ply Cookware?

Tri Ply displays one of the worlds most popular and functional cookware concepts. Tri Ply is basically two or three different metals that are laminated or bonded together to obtain the advantages of the two metals in one piece of cookware.

The metals most often used to create this high quality cookware are stainless steel, aluminum and copper. This type of cookware is often more expensive but is very durable and conducts heat faster and more evenly. The two main types are with just a base or disc inserted in the bottom and on your top quality cookware the inside layer goes up the side as well as at the base.

The most popular type of tri ply is stainless steel with aluminum. This type has an aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. The construction of this type of cookware starts in the raw material stage, with sheets and blanks. The aluminum is laminated between two sheets of stainless steel and then molded into the desired shape.The highest quality of this type is when 18/10 stainless steel is used to cover the aluminum core with 18/8 and 18/0 being of slightly lesser quality due to the different amount of nickel and chromium used to make the stainless steel. This type of cookware, because of how it is constructed is expensive but worth the money since it lasts so long. It is great for all types of cooking and most brands can go from the stove top to the oven.

One thing to keep in mind when buying this type of cookware is that you can get the same high quality product without having to spend your life savings. There are quality cookware companies out there that can give you the same great product, made with the same materials as the top brands. Just be sure that you read up on the materials used and how it is made. The big companies know they are popular and will charge you more for their name so be careful.

Another type of tri ply cookware is made with copper, aluminum and stainless steel. It starts the same way as the stainless steel/aluminum kind but has copper laminated on the outside instead of stainless steel. It has three layers with copper on the outside, aluminum in the middle and a stainless steel interior. Copper is used for it’s conductivity as well as the aluminum since stainless steel alone is not a good conductor of heat. The process of making this type of cookware is also expensive, a little more so than the stainless steel and aluminum type. It is better for the stove top because of the insulation properties of the copper. Copper does react with food and will discolor it and can even be toxic with some foods which is why most copper cookware is lined with tin, nickel or stainless steel. Despite this fact it is still a top quality product. Having copper cookware will also make a statement in your kitchen with it’s classy look and mirrored finish.

As with all cookware products, as stated earlier, you want to do a little homework. Sometimes the big name brands are not the best buy for the money. You can look at what they offer for the price and compare. With a little knowledge you will most likely find a quality cookware set for about 30 to 50 percent cheaper than the big guys without compromising on quality.



Source by David Daniels

You Can Be a Cruise Ship Owner Even If You Are Not Rich

Unlike fractional ownership of aircraft and houseboats, fractional owners of a cruise ship can all use the ship simultaneously. There is plenty of room for you and the other owners to live on the ship any time you want, or all the time. You can use it as a full-time residence, and so can the other co-owners.

The first obvious benefit of shared ownership is acquisition cost. There are many cruise ships on the market in all price ranges, sizes, ages, and conditions. There are many smaller and older cruise ships available for less than one million dollars. At the lower end, some smaller cruise ships in fair condition can be acquired for about $250,000. At the highest end, the biggest new mega cruise ships now cost about $500 million to build.

Do the math. If one hundred buyers pool resources in exchange for a percentage of ship ownership, the acquisition cost will be divided by that same number. One percent ownership of a $250,000 cruise ship would cost a mere $2500 for ship acquisition. At the other end of the scale, one percent ownership of a brand new mega cruise ship would cost five million dollars.

There are some other figures that must be tabulated into the total cost of ownership. Acquisition cost is first and foremost. The next figure is the cost to put the ship in service. On an older ship this cost may be higher than the acquisition cost. On the other hand, the cost to put a ship into service can be much lower if you were to get a good deal on a ship that already meets the international standards for ship safety, especially SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). Maintaining compliance with Chapter II SOLAS 74 amendments is cost prohibitive for some older ships and they are typically scrapped instead of being refurbished at great expense. There is a very important SOLAS implementation date coming up on January 10, 2010. On that date all commercial international ships will be required to be in compliance with the new fire safety codes. The most important new codes deal with the use of combustible materials in the ship. It will be expensive to replace all combustible materials in ships with non-combustible or flame resistant SOLAS compliant materials that meet the new safety standards. This will result in many ships being sold for scrap metal.

The looming SOLAS 2010 implementation date offers both perils and opportunities. The biggest peril is the possibility that the expense to bring a ship into full compliance with international standards will be greater than the value of the ship. However, there is a silver lining in this cloud. This pending SOLAS implementation date has already started to show up as a primary factor in the asking and selling prices of ships on the market today.

SOLAS 2010 also offers a tremendous opportunity for those who may prefer to have a very large houseboat instead of a commercial ship. Ships that are not in compliance with SOLAS 2010 are now selling for a song (inexpensively). A cruise ship can easily be converted into a megayacht with the stroke of a pen. Privately owned yachts, not in commercial service, and not carrying passengers or cargo for hire are exempt from many of the SOLAS requirements. Operating costs are also lower for a private yacht. It cost less to register, flag, and insure a private yacht. Megayachts can be flagged and classified for unlimited service. That means that a megayacht can go practically anywhere you want it to go. There is one major drawback to registering a cruise ship as a private yacht. You cannot use the yacht commercially. This cuts off a potential revenue source.

There are many decent cruise ships for sale at prices of less than one million dollars that would make good private megayachts. For example, take the ‘VERGINA SKY’ is a ship that I have personally inspected and so I can talk first hand about it. The asking price was $750,000. Here are the specifics of the ship in a nutshell:

Current Name: Vergina Sky

Ship Details: Built: 1971 in Japan – totally rebuilt 1992 in Greece

Dimensions: LOA 97.8m x LBP 82m x beam 14.6m x draft 4.49m Dwt: 500 on 4,49 GT/NT: 4,668 / 1,717

Description: Pielstick 2 x 8400bhp, twin screw, bow thruster, 3 x 500kw generators, 16 knots, 2 saloons, restaurant, 3 bars, casino, duty free shop, disco, swimming pool, 120 cabins for 318 guests. Lying Greece

My Comments after inspecting the ship

This is a well built little ‘Pocket Cruiser.’ At just over 320′ in length overall, it is a small cruise ship. Many experienced cruise passengers prefer smaller more intimate cruise ships for a variety of reasons. This ship can go places where the big cruise ships cannot reach, such as shallow draft ports and even many rivers. It has an omni-directional bow thruster and can turn on a dime (relatively speaking of course). I have carefully examined this ship from the engine log to the ultrasound hull report. This is a sound and safe little cruise ship. It is also a very fuel efficient and economical ship. My first time on this ship was in the middle of the summer in Greece when it was very hot outside. The ship is fully air conditioned and it was cool and comfortable inside the ship. I checked the engine room to see how many generators were running. I am happy to report that all the electric and air-conditioning requirements can be met by running just one of the three Daihatsu generators. These generators are very economical to operate in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance.

I was able to negotiate with the owner, John Kosmas and get some concessions. I got the price down to $500,000. And at that price, he agreed to bring the ship into compliance with SOLAS 2005 and also to include new paint topside. The ship was fairly well furnished even including bed linen, but the ship had been laid up for years. Its most recent service was in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Cruise ships that trade exclusively in the Mediterranean and Black Seas tend to have smaller cabins and fewer amenities than the typical cruise ships that frequent the Caribbean. The bottom line is that this ship was an economy model, not a luxury model. When I was inspecting the engine room, I asked for the engine log. When I opened it I noticed all the entries were in Greek. I was able to discern some dates and other data that told me when the ship was last in service, but I could not read the Greek entries so I handed the engine log back to the ship owner, and told him “It’s all Greek to me.” Being Greek, Mr. Kosmas failed to find the humor in that.

Let’s look at the numbers on this ship. 100% of the acquisition cost would have been $500,000. 1% thus = $5000. One hundred buyers could own one percent each. There are 120 cabins so each co-owner could have a private cabin with 20 cabins left over. However, these cabins are a bit on the small side. Every cabin does have a bath and shower, but the size is just too small to be comfortable for most people, especially if the owners intend to live onboard full time. On a ship this size I would recommend that there be no more than 60 joint owners so each can have two cabins and will have the option of converting those two cabins into a two room suite. To keep the numbers simple lets say that this ship has 50 buyers who each buy 2% of the ship. Buy in cost per owner would then be $10,000. If there were only ten buyers, then the acquisition cost per buyer would be $50,000. $50,000 will not buy much of a house on land, but on this ship it would buy 10% of a ship like the Vergina Sky and twelve cabins that could be converted into a fairly large home.

At the economy end of the scale, a co owner could buy 1% of an economical cruise ship for about $5000. However it is not necessary for all co owners to have equal shares in the ship. Ownership can easily be divided up into 1% increments. If one buyer wanted 5%, then his cost of acquisition would be $25,000. He would be entitled to 5% of the ship’s cabins, and would have five votes on operations and management of the ship, such as itinerary planning.

Before becoming a joint owner, it would be imperative to find other people who have similar goals. I would suggest composing a preliminary DCCR (DECLARATION OF

COVENANTS, CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS). You can do this before you even shop for a ship. Write your version of how you envision the shared ownership of a cruise ship as it should be. Then see if you can find some people who agree with your goals and your DCCR, subject to some revisions and concessions to accommodate other joint owners.

Step One: Determine if you and your family have the desire and financial capability to become joint cruise ship (or megayacht) owners.

Step Two: Find others who agree with your concept for shared ownership of a ship.

Step Three: Shop for a ship. This is the fun part.

Step Four: Buy a ship.

Step Five: Put the ship into service.

Even if you are not rich, you can afford to jointly own a cruise ship. But then comes the next logical question: Why would you or anyone want to live on a cruise ship? Who would this be suitable for?

If you are retired or otherwise have a stable income from a dependable source you probably can afford to be a cruise ship co-owner and live full-time onboard a cruise ship. If you work in a field where you can work from home online, then you too can probably afford to become a co-owner of a cruise ship. Most modern ships have satellite Internet service available 24-7.

Operating a cruise ship is expensive. The expenses include the cost of fuel, labor, maintenance, repairs, spares, food, port charges, insurance, technical management, shore management, registration, and the other costs of operating the ship. At first glance these costs may seem expensive, but in reality the cost of living at sea is actually a bargain considering what you get based upon what you pay. The best value does not always translate to the cheapest price. If the ship is well managed, the management will seek the highest quality goods, services, and labor at the very best global value. If the owners are dissatisfied with either technical or shore management, they replace them.

If there are many other co-owners of the ship to split the operating expenses of the ship, it can be affordable for those with a moderate level of income, such as a retirement check. I do have specific operating cost figures but I won’t bore you with that data. The bottom line is that it would not be prohibitively expensive for a middle-class average person to be able to afford to own a fraction of a cruise ship and be able to afford to live on the cruise ship full-time if they elect to do so.

For comparison purposes it is noteworthy that you have expenses in land based housing too. Those expenses include property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance and repairs, yard care, and utilities. Additionally you have transportation costs and of course food costs. Most people also spend money on entertainment too. When these expenses are added up the maintenance fees for living aboard a ship are comparable.

There are actually some savings resulting from living aboard a ship. The ship’s executive chef buys food and kitchen supplies in bulk for the ship and can get better prices than the average shopper. Other savings result from the large freezers and the mobility of the ship giving the food service management the ability to stock up on supplies in countries where prices are low. Some crew and owners may choose to fish for leisure. This can supply some fresh food at even lower costs to the owners. Labor savings are realized when the crew is hired based upon the best global labor rates. The laws of supply and demand drive prices down in some places in the world. Proper ship management can capitalize on these disparities. All the savings would be passed on to the cabin owners resulting in an economical cost of living similar to what you could expect to spend with a conventional home. Ship management should have accounting transparency will all books (financial records) open and available for any owner to inspect. Also ship management should submit all financial records quarterly to an outside auditor for the peace of mind of the owners. Anybody in the chain who spends any of the ship’s operational funds should also be periodically audited. For example, a good way to audit the executive chef would be for one or more of the live-aboard co-owners of the ship to go to the food market district of each port of call and they should try to haggle and get a better price for the same food than the price the executive chef was able to acquire. If the executive chef cannot find better deals than the ship’s co-owners, then the executive chef should be given his walking papers. The executive chef position is a vital position on a cruise ship. This is a position of trust because he will bill the food he buys to the ship. He must never be tempted to accept bribes from vendors or suppliers. Therefore, he should know that he will be routinely audited and any substandard performance will result in termination of his employment.

The biggest value of all onboard cruise ship is in labor costs. The better cruise ships tend to be labor intensive, providing passengers with unrelenting attention and extravagant pampering. The hotel staff on all cruise ships provides the basic services including food preparation and serving, laundry, cabin stewarding, entertainment, casino operation, beauty shop operations, This is one area where I would prefer to not scrimp because of the very good value in these services due to the low cost of international labor. I would prefer to go beyond the level that most cruise ships go in the area of spas. Land based luxury and specialty resort spas are very expensive, but the exact same level of service, professionalism, skill, and treatments can be provided on a cruise ship at extremely low cost. Labor is the key and the primary reason for most of the expense of spas. Labor is a tremendous value on a cruise ship because the cruise ship managers can choose workers from the global marketplace where it is easy to get the best value for the money.

Spas

Spa treatment is customized for each client. Spas commonly offer services such as:

Soothing massage therapies, skin and body treatments drawing from European and Eastern principles, expert hair and nail services, and a full menu of therapeutic treatments utilizing a deep-cleansing facial at the start of the program, as well as a series of detoxification and contouring wraps, lypo-reduction wrap, as well as marine mud and herb wraps. Massage Therapies including: Swedish Massage, Shiatsu Massage, Deep Tissue Treatment, Maternity Massage, Therapeutic Foot Massage (Reflexology), French Hydrotherapy Massage.

The healing therapies include a variety of massages, reflexology, facials, firming and many other body treatments. Plus a wide variety of services and wellness programs specially designed to meet the individual’s needs and desires. A full service salon offers all manner of hair treatments (including a certified colorist), as well as a variety of manicures, pedicures, and ‘facelifts’ for your hands. Extensive skin care includes: Age Management Therapies including, Glycolic Facial, Anti-Aging Facial Peel, Microdermabrasion; Facials including: Aromaplasty Facial, Teen Facial, Gentleman’s Facial, Nutrisource Facial, Regulating Acne Facial, Vitamin “C” Skin Renewal Facial; Body Treatments including: Decleor Sauna Mask, French Hydrotherapy Massage, Andromeda Salt Glow, Mummy Mud Mask, Seaweed Body Wrap, Safe Sun Treatment, Herbal Wrap; as well as various hair and nail treatments.

Additionally, spas also can facilitate weight reduction programs, and even administer physical therapy. In short, you can be treated like a king, on the budget of a pauper.

Labor Costs – International competition provides the most value to the ship owners.

On paper it seems to make good sense to man the ship with a Philippine crew. I love the Philippines. I have been there several times. English is still widely spoken and usually spoken quite well. The people are usually friendly and happy to see foreign tourists. A large percentage of ships worldwide are manned by crews from the Philippines. The Philippine government has a pretty good structure and system to facilitate the export of Philippine labor. In spite of how attractive it seems on paper, I would recommend NOT hiring a crew from the Philippines. Philippine workers tend to be envious of others, and especially of everybody else’s wages. They tend to think they are getting the raw end of the deal. It is rare to find a Filipino who is happy with his employment. While I am sure there are many good employees from the Philippines, there are more who are dissatisfied than satisfied with their employment. There seems to be a cultural anomaly in the Philippines where people feel that employers are bad guys. I would hesitate to recommend a crew from the Philippines in spite of the apparent advantages on paper.

My recommendation (for what it is worth)

I do know something about what I am writing about here. I am the former President of Adventure Spa Cruise. My advice is not just uninformed ranting. Back to the point now, the second best manning nation for a ship is India. I highly recommend India for the medical staff and the entire hotel staff, including the spa, and every other position except the deck and engineering. The labor costs in India are very attractive. I would also recommend using an Indian based manning agency. It is best if the ship’s owners do not have to deal with every employee issue or concern. The manning agency takes the pressure off the ship’s management, and their service is very reasonable. Indian employees tend to make better employees than do Filipinos. Indians also speak English, albeit not quite as well as Filipinos. I know Americans tend to get all worked up when someone uses a broad brush to paint an entire ethnicity. I love the people from the Philippines, but as employees they tend to be more problematic than do Indian employees. I realize that this statement is politically incorrect, and these days that might get me thrown in jail. I usually do not worry so much about being politically correct. I call it the way I see I and I let the cards fall where they may, and hope I can stay out of jail for speaking my mind.

All deck and engineering positions should be filled with an all Ukrainian crew. The ship will realize the most value for the money with Ukrainian deck and engineering staff. The Ukraine has a long maritime history and tradition. Maritime training and standards in the Ukraine are among the best in the world. Ukrainian deck and engineering staff are as good as or better than any other, but the cost of their labor is a very good value. The labor for deck officer and engineering staff are governed by international agreements, including STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers).

Putting a cruise ship into service

After acquiring the ship, it will require some more investment to put it into service. At this point the joint owners will need to reach some agreements on many points. The cost of putting a cruise ship into service as a megayacht (very large private yacht) is much less than putting the ship into commercial service. However, if you can afford to buy a ship can easily meet SOLAS 2010 requirements, and can afford to flag and register it as a commercial ship then you can use the ship commercially to produce income and ROI (return on investment).

There are many marketing options for a commercial cruise ship. If the owners use no more than half the cabins, then that will leave sufficient means to produce enough revenue to at least pay for operating costs, and possibly produce a profit above operating costs. I will just briefly touch on some of the options available for marketing cruise ship capacity.

1. Conventional cruises. There is a trade-off here. You can produce revenue by providing conventional cruises. This will require that the ship have an itinerary that suits the commercial cruising market.

2. Freight and cargo. Some cruise ships have enough cargo capacity to produce some revenue by booking freight.

3. Assisted living. A cruise ship is well suited for assisted living, including crew and facilities. The going rate for assisted living in the average city in America is higher than the average cost of a cruise of the same duration.

4. Timeshares. This is an option not available to conventional cruise ship operators but could be facilitated if your co-owners agree to this type of marketing to fill cabins not used by co-owners. I will not go into the figures here, but timeshares tend to be high profit sales. There is a good chance that if the joint owners use no more than half the ship’s cabins for their own personal use, the remaining cabins could easily produce more than the total amount all the joint owners combined have invested.

Ships that would easily meet SOLAS 2010 tend to cost a bit more money to buy up front, and cost more to put into service. So I will give you couple of examples.

The Orient Venus is one of my favorite high-end ships. The specs:

M/V ORIENT VENUS

BUILT: JULY 1990 AT I.H.I.TOKYO

JAPANESE FLAG

JG. NK OCEAN GOING

GRT: 21,884 TONS

DWT: 4,863 TONS ON 6.50 M

LOA x B x D : 174.0×24.0x8.7 M

M/ENG: DIESEL UNITED-12PC2-6V x 2 SETS ,

TWIN SCREW CPP

SPEED: SERVICE ABT21.0 KNOTS / ABT 56.70MT /D

FUEL TANKS CAPA: IFO 1,500.4 M3 /MDO 87.30M3

GENERATOR: 1,600KWxAC450Vx60HZx 3 SETS

ENGINE ROOM M0 SYSTEMS

CRUISING RANGE: ABT 7,000MILE

PASSENGERS: MAX 606 PERSONS

CREW: 120 PERSONS

ABA WOG

DELIVERY: BY ARRANGEMENT

INSPECTION : KOBE.JAPAN

OWNERS PRICE USD 22 MIL net here

My personal assessment of the Orient Venus

It is a late model and beautiful ship. It has many highly desirable attributes for a residential ship. It is a high end luxury cruise ship with an extraordinarily high tonnage to passenger ratio. This is very important for a residential ship. More living room and more space per passenger is far more essential for a residential ship than for a conventional cruise ship. When passengers are only on a ship for a short time, they can tolerate cramped living quarters, but when they live year-round on a ship, the extra space is quite valuable. The owners have been trying to sell this ship for $22,000,000. That may seem like a high price, but when you divide it by the number of cabins (195) the asking price per cabin is $102,564. This price is in line with what you would expect to pay for a condominium. The last word I got from the owners is that they will sell the ship for $18,000,000 now ($92,307 per cabin). The cabins are all “outside” cabins and are large. The ship can accommodate 606 passengers and a crew of 120, for a total of 726 people.

Several ship brokers have this ship listed. I usually do not talk to ship brokers. I prefer to talk directly with the ship owners. I am in contact with the owners of the Orient Venus. I could probably get this stunningly beautiful ship for less than $15,000,000 today, and get some concessions and extras thrown in to boot.

Another example of a high end ship that would make do well as a commercial cruise ship, plus accommodate a hundred or so full-time live aboard co-owners is the Dream Princess, originally named Song of Norway.

GRT: 22,945

Max Draft: 6.7 M in sea water

Length: 194 M.

Total No. of Cabins: 538

Total No. Of Beds + Berth: 1280

Outside Cabins: 346

Inside Cabins: 192

Cabins size range: SQ. M: 11 -18.

Main Engines: 4 Wartsila Sulzer – 18,000 HP.

Service Speed: 16 Knots.

Public Rooms:

Main Dinning room – “King & I”- about 500 pax.

South Pacific Lounge about 400 pax.

My Fair Lady Lounge about 500 pax.

Bars- 5

Self Service Restaurant on the swimming pool deck

Large Swimming pool

Disco

Casino

Duty Free Shops

Gym

8 passenger decks

extensive outdoor areas

Ship was redecorated / refurbished extensively during 2005.

The asking price on this ship is $31 million USD. Divide the asking price by the number of cabins and the average cost per cabin would be $57,620. Of course some cabins are better than others so co-owners would have to agree of the shared usage before agreeing to the purchase.

I have some bad news for the ship owners and some good news for you. This ship will not sell for the asking price.

Fuel

Ship fuel is cheaper than automobile fuel for a few reasons. There are no road taxes on ship fuel of course and also it is different fuel. Ships main engines usually run on IFO180 or IFO380. Generator engines tend to be more finicky and commonly require diesel (MDO), which is still cheaper than automotive diesel. IFO 180 and 380 costs much less than MDO, usually about half the price. Ships consume a lot of fuel. So fuel cost is a major concern. I have some suggestions. If I were a co-owner of a ship I would be willing to invest a little more in the ship to increase fuel efficiency, and thus lower operating costs. There are many things that can be done to increase fuel efficiency. I would start with hull resistance. There is a new silicone-based paint from International Paints that when applied to the hull reduces amount of resistance in the water sufficiently to result in a 3 to 5% decrease in fuel consumption. A similar coating for the propellers also has been proven to increase fuel efficiency.

In addition to hull and prop coatings, there is an even more promising way to achieve dramatic fuel savings.

There is a company called Kiteship that has developed and produces kites for racing sailboats. These sailing kites do not require a mast. The kites fly high above the vessel, attached by cable and controlled from the vessel. Dave Culp of Kiteship has done a technical feasibility study on fitting a very large kite onto a conventional cruise ship. This would dramatically reduce fuel consumption. It would convert a fuel guzzler to a “green machine.” This is tantamount to converting a powerboat into a sail boat. The design of a cruise ship limits the amount of sail that a conventional ship can safely accommodate. A cruise ship lacks the ballast of a sail boat. If used in addition to the main engine(s) the kite will increase fuel efficiency. If the kite is used to pull the ship with the main engines shut down the ship’s speed will be reduced substantially. However, in this case, not only would the ship save IFO (main engine fuel) but also save MDO (generator engine fuel). If the kite were pulling the ship unassisted by the ship’s engines, then the propellers could be used to propel the ship’s generators without firing up the diesel generator engines. Even if the ship were traveling very slowly in the water, the propellers would turn in reverse if freed from the main engines. This is a very simple and easy task for the ship’s engineer to accomplish. In other words, the ship can be pulled by the kite, and that motion will push the ship’s propellers providing power to produce electricity and power the air-conditioning without using any fuel. The trade-off is a loss of speed and also some tacking is required, further reducing actual speed. What’s the rush? Why not go for maximum fuel savings? The salient point is that a high flying large kite can pull a cruise ship. If I were a co-owner of a cruise ship I would hope to find like minded co-owners who would be receptive to using such state-of-the-art technologies to save fuel.

There are hundreds of cruise ships on the market but I will just mention one more here. This cruise ship has RO/RO (Roll-On, Roll-Off) capability. This would be very convenient for live aboard owners who want to bring their “toys” with them. The garage deck will accommodate 6 to 8 trucks, or 60 to 80 cars. That converts to a lot of co-owner toys such as motorhomes, travel trailers, campers, cabin cruisers, ski boats, jet skis, sailboats, houseboats, bass boats, motorcycles, ATVs, cars, and trucks.

Specifications:

650 PASSENGER CRUISE SHIP FOR SALE

VESSEL IS FULLY FITTED WITH SPRINKLERS

SOLAS 2005/2010 FITTED

TWIN SCREW CRUISE

VESSEL DIMENSIONS LOA 137.10 X BREADTH 21.00 X 5.8 METERS DRAFT

BUILT 1981 / POLAND

REBUILT 1991

REBUILT – UPGRADED 1999

REBUILT – RENOVATED – REFURBISHED 2002

CLASS R.S. ICE CLASS L2

GRT 12637

PASSENGERS 650 IN 230 CABINS (BASIS 3 BERTH OCCUPANCY)

ALL CABINS WITH PRIVATE FACILITIES (INCLUDING SUITES AND SEMI SUITES)

9 DECKS

HELICOPTER PAD

MAIN ENGINES SULZER 4 X 4,350 BHP

SPEED ABOUT 17.5 / 15 KNOTS ON ABOUT 45 / 36 M/TONS + 9 TONS DIESEL OIL

BOWTHRUSTER 800 BHP

STABILIZERS

120 TONS PER DAY WATER MAKER

RECEPTION

LOUNGE

RESTAURANT (420 SEATS)

NINE BARS

CASINO

DUTY FREE SHOP

CHILDREN’S PLAY ROOM – TWO DISCOS

TV/MOVIE CORNER

DUTY FREE SHOPS

HAIRDRESSING SHOP

JACUZZI

ONE PASSENGER ELEVATOR

LAUNDRY SPA & HEALTH CLUB

TWO SAUNAS

CLINIC

TWO SWIMMING POOLS (ADULT & CHILDREN)

Cost per cabin based on asking price, $71,739. This ship will sell for less than asking price. It is already SOLAS 2010 compliant. It would cost very little to put into commercial service.

Conclusion

Becoming a co-owner of a cruise ship is not a far fetched idea. It is practical and feasible if you are able to find like minded people who would be willing to share the expenses.



Source by Arthur Wyss

Surgical Stainless Steel Waterless Cookware – The Secret To Good Health

Surgical stainless steel waterless cookware is fast replacing traditional cookware made of Teflon, aluminum, glass porcelain, light stainless-steel and iron, as they have been identified through scientific research as a more salubrious and efficacious cooking medium than their substitutes. The difference between surgical stainless steel and ordinary light steel is that the former contains nickel and chromium unlike the latter.

A joint research study for evaluating waterless cookware, conducted by the Bradley University home-science student- faculty team showed that high quality Surgical Stainless Steel Waterless Cookware produced cooking results with higher rated tastes and lesser percentage contraction losses than non-stick pans used on electric-stove-tops. This cookware also was found to be the best option for cooking on induction stove-tops.

Types

There are two varieties of surgical stainless steel used to make waterless cookware- the 304 and 316 versions. The main aspect that distinguishes the two is that 316-variety has a higher amount of chromium and Nickel than 304-version; it also has an extra component- Molybdenum-2-3%. Theses additional features make 316 surgical steel able to withstand corrosion caused by Sodium Chloride. Therefore, if you reside near coastal areas with high exposure to sea salt by waterless cookware made of 316 surgical stainless stains for utensil durability. However this cookware will be costlier than those made of 304 surgical steel.

Surgical Stainless Steel Waterless Cookware could be non-vacuum, meaning it cooks food with steam at 100 degrees Celsius; The vacuum variety incorporates a steam control valve mechanism on the utensil lid so as to make cooking possible using a partial- vacuum vapor seal. This cookware helps the foods to cook by the steam they let off and by the water they were rinsed with. However, you will have to add 1/8 inch of water to meet basic steam requirements. There are 5 Ply and 7 Ply variants for use on various cooking stoves.

Features and Advantages

Both 304 and 316 ranges possess a high tensile strength of 84-185 ksi and yield strength of 42-140 ksi making them strong and durable.

This kitchenware tends to save cooking time and creates cooking fuel economies through uniform heat distribution from the heat source. This cookware cooks faster than a pressure cooker, which also involves steam cooking, because it does not require steam build-up within the vessel to cook food. Hence, it does not heating to the temperature required to boil water in a pressure-cooker.

In vacuum versions when you lower the heat as steam escapes through the valve during cooking, the firm vapor seal, a ringlet of water that develops between the lid and the pot, enables food to cook fast.

The dishes concocted in these vessels retain their nutrition, fiber and vitamin content, enzymes and juices even after cooking. In comparison to other cookware, they use 25% less heat and complete the cooking process in half the normal cooking time.

Steam cooking in this cookware eliminates the need to use oil for cooking thus saving you from obesity, cholesterol and heart diseases.

It is healthy as surgical stainless steel is impermeable in nature and prevents toxic heavy metals from leaching into the food from the vessel.

Surgical stainless steel possesses a tremendous stain resistant property. Burnt spots can be removed just by boiling water in the pot and light stains can be cleaned with cleaners and paper towel wipes.

Costs

Surgical Stainless Steel Waterless Cookware is available at reasonable prices in the USA. A complete set can be bought for approximately $500-1000. Since any type of kitchen tools can be used with this sturdy cookware, you don’t need to spend extra on special accessories for use in conjunction with the basic set. The manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their products.

Tips

Buy Surgical Stainless Steel Waterless Cookware that is heavy, as the weight implies the steel is of premium quality. Choose utensils with thicker bottoms that evenly cook the food throughout the pot through uniform distribution of heat. Thick bottoms also preserve warmth of the food longer after cooking is over.

To quicken cooking times, don’t lift the lid during the cooking process while preparing food using this cookware to prevent the inner steam and heat from being lost.

When the steam is released through the valve during cooking instead of waiting for the whistle to blow, lower the flame heat intensity. This will also have the effect of conserving energy.

Using soft, non-abrasive cleaning materials will help enhance durability and sustain the gleam of this cookware for longer durations.

If you utilize an induction stove in your kitchen look out for the 7 Ply Surgical Stainless Steel Waterless Cookware that has a carbon steel layer sandwiched between the surgical stainless steel layers for better heat distribution and cooking results.



Source by Peter A Cerrato

Different Types of Silverware Explained

Historically, silverware referred only to those household items that were manufactured from silver. This could include anything from candlesticks, tea services, flatware, and cutlery. Today, silverware is a generic term that is used to describe all types of flatware and cutlery, regardless of its composition.

Silverware, as the name implies, was historically made from (obviously) silver. However, being a very soft and malleable metal, it was necessary to blend the silver with another metal to enhance its strength. This gave rise to the alloy called Sterling Silver, which has long been recognized as the ‘silver’ standard. Sterling Silver contains (by law) 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals – typically copper. More recently, other metals (such as zinc and platinum) have been used to enhance specific properties, such as resistance to tarnish, but none have been able to replace copper as the standard. So, if you’re fortunate enough to have inherited, purchased (or possibly even collect) sterling silver, it contains at least 92.5% pure silver (and as the price of silver goes up, so does the value of your flatware).

Silverplate cutlery is made from a base metal (usually copper, nickel, or zinc) which is coated with a layer of silver. Originally, silver and copper were melted and fused together into a composite, the two layers behaving as one. Around 1770 the ‘double sandwich’ or Sheffield process was developed, where a copper core is ‘sandwiched’ between two layers of silver, then heated and formed. This continued until about 1840 when it was replaced by the highly efficient electroplating process. Electroplating deposits a very thin layer (typically 35 microns) of silver onto another conductive metal, as an electrical current passes through them. One benefit of electroplating is that the surface is made of pure silver, not sterling silver. Unfortunately, the silver layer itself is quite thin, so the majority of the part consists of the cheaper core metal.

All other types of flatware and cutlery, typically referred to as ‘silverware’ contain no silver at all. Today’s most common varieties are made of stainless steel, typically the 18/8 or 18/10 alloys. The numbers refer to the composition of the steel alloy. The base metal is iron, and it is blended with 18% chromium and 8% (or 10%) nickel. Higher quality stainless steel flatware will be heavier than ‘cheaper’ versions.

Other materials from which cutlery has been made include gold (solid and plated), brass, and pewter, all of which obviously contain no silver.

As you can see, just because the flatware or cutlery you purchased is called silverware, that doesn’t guarantee it will be made of silver. Depending on the type of silverware you purchase, it may contain sterling silver, silver and copper, or possibly no silver at all.



Source by Mark Rocco

How to Cook With Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware – 3 Helpful Tips for Easier Cooking

If you’re new to cooking with Cuisinart stainless cookware, there are some things you should know about how best to use your new pots and pans. In this article, I’ll discuss how to cook with Cuisinart stainless steel cookware, so you can make the most of your new set.

1.) Do you need to preseason your Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware?

While preseasoning your stainless steel pots and pans isn’t absolutely necessary, it does help to prevent food from sticking. Stainless steel cookware doesn’t have a non-stick interior, like many of the pots and pans you can buy. The steel is very porous, and therefore it’s easy for food to get “stuck” within these pores. Seasoning the cookware helps to seal up these pores and prevent sticking.

To season your stainless steel pan, cover the bottom of the pan with oil and salt. You’ll want to pour in about 1/2″ to 3/4″ of oil. Place the pan on your stove burner, and heat it up until the oil begins smoking. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool, until it is safe to touch and discard the oil and salt. Next, take a soft cloth and wipe out any remaining oil and salt. Your pan is now ready to use!

Now remember the porous nature of the pan I mentioned previously? This also means that whenever you wash the pan in hot water, those pores will open back up, and the oil used to season will be washed away. Therefore, you’ll probably want to repeat this process after washing your pan. Again, the preseasoning isn’t necessary, but it does help to eliminate a lot of food sticking problems caused by not having a non-stick interior.

2.) Use a lower heat setting

You’ll find that you don’t need to use as much heat as your used to, when you cook with Cuisinart stainless steel cookware. Due to how the pots are constructed, they tend to heat up very quickly. Start with a lower temperature than you think you’ll need and gradually increase your temperature until you get used to how the pans heat up.

3.) Prevent food sticking

There are few things you can do (besides seasoning) that can help prevent food from sticking to your pans. First, always make sure that your oil is hot before adding any food. You’ll want to preheat your pan, then add the oil and allow that to heat up, and only then should you add your food.

Don’t try put too much food in the pot at one time. If necessary, cook up smaller batches of food.

What if you get burnt on or stuck on food? Try some vinegar and baking soda to scrub away tough food spots. Another trick is to use a product called Barkeeper’s Helper, or a cleaner specifically made for stainless steel cookware.

By following these tips for how to cook with Cuisinart stainless steel cookware, you’ll not only enjoy cooking more, but you’ll also be ensuring that your pots and pans will last for a long time.



Source by Emily A. Johnson

Which Kitchen Pans Do You Really Need?

If you’re equipping your kitchen, then you’ll want to make sure that you have the right sort of kitchen pans for your needs.

Here’s the sort of pans you’ll need

1. Milk pans are saucepans with spouts and so are ideal for pouring out sauces, or soup, or other liquids, as well as warm milk.

2. With a wide range of saucepans to choose from, in different materials and sizes you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re sure what sort of pans you need. Perhaps you’ll want professional quality pans for your large family, or maybe you’ll want coloured pans to compliment your kitchen and other kitchen appliances.

3. A good quality frying pan is essential, and can mean the difference between well cooked food and burnt, or undercooked food. You’ll want a non stick pan with a strong handle that doesn’t get hot so that the pan is easy and safe to use, no matter what you’re frying.

4. Sauté pans can be thought of as like covered frying pans, and are used for cooking food at very high temperatures for a short period of time. You’ll want a sauté pan with even heat distribution that warms up fast so that you can sauté quickly. You can sauté meat, fish and vegetables and so this is likely to be a pan you use often.

5. A chef pan allows you to cook a meal in the one pan. You might start by frying onions, then adding meat and vegetables then making a sauce to go with it. These pans have long handles and are deeper than frying pans.

6. A grill pan has two usable sides, a flat side, and a ridged side. This pan can be used for cooking different sorts of meat and even paninis too.

7. If you’re keen on stir fry meals, then you’ll want a good quality wok. Using a high temperature, and cooking for a short time, you’ll need your pan to heat up quickly, and spread the heat evenly so that all the ingredients are cooked properly.

8. A cookware set might be just what you need if you’re new to cooking, or want to give saucepans as a gift for someone setting up their first home, or going to university. Having the most common pans will ensure that the most popular dishes can be created. If there is a glaring omission, or a bigger or better pan is needed, then it will be easy to add to the cookware set.

9. Stockpots are ideal if you’re cooking for a lot of people, or make food to freeze. Perhaps you make large batches of soup so that you can freeze some, or maybe you have a large family, and use your stockpot to cook enough pasta, rice or potatoes for everyone.

10. No matter what sort of cook you are, or what sort of food you cook, you’ll want to make sure that you get good value for money. Buying the cheapest items might seem like a good idea initially, but over time, you might not get the performance or durability that you expected, and so will have to replace some of your saucepans.

Now you know what sort of kitchenware you need, have you got the right kitchen pans?



Source by M James