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I have alwas believed that one day steam will return, we are supposed to be running out of oil.
Nuclear steam generation has to come one day but the question is when.
 

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Very true, but I should have added - in general use in the MN as a replacement for the Marine Diesel.
 

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Here is an interesting article from last months Sail World the future is sails apparently

Sail-World Cruising's Green Prize of the Month goes to Frenchman Frederic Albert, who has started using a 19th century sailing vessel to transport wine from Bordeaux to Dublin to reduce carbon emissions, and on the return journey the three masted barque will carry crushed glass.

This month 60,000 bottles from Languedoc will be shipped in the19th Century barque Belem, saving 18,375lb of carbon.


Belem, launched in 1896 and the last French merchant sailing vessel to be built, will sail into Dublin following a four day voyage from Bordeaux. The wines will be delivered to Bordeaux by barge using the Canal du Midi and Canal du Garonne, which run across southern France from Sète in the east, via Béziers in Languedoc. Each bottle - 60,000 in the first shipment - will be labelled: 'Carried by sailing ship, a better deal for the planet.' Although the whole process will take up to a week longer than a flight, it is estimated to save 4.9oz of carbon per bottle.

The 170ft Belem, which was first used to transport chocolate from South America and is named after the Brazilian port, is the first of seven planned to be working by 2013. Seven private investors have contributed 70 per cent of the business's start-up costs of £40m. Bank loans have provided the rest.

Frederic Albert, founder of the shipping company Compagnie de Transport Maritime à la Voile (CTMV), said: 'My idea was to do something for the planet and something for the wines of Languedoc. One of my grandfathers was a wine-maker and one was a sailor.' Albert said some 250 producers in Languedoc alone were keen to use his ships.


'There is a lot of interest in green investments in France,' said Albert. Ships will return to France with an equivalent tonnage of crushed glass for recycling into wine bottles at factories in Bordeaux and Béziers. Despite the time involved in transporting it, the wine should also remain relatively cheap, at between €7 and €20 a bottle.

Delivery times to Ireland and Britain had been calculated using historic charts. 'We had someone who studied a century of weather conditions to work them out,' he said.

Albert said his fleet would also be used for advertising in the ports they sailed to. He said: 'There will be tastings on board. The Belem can hold around 100 guests, so there will be plenty of room for importers to promote their wines.'


CTMVs second boat, which cost six million euros (8.4 million dollars) to build and is as yet unnamed, will also be launched in March this year. It will measure 52 metres and have 1,000 square metres of sails and a top speed of 14 knots.

With a total of seven ships the investment in the project looks set to be about 40 to 50 million euros. Albert would not confirm the exact investment figure, but said he now has seven private investors and the financing is 70 percent private capital and 30 percent bank loans.

'There is a lot of interest in green investments in France,' he said.

Future ports of call, with Bordeaux as the regular departure point, will include Bristol or Manchester in England, Gothenburg in Sweden, Copenhagen in Denmark, and other towns in Scandinavia.

The next delivery after Dublin, however, is Canada. 'The Canadians want us to come there in June,' said Albert, 'They have already ordered 20,000 bottles, but I think there will be more,'
 

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Robbie,
It would take more than a gimmick like this for me to buy French. IMO the new world wines have them beat for quality every time.
 

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An interesting thought but-----------------.

I have alwas believed that one day steam will return, we are supposed to be running out of oil.
Nuclear steam generation has to come one day but the question is when.
Don't forget the Yanks tried a nuclear-powered cargo-ship (N.S. Savannah) in the 60's but there was so much opposition to it docking in various countries they eventually gave-up on the idea.

Unfortunately people, in their lack-of-knowledge about things nuclear, believe that anything, which uses fissile material, is a potential bomb and could blow-up and, therefore, adopt the "NIMBY" (Not In My Back Yard) principle as a safeguard.

This is a great shame because there is little doubt that nuclear-generated steam, on Merchant vessels, would be a great asset in the never-ending quest to find a viable replacement for oil.

Fortunately the Armed Navies of the world aren't under the same restrictions, Merchant Navies have to exist under, and can use nuclear-power for both submarines and large capital-ships.

It is this same short-sightedness, with regard to nuclear-power for electricity-generation, holding-up the need to build more nuclear power-stations, in Britain, before we start experiencing prolonged power-failures owing to lack of generating capacity.Phil (Hippy)
 

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Many years ago I was reading about a four mast sailing ship the Japanese had, they had computer operated sails.
Anyone remember this article or ship.

John.
 

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I vaguely remember seeing a picture, or at least a drawing of it. Dunno what happened to it however.
 

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The Savannah had a number of problems, limited ports it was welcome in, large crew, heavy reactor that limited the amount of cargo that could be carried. I was once told that the only cargo that the Savannah could load to fill the volume in the holds was toilet paper.(==D)
 

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I sailed on two steam vessels, 1950/59, the Gothic and the Suevic, both Shaw Savill vessels, also both twin screw turbine ships, I have many happy memories of the voyages on these ships. Terence Williams. R538301.
 

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Does this mean as the oil gets to costly to use the noise of clanking fire doors will return. All the redundant coal mines that produced good steaming coal will be reinstated.

Somehow don't think so .

As for Nuclear powered ships none will visit NZ. We have banned them.

Somehow somewhere in the near future perhaps the first tripper will be signing on a sailing ship. Perhaps it wont be like what has gone before.
 

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With all the fuss over nuclear fuel enrichment in Korea & Iran it is doubtful that, until there is a major - even revolutionary - change in the world's poilitical structure, the traditional nuclear nations will want commercial shipowners having nuclear powered ships in world-wide trade.

In respect of the French wind powered wine carriers I beleive it is a start in the right direction with the current economic fuel situation coupled as it is to the environmental problems of fossil fuels. I wish them smooth sailing. (Will an RYA endorsement or similar be required for OOW manning?)

One would imagine that some of the world's most brilliant technical brains together with the finest electronic equipment are doing their utmost to solve the problems & that as soon a a cheaper, more efficient energy medium is developed the commercial gurus will invest.

I'm sure that many of us remember our cities with thousands of household chimney pots wafting sooty coal smoke while hundreds of factory chimneys belched clouds of noxious fumes as well. I too, loved the steam locomotive, traction engines and the steam ship, but we have come a long way and the internal combustion engine is now the major polluter. Living many years in the LA basin I often heard a light-hearted reference to the ever-present orangey yellow cloud that lies over the county; "Well, would you breathe what you couldn't see?" Sort of sums up the problem.
 

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Don't forget the Yanks tried a nuclear-powered cargo-ship (N.S. Savannah) in the 60's but there was so much opposition to it docking in various countries they eventually gave-up on the idea.

Unfortunately people, in their lack-of-knowledge about things nuclear, believe that anything, which uses fissile material, is a potential bomb and could blow-up and, therefore, adopt the "NIMBY" (Not In My Back Yard) principle as a safeguard.

This is a great shame because there is little doubt that nuclear-generated steam, on Merchant vessels, would be a great asset in the never-ending quest to find a viable replacement for oil.

Fortunately the Armed Navies of the world aren't under the same restrictions, Merchant Navies have to exist under, and can use nuclear-power for both submarines and large capital-ships.

It is this same short-sightedness, with regard to nuclear-power for electricity-generation, holding-up the need to build more nuclear power-stations, in Britain, before we start experiencing prolonged power-failures owing to lack of generating capacity.Phil (Hippy)
Don't forget the German Ore Carrier Otto Hahn.
While the Savannah was from the beginning built more like a yacht, a show vessel of sorts, the Otto Hahn was all business. Eventually she was rebuilt as a Diesel containership I believe.
Her problems however were similar. While there were never any technical problems, the public attitude towards a nuclear ship with its difficulty of going into ports and all that was a great bother.
Economics were hindered by excessive weight due to somewhat excessive safety precautions. So, while the concept was proven on a technical level, economically it won't be feasible until Oil gets much more expensive.
Which still leaves the political problems to solve....
Btw prices for nuclear fuel are also rising rapidly. By the time we build this nuclear fleet we might find we can't afford to fuel it...

As far as Sail?
There is a reason it slowly disappeared. Sailing is not all that cheap, once the sail replacement costs and the higher crew requirement are figured in. Certainly sail is not conducive to "Just in Time" delivery schedules...
Schooners lasted the longest for economic reasons and their ability to go most anywhere, regardless which way the wind blew, but even they finally gave up.

Coal:
I doubt that it will make a come back, not even in a highly automated system.
Perhaps there is a small chance for gasified coal....

Then there is the Problem of scale.
How many can see a ship like the Emma Maersk as a schooner? or driven by hand shoveled coal???

Greetings, Bearsie :)
 

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George,steam will as you say return.Having the same surname as yourself,Iam very sure that history will repeat itself.Govan is covered by a famous Elder who was one of the first to seize upon steam engines and shipbuilding.
World oil and gas reserves are in free fall,without a new vision we will have no source of energy.

Gavin D Elder
 

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Many moons ago (when I failed my Chemistry) I was told that water was simply H2O - One part Hydrogen and two parts Oxygen - elements if seperated, and on their own, making two thirds of what is required for fire - the other third being heat. Then I was told that there is so much money, world wide, invested in the oil industry - it would be unthinkable for anyone to place a fuel on the market that would challenge these huge company's - it would bring down the society as we know it - then I was 'told' that the oil company's had already solved the problem of seperating the chemical formula of H2O cheaply and not to worry for when the time comes for oil running out - I still wonder
 

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In 1966 I was in British Hazel alongside Rijeka Yugoslavia, also in port was the Nuclear powered cargo ship Savanna, I was privileged to be asked on board.
I recall that the Engine Room was much like any other Steam Turbine powered vessel, ( ive been on a few). the only difference being there was no Boiler Room , the steam being generated by a Nuclear Reactor in No. 2 hatch. I remember that I had to wear a plastic thingy, and if it changed colour you were in trouble.
 

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Return of Steam

Thirty years ago when I was sailing on steam turbine tankers with conventional boilers the buzz words were "Fluidized bed boiler technology". It was burn all -coal,wood,oil and even rubbish.
We are now in the second generation and a power station is to be built in Scotland it will burn locally grown waste woods among other fuels. We can now wait and see.
My good lady as always reading over my shoulder says "Why do they not convert the boiler to burn politicians". Women have some very useful technical thoughts.

regards
jimmys
 

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Many moons ago (when I failed my Chemistry) I was told that water was simply H2O - One part Hydrogen and two parts Oxygen - elements if seperated, and on their own, making two thirds of what is required for fire - the other third being heat. Then I was told that there is so much money, world wide, invested in the oil industry - it would be unthinkable for anyone to place a fuel on the market that would challenge these huge company's - it would bring down the society as we know it - then I was 'told' that the oil company's had already solved the problem of seperating the chemical formula of H2O cheaply and not to worry for when the time comes for oil running out - I still wonder

Britain had a project going in the early 50s called Zeta . Simply I think the problem is that the enegry ( Electicity ) used is about the same as the energy produced by combustion of hydrogen and oxygen . Pehaps some of our budding "boffins " are able to comment.

Cheers Derek
 

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If I remember my chemistry correctly, while hydrogen and oxygen are great fuels, the problems was that it took more energy to produce the gasses than they returned as a fuel.

If someone can work out a way to split water into H and O2 efficiently, then there's a chance.
 
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