When is a ship too large?

LaFlamme
23rd February 2011, 07:44
I read today that Maersk signed a contract with a South Korean shipyard to build 10 huge container ships: 1,312 feet long, and capable of carrying 18,000 containers !!!!
I wonder what it will be like to work on something like that? I can't even imagine what the deck crew does on a ship that large - surely not any maintenance. It's like running an aircraft carrier with a few dozen men!

Ron Stringer
23rd February 2011, 07:56
You can read about it at

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/feb/21/maersk-containers-shipping-emissions?INTCMP=SRCH

Malky Glaister
23rd February 2011, 08:56
Impressive stuff indeed but I am glad that I am away from it all.
regards malky

Ian6
23rd February 2011, 15:24
Just as impressive/depressing is the thought of 18,000 lorries on the road to feed each ship.
Ian

Pat Kennedy
23rd February 2011, 15:50
I read today that Maersk signed a contract with a South Korean shipyard to build 10 huge container ships: 1,312 feet long, and capable of carrying 18,000 containers !!!!
I wonder what it will be like to work on something like that? I can't even imagine what the deck crew does on a ship that large - surely not any maintenance. It's like running an aircraft carrier with a few dozen men!

I doubt that the deck crowd ever actually get to see the deck on one of those giants.I suppose most of the time they would be washing down paintwork and painting around the accomodation.

NoR
23rd February 2011, 16:34
Can these things get through Suez? Imagine the Somali Pirates with one.

chadburn
23rd February 2011, 17:02
Very impressive although Maersk in the past have spoke with "forked tongue" when it comes to their caring attitude toward's the enviroment, I understand she run's with 13 Crew.

duquesa
23rd February 2011, 19:53
I doubt that the deck crowd ever actually get to see the deck on one of those giants.I suppose most of the time they would be washing down paintwork and painting around the accomodation.

Not a chance nowadays. There is not a single interior painted surface on any of these vessels. There is precious little access for any washing down on the outside. Watch keeping/sleeping/eating and keeping fit to ward off boredom is the order of the day. With mixed crews there is often little social intercourse.

kewl dude
23rd February 2011, 21:10
Yesterday I read 19 crew but cannot recall the URL.

Greg Hayden

randcmackenzie
23rd February 2011, 21:26
Not a chance nowadays. There is not a single interior painted surface on any of these vessels. There is precious little access for any washing down on the outside. Watch keeping/sleeping/eating and keeping fit to ward off boredom is the order of the day. With mixed crews there is often little social intercourse.

What about the engine rooms - usually pale yellow paint on Maersk ships.

Klaatu83
23rd February 2011, 21:39
I read today that Maersk signed a contract with a South Korean shipyard to build 10 huge container ships: 1,312 feet long, and capable of carrying 18,000 containers !!!!
I wonder what it will be like to work on something like that? I can't even imagine what the deck crew does on a ship that large - surely not any maintenance. It's like running an aircraft carrier with a few dozen men!

A few dozen men? More like twenty, or perhaps even less! I used to sail on the Atlantic-class ships, which were the largest container ships in the world when they were built in the mid '80s, so I have some idea what it will be like. Of course, those ships were small by today's standards, only 950 feet long, 105 feet wide, and a capacity of 4,400 teus.

We operated with a crew of twenty. As a deck officer, I was responsible to make sure all cargo was loaded and secured properly, and that all the reefer containers were up and running properly before sailing. However, with five cranes operating simultaneously, it was absolutely impossible to keep up with what was going on. It was impossible to check the operating condition of all the reefers prior to sailing, or even to get them all plugged in. It was also impossible to check that all the containers carrying hazardous materials were properly segregated, nor was there time to check the manifest. If any of the reefers weren't running properly, any hazmats not properly segregates, or if there were any discrepancies in the manifest, then we were simply stuck with the situation, and legally liable accordingly. I remember one occasion when the coast Guard boarded one of those ships upon arrival in Boston from Europe. They examined the manifest (a set of documents several inches thick) and discovered so many discrepancies in it that they ended up levying $50,000 in fines against that particular ship alone.

TonyAllen
24th February 2011, 00:38
In one report I read it said that it would have a crew of 13 ,how that will work is beyond me Tony

LaFlamme
24th February 2011, 02:45
WOW. My experience is so far back now that I probably wouldn't even find my way to the bridge haha! Still, wouldn't mind a trip on one of those monsters. I guess the job is becoming that of a truck driver (lorrie, I guess you say).

funnelstays
24th February 2011, 05:04
What about the engine rooms - usually pale yellow paint on Maersk ships.

Blood, Custard and Pea Soup in colour,decks,bulkheads,and machinery.

john24601
24th February 2011, 20:21
Just as impressive/depressing is the thought of 18,000 lorries on the road to feed each ship.
Ian

never seen a train loaded with containers??

Don Matheson
24th February 2011, 20:48
John seen quite a lot of them up here, Stobarts and Malcolms but the container trains only carry around 24-30 boxes. That would mean you would need around 700-750 trains.
Better than the road though. I would agree.

Would be awful if you had to go check the windlass then come back for some tools, you would be passing Gibralter by that time. Bad weather for Mate and crew going forward would be a nightmare.

Don

tunatownshipwreck
24th February 2011, 22:18
My own opinion is that any ship that twists and flexes on the high seas is too large.

Geoff_E
24th February 2011, 22:42
All ships, regardless of size, "twist and flex"!!

Satanic Mechanic
24th February 2011, 23:47
All ships, regardless of size, "twist and flex"!!

True - but its a lot more comforting when you can't see it/measure it in units larger than one inch

barrinoz
25th February 2011, 05:54
The Chinese must be howling with laughter. 18,000 containers at a time full of c**p no-one needs, manufactured with planned obsolescence and made by as-good-as slave labour from the non-renewable resources of other countries.
No wonder the earth shakes in fury!
barrinoz.

LaFlamme
25th February 2011, 08:09
I agree, all c**p, nothing the world really needs. Does this mean that all these containers make the trip back to China empty, or full of recycled cardboard? Maybe a little bit of Champagne!!

Billieboy
25th February 2011, 10:10
All ships, regardless of size, "twist and flex"!!

I quite agree Geoff, I've never seen one that didn't. It,(the Twisting and Flexing), is also very good for the poor voyage repair companies around the world, who need the work when bits fall off!

John Briggs
25th February 2011, 11:08
For those that may be interested the total complement of these ships is planned to be 13!
So you can be sure there will be no maintenance done!

John N MacDonald
25th February 2011, 13:56
I believe that a lot of modern ships are designed to be able to sail with about 13 of a crew but usually sail with around 19 or 20.
If I remember Maersks E class were designed for 13 crew but sail with a few more.

VTR1000
25th February 2011, 15:38
Interesting link here: http://www.worldslargestship.com/

woodend
25th February 2011, 16:04
Having had one small container ship capsize in port through over-weight containers and mis-management whilst I was working, I worry about 'KLAATU83's' comments. What ship-board stability checks are there prior to sailing or is it all left to the shore side computers?

sherloc
26th February 2011, 04:34
Ian6, Don Matheson, and the rest of you lorry hating ladies & gents, the one thing you lot can't argue over is the fact that, YOU CAN NOT DO WITH OUT US. Sherloc the Trucker! No,No, I said TRUCKER!

surveychile
26th February 2011, 05:00
I was thinking the following:

How many containers must this ship load per voyage to get some profit?

Apparently Maersk has not taken into account another companies such as MSC, CMA CGM, CSCL, Hapag Lloyd, Hamburg Süd and so on.

What about the quality of service?

Checking of loading, proper lashing of the containers?

Nowadays, effectively the vessels can navigate with a dozen people of crew and maybe less, good for the owners, the most expensive element of a shipcan be reduced to zero, but what about if some emergency is declared during navigation?

Kind Regards

Tomi.

Alistair Macnab
26th February 2011, 21:08
Slow steaming......renaging of Service Contracts.....Calls at selected ports only......Time off route for maintenance.... 18,000 teu on one platform......the largest containership company in the world.
Anyone see the seeds of distruction in this scenario?

Further questions: What container terminal is going to be comfortable with such a supporting operation? What road and rail infrastructure?

Billieboy
27th February 2011, 10:59
Slow steaming......renaging of Service Contracts.....Calls at selected ports only......Time off route for maintenance.... 18,000 teu on one platform......the largest containership company in the world.
Anyone see the seeds of distruction in this scenario?

Further questions: What container terminal is going to be comfortable with such a supporting operation? What road and rail infrastructure?

Rotterdam is building Maasvlakte II with gear to take this size of ship. The infrastructure is an ongoing project, presently plenty of rail track and rolling stock, but I expect that the waterborne systems will be more than doubled to handle increased numbers of Rhine box feeders as well as short sea feeders. Short Sea feeders have been increasing year on year since 1970. The automated transhipment and repositioning systems ashore will be able to handle two of these big ships plus normal traffic.

As for sailing on this sort of boat? not me baby! Repairs/maintenance on the main engines will be an interesting planning project, there shouldn't bee too much of a problem, as the latest engines are nearly all hydraulic fasteners, which means pistons can be pulled and changed in a very short time. MAN 1200mm diameter cylinders, could have a head changed, (24tonnes approx), in less than 20minutes in 1990! Manning scales will have to be looked at from time to time in my opinion.

Satanic Mechanic
27th February 2011, 11:15
As for sailing on this sort of boat? not me baby! Repairs/maintenance on the main engines will be an interesting planning project, there shouldn't bee too much of a problem, as the latest engines are nearly all hydraulic fasteners, which means pistons can be pulled and changed in a very short time. MAN 1200mm diameter cylinders, could have a head changed, (24tonnes approx), in less than 20minutes in 1990! Manning scales will have to be looked at from time to time in my opinion.

I notice it has a skeg and twin props - does anyone know the size of engines.

I was at the test beds of HHI and Doosan recently and Wartsilla (Sulzer) were leading the way with some extremely big engines - 14 -102 jobs. But they were having a lot of problems with fueling and crankshafts.

MAN were just biding their time seeing what the problems were first. But there were serious concerns about the reliability of this size of engine in a marine environment.

So I am wondering if they have cut back on the size and doubled up - would make a lot of sense.

Might have mentioned in the past but with modern metalurgy, lubrication and the wonder that is computer controlled cylinder lubrication you can get the specific CLO consumption down to aroung 0.5/6 g/shp hr (compared to 0.9-1.1 with a Jensen) and at least 16000 hours out of set of rings -what this means in practice is that you could dock the vessel for a week and do the whole lot and hopefully never have to touch them until the next dock. best engine in the worls MAN B&W 6S70MC-C But thats just greasy kids stuff(Jester)

TonyAllen
27th February 2011, 18:35
[Further questions: What container terminal is going to be comfortable with such a supporting operation? What road and rail infrastructure?[/QUOTE]

Tried to post yesterday but laptop infected. Using another today
Peel holdings in Liverpool have applied for planning to build a new container berth to the north of seaforth big enough to take the biggest vessals with no need to use the dock system but have to overcome the wildfowl lobby also the usual suspects ie other ports
there is also a disused rail tunnel from the north docks to Edgehill rail terminal and is big enough to take the container traffic.
Peel holdings seem to have great problems at the moment with their plans for the redevelopment of the Liverpool docks, you would think the the powers that be would welcome their investment in these troubled times.Is it that they only want investment in the southern ports since they are trying to block the liner terminal at the pierhead
and why do the government take so long to listen to the investers

Regards Tony

Billieboy
28th February 2011, 09:47
On Engine size, I'd expect at least 2x 40K shp, if they are going to keep a reasonable service speed. that would push the diesel to 2x 12cylinder with a diameter of 1200mm approx. It's still not my cup of tea, but then I always prefer steam.

Pat Kennedy
28th February 2011, 10:16
[Further questions: What container terminal is going to be comfortable with such a supporting operation? What road and rail infrastructure?

Tried to post yesterday but laptop infected. Using another today
Peel holdings in Liverpool have applied for planning to build a new container berth to the north of seaforth big enough to take the biggest vessals with no need to use the dock system but have to overcome the wildfowl lobby also the usual suspects ie other ports
there is also a disused rail tunnel from the north docks to Edgehill rail terminal and is big enough to take the container traffic.
Peel holdings seem to have great problems at the moment with their plans for the redevelopment of the Liverpool docks, you would think the the powers that be would welcome their investment in these troubled times.Is it that they only want investment in the southern ports since they are trying to block the liner terminal at the pierhead
and why do the government take so long to listen to the investers

Regards Tony[/quote]
Tony,
It is English Heritage who are behind many these objections.
English Heritage is a quango (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/wiki/Quango) with funding derived from taxation. At some of its properties it charges admission fees to supplement its government funding. In 2007/08 it generated income of £49 million, received government grants of £137 million and spent £172 million, (courtesy Wikpedia)
I believe that this quango should be reined in. It seems to raise objections to every proposed project on Merseyside on the grounds of heritage conservation. Most of these objections go to a public enquiry and are eventually overturned, at a cost of millions.
As to the proposed new container terminal at the Seaforth Triangle, I believe that it has had the green light, but that Peel Holdings are holding back because of the recession. There was a survey craft on site last year for a few weeks, just North of Gladstone Lock entrance.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

Satanic Mechanic
28th February 2011, 10:54
but then I always prefer steam.


And what self respecting Engineer doesn't (Thumb)

Klaatu83
28th February 2011, 14:52
Having had one small container ship capsize in port through over-weight containers and mis-management whilst I was working, I worry about 'KLAATU83's' comments. What ship-board stability checks are there prior to sailing or is it all left to the shore side computers?

We used to enter the individual container weights on our own computer to check the stability but, of course, we were relying upon the numbers provided by the shore-side people, who had done the original pre-stow in the first place. And, of course, with multiple cranes working at once, it was next to impossible to keep up with whether the boxes were actually being stowed in the positions where they were supposed to be. At Livorno, for instance, we often used to get some containers filled with heavy marble or masonry tiles which, for stability reasons, had to be loaded on the bottom. However, every now and then the longshoremen would put some of those on top, with a serious effect on our stability. I can imagine how hectic it would be on an even larger ship, the size of the new ones envisioned, trying to keep up with perhaps six or seven cranes operating at once, and trying to sort through the manifests of 18,000 containers!

slowandsteady
5th April 2011, 08:10
I've seen the Maesrk E-class boats slow steaming and you seldom see a big box boat fully stacked. Its surprising they see a market for even bigger boats.

James_C
5th April 2011, 12:21
Having had one small container ship capsize in port through over-weight containers and mis-management whilst I was working, I worry about 'KLAATU83's' comments. What ship-board stability checks are there prior to sailing or is it all left to the shore side computers?

I was on a course a couple of years ago with some chappies from the box boat arm of Maersk, and I did raise this question myself.
I sail on ships (not container ships) which have a capacity of only 550TEU, yet we have constant problems with weights and dangerous cargo segregation.
The Maersk Masters/Mates I talked to said that generally once they've input all the weights etc into the stability system, then read of the draughts and have then compared those figures with a visual inspection of the actual draughts, it's quite common to see a difference of 1 metre (deeper) or so .
Now, think of the TPC of some of these huge beasties and for say 1m diffference in draught you're potentially talking thousands of tonnes!
As regards dangerous goods, most of the chaps I talked to freely admitted that it's completely hopeless in trying to keep up with segregations and to ensure the dangerous goods notes etc are properly completed.
All in all, it seems that any box boat with a capacity of more than a few thousand TEU is a BIG accident waiting to happen.

Ian J. Huckin
6th April 2011, 23:46
A ship is too large when the water is too thin!

jimthehat
6th April 2011, 23:55
never seen a train loaded with containers??
In felixstowe its at least three trains in and out each day,BUT there are still hundreds of lorrys in and out each day.

jim

John Briggs
7th April 2011, 03:27
A ship is too big when you can no longer shout to the Mate on the foc'sle head but have to use a telephone or radio!

billyboy
7th April 2011, 03:34
Good point John!

(And i thought they were too big if they had to fit wheels)