Aug 312010

imageWe see them with tiresome regularity in lists of the Top 100 something or other: The wealthy an the powerful ‘suits’ beloved of the mainstream maritime media. But are they really making a difference? Are they making positive change to the industry? How do we recognise those who make the big boy’s list but who are making change and laying the real groundwork for the future of seafarers? Ryan Skinner believes it’s time to recognise them and has launched the Portfire40 Project, an initiative that MAC is happy to support.

Says Ryan: “This summer TradeWinds published a list of the 100 individuals and/or teams that they find most powerful or influential in shipping. They called it the Power 100.

“Shipowners and scions topped the list. Even if TradeWinds ran away from the idea, the Power 100 parallels the Shipping Wealth 100. Wealth may be equivalent to power or influence, as these can be bought. What’s to admire about that?

“Some power and influence cannot be bought; it stems from great ideas and the courage to follow them, based on a desire to enrich society – not just oneself. The marine industry is full of people like this, though few will appear on the Power 100.

“So here is the Portfire40. Here are 40 personalities who are having a lasting impact on the industry by the novelty and vigour of their thinking, the strength of their passion for improvement and the impact they have on colleagues and partners.

“This is an open and growing list, based on a list of submitted candidates adjudicated by a board. Do you know someone who fits the Portfire40 description? Send an email describing why.

“With the Portfire40, we’re looking for people and stories. Share those that move you. This is your chance to draw attention to that person you admire – if he or she is selected for the Portfire40, we’ll quote you!

“For those who want to know where the term “portfire” comes in, check out the word’s derivation. Basically, it is a slow-acting fuse used in military and mining contexts. And that’s the value of the Portfire40; they burn slowly and silently, but to shattering effect.

“Credit for the inspiration for Portfire40 goes to Steven Jones, who – in Shiptalk Recruitment’s newsletter Gangway – shared his take on the Power 100 and the need for something better. Read that essay here.

“The Portfire40 is a list of those shipping personalities who haven’t inherited a shipping empire but rather carved out significant change in the industry with passion and pride. Contribute today! Send an email with your candidate’s name, employer and why you think he/she belongs among the Portfire40. The more eloquent you are, the more likely you will convince the jury.”

Supporting the initiative are:

John Konrad at

· James Tweed at Coracle Online

· Clay Maitland at

· Barista Uno at Marine Cafe Blog

· Bob Couttie of Maritime Accident Casebook

· Peter Mello of Sea Fever

· Ken E. Beck of Kennebec Captain

· Ben Strong of AMVER

· Sam Ignarski, publisher of Bow Wave

· Humphrey Hill of The Maritime Advocate

· Ieuan Dolby of, and

· Velu of Bills of Lading

So who do you think deserves to be in the Portfire 40 and why? Use our contact form in the sidebar or email with “Portfire 40” as the subject.


  One Response to “Portfire 40 – Enough of the Same Suits”

  1. […] the always interesting Kennebec Captain;  Bob Couttie’s “tell it like it is” Maritime Accident Casebook and the “help-full” After Office Hours. I’m sure there will be more along the […]

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