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Re: World's Largest Cargo Ship - Emma Maersk

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  • Phelps Hobart
    Thanks John and thanks for coming on board as a council director. Phelps ________________ Vox Oceanus Big Ships Equal Big Problems By John G. Denham jdenham at
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 1, 2009
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      Thanks John and thanks for coming on board as a council director.

      Phelps

      ________________

      Vox Oceanus

      Big Ships Equal Big Problems

      By John G. Denham

       jdenham at pacmar dot com

      Most of us have heard the term "speed kills", yet as a society we are constantly attempting to shorten travel time, increase computer speed and catch up with sound.

      In the world of ships, boats and barges, anything that restricts a vessel's progress through water is given serious study. Engineers constantly investigate minimizing the factors that cause friction and are busy developing processes and procedures to improve efficiency. As water cannot be compressed it's either pushed, sucked or by-passed to increase the speed of advance.

      Maritime operations essentially consist of two major players, wet and dry carriers, both mostly using the same propulsion source; the marine diesel engine. Maritime operators are eager to increase cargo-carrying productivity. The container ship people are inclined to also want more speed. Great attention has been given to the hull form ofthe vessel and its ability to slip through the water and sail through air. The builders are faced with a series of constraints and conflicts. To increase payload more efficiently they use larger vessels, that require more powerful propulsion systems, that use more fuel, that create exhausts that may irritate people.

      The public has recently been exposed to the hint of a situation that may be the next problem: a growing population of gigantic sized commercial vessels propelled by monster engines. Many of us have become accustomed to large naval aircraft carriers. The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN76) is 1,086 feet LOA (332 meters) and she is one often in her class. Recognizing their special need for handling, the government has provided appropriate maneuvering and berthing facilities for them.

      Regardless of size, vessels can be put together in relatively short periods of time, but facilities such as ports, harbors, channels, berths and other infrastmcture require political action, concessions, environmental impact studies and money. Meanwhile, the big ships are already here, and they are not slow.

      The big boats are just a lot more of the same except for their maneuvering characteristics, which are related to their propulsion system. Right. mdder turns one to starboard and stopping the engine slows one, eventually, and that may be a problem. The Cosco Busan, not in the super category, but large enough to be of concern, requires 16 minutes to operate her 77 ,000 BHP engine from full ahead to full astern and has 9 engine air starts.

      At present there are four accepted motor propulsion systems used:

      A purely mechanical propulsion system (propeller, shaft, gear box, prime mover).

      Combined mechanical propulsion system (propeller, shaft, dual gear box, diesel and gas/steam engine).

      Electric propulsion system (propeller, electric motor, cable, generator, prime mover).

      Parallel hybrid propulsion system (propeller, shaft, dual input gear box, separate clutches from either a prime mover/generator or an electric motor, battery bank/generator powered by an auxiliary engine).

      Once these I ,OOO-plus- foot ships enter port the safe maneuvering and operation is normally in the hands of a state and or federally licensed pilot. Pilots must verify their knowledge of the vessels characteristics and capabilities because at any moment it may be needed.

      Of concern are the "purely mechanical propulsion systems," also referred to as direct drive motor vessels; a majority of the world's fleet. The number of air starts must be known; if the engine is stopped or stalls it must be restarted, usually with compressed air. Any speed below a minimum can cause stalling. Some newer vessels have greater air starts than others. The route to a berth should be pre-determined as harbor operations and safety may require a slower speed and or frequents stops.

      A major consideration and safety feature is the support equipment i.e., tugs, and berthing facilities. As of now the ship operators use what is available and hopefully it will suffice. However using the NYK Vega as an example, professionals must determine if turning a 338.2-metership 180 degrees in a tuming basin designed for 276-meter ships is appropriate.

      Experienced pilots have developed procedures to reduce the speed over the bottom in restricted areas and although costly in tug assistance, so far have been effective. Maximum turns, backing and "dead slow" maneuvers may not be feasible, with or without the use of the big engines. Therefore, managers and those responsible for safety must be aware of these limitations. As vessel size increases, support capability must be adequate.

      Is bigger better? I feel yes, but owners and managers should not forget to inform their insurance suppliers and port officials of any and all operational limitations involved. The doctrine of Uberrimae Fidei is alive and well in every adjuster's mind. Port officials and those mariners "directing the movement of vessels" must be knowledgeable and prepared. There is still a law of averages, and there is good and bad luck. It is rummored that Murphy was a pilot. ~

      54 Pacific Maritime • December 2008 •

      www.pacmar.com
      __________________________________________________________

      --- In PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com, "Phelps Hobart" <nlsac@...> wrote:
      >
      > Someone recently reminded me about the Emma Maersk and its mission to
      > bring goods from China to California...

    • Sam Sause
      Great article John -You raise some really good points, but I couldn t help but think about how this modern technology in creating a much faster turnaround has
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 1, 2009
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        Great article John –You raise some really good points, but I couldn’t help but think about how this modern technology in creating  a much faster turnaround has affected the  human  factor -- the seafarer  -- who sails both the “wet” and the “dry” vessels and who through this modernization and advanced technology are faced with shorter and shorter times in port, sometimes as little as 8 – 10 hours.   I totally support faster ships, new  efficiencies and new cranes that are all essential to reducing the turnaround time and lay time (“time is money”), but who is around to care for the seafarer who often signs a 300 day contract and may spend up to  250 days at sea,  with the remaining   50 days in port that is broken up into 10 to 20 hour port calls.  It is mostly  the  seafarers centers around the world,  who step in to meet and greet the seafarers when they arrive in port and to provide support services to them that include, but not limited to, counseling, meals recreational activities, telephones, internet access, transportation and advocacy.

         

        One of these seafarer’s centers is the Oakland  International Maritime Center (website: sfbayfarer.org) which is currently being operated by the Bay Area Seafarers Service (BASS) who have just merged their operation with the Seamen’s church institute (SCI) of New York (seamenschurch.org).  SCI will be taking over the entire BASS operation later this month.    I invite you to look at these two websites, especially the SCI one (seamenschurch.org) to see what the waterfront ministry is all about.  Keep in mind that it is about caring for seafarers, not about proselytizing.

        Sam

         

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      • capt.ob@comcast.net
        I went to sea for many years, both in the foc sl and on the bridge. I sailed in only American Flag, Union contract vessels. I was paid well for my labor and
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 2, 2009
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          I went to sea for many years, both in the foc'sl and on the bridge. I sailed in only American Flag, Union contract vessels. I was paid well for my labor and knowledge. When one goes to sea, one should be aware of the hardships.
          I enjoyed great benefits and plenty of paid vacation time off. Our contract (MM&P) called for only 120 day assignments, with usually 120 paid vacation to follow. Sailing Bosn, Carpenter ,Quartermaster and A.B.  I was limited to 210 days assignments...As far as 300 day assignments, I say "more days=more dollars" If one can't take the hardships, one should go ashore and be a ribbon clerk.The seais a calling, not a job.

           Captain K.C. O'Brien,MM&P (ret)

          ----- Original Message -----

          From: Sam Sause

          To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com

          Sent: Thu, 2 Jul 2009 06:08:32 +0000 (UTC)

          Subject: RE: [PMMC-NLUS] Re: World's Largest Cargo Ship - Emma Maersk































              


                      

                

















          Great article John

          –You raise some really good points, but I couldn’t help but think

          about how this modern technology in creating  a much faster turnaround has

          affected the  human  factor -- the seafarer  -- who sails both

          the “wet” and the “dry” vessels and who through this modernization

          and advanced technology are faced with shorter and shorter times in port,

          sometimes as little as 8 – 10 hours.   I totally support faster

          ships, new  efficiencies and new cranes that are all essential to reducing

          the turnaround time and lay time (“time is money”), but who is

          around to care for the seafarer who often signs a 300 day contract and may

          spend up to  250 days at sea,  with the remaining   50 days

          in port that is broken up into 10 to 20 hour port calls.  It is mostly  the 

          seafarers centers around the world,  who step in to meet and greet the

          seafarers when they arrive in port


          and to provide support services to them that include, but not limited to, counseling,

          meals recreational activities, telephones, internet access, transportation and

          advocacy.





           





          One of these seafarer’s

          centers is the Oakland  International Maritime Center (website: sfbayfarer.org)

          which is currently being operated by the Bay Area Seafarers Service (BASS) who

          have just merged their operation with the Seamen’s church institute (SCI)

          of New York (seamenschurch.org).  SCI will be taking over the entire BASS operation

          later this month.    I invite you to look at these two websites,

          especially the SCI one (seamenschurch.org) to see what the waterfront ministry

          is all about.  Keep in mind that it is about caring for seafarers, not about

          proselytizing.





          Sam









           





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        • Nelson Combs
          I worked on some Marine Firemen s Union and SIU benefit plans over a period of twenty years. What the old timers seemed to complain about was the lack of the
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 2, 2009
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            I worked on some Marine Firemen's Union and SIU benefit plans over a period of twenty years. What the old timers seemed to complain about was the lack of the romance of the fast turn world of shipping. Gone are the copra runs and the slow turn in some ports in Asia where a nice long liberty could produce adventures. (I don't know if "liberty" is the right word in the merchant marines, but that's what we used to call "time enough in a port of call to go ashore and get into trouble" in the Navy.
            Nelson Combs
          • Phelps Hobart
            ... From: Captain K. C.O Brien, (MM&P Ret) To: Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 4:58 PM Subject: Re: [PMMC-NLUS] Re: World s
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 2, 2009
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Captain K. C.O'Brien, (MM&P Ret)

              To: Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
              Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 4:58 PM
              Subject: Re: [PMMC-NLUS] Re: World's Largest Cargo Ship - Emma Maersk


              In 50 years of seafaring, I don't think I ever sailed in a ship that didn't have Filipino seamen. They are the most seafaring people to be found in all nations flags ships.

              They always have been known to be sober, industrious and honest. Many have been terribly abused by some shipowners....They are also known to undercut the wages of mariners everywhere......In the last few years, the shipowners have been able to undercut the Filipino seamen's wages by hiring Chinese from the People's Republic of China.

              I have been a generous contributor to Oakland Center(mostly Filipino seamen) and for over 40years the Seaman's Church Institute of New York (Elizabeth,NJ).

              I bought and donated the doors, hardware and other construction material for Oakland.

              I have heard that the Chinese seaman are contracted for a year....largely from the inner country..They are paid $100.00 in advance for one year on the ship.Their wives accompany them to the sign in and receive the money.

              I have heard horror stories of forign seaman being stranded in foreign ports, not paid, just abandoned.

              Thank God I am an American, and sailed only Union Contracted, US Flag ships.

              Captain K. C.O'Brien, (MM&P Ret)
            • capt.ob@comcast.net
              Dear Brother Combs, I heartily agree!...When I started out in Knot Ships,Libertys , Victorys, and other boom ships, we would sometimes stay in port for as
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 2, 2009
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                Dear Brother Combs,

                I heartily agree!...When I started out in    Knot Ships,Libertys , Victorys, and other "boom" ships, we would sometimes stay in port for as long as 1-2 weeks.I remember laying at Vung Tau (Cape St.Jaques) Viet-Nam for as long as two weeks,waiting for our turn to go up the river to Saigon.Even if we couldn't go alongside right away,   we     sometimes would anchor outside the river bar in Bangkok for a week, where a plethora of "bum boats" swarmed around the ship, loaded with fruits, veggies, fish, girls and booze. During a shuttle from Viet-Nam to Japan and Tawan, we kept ending up in Keelung, where the old man had a girlfriend. We would make fast to another ship and wait for orders from the US Navy, sometimes for a week or ten days.Retiring from container ships....20-24 hours turn around was about right.Once after a hurricane, we entered SanJuan PR to find all the cranes but one turned over. The one standing didn't work.
                It took us two weeks to discharge all our boxes, and load mt's.The longshoremen begin with a cherry picker to    take off all the high boxes, sowe could move down the pier to the straight, horizontal crane that was used to load/disch boxes from barges.

                Today it seems all the romance of old is gone...Container ports are oftenl ocated far from town, and are bleak, dangerous, depressing places to be.(Oakland, Newark, Elizabeth, etc) Many of us didn't even bother to go ashore, but stay aboard to catch up on our sleep...

                Gone are the days of port calls at Port Moresby,New Guinea, Rabual, Kaveing,Townsville, Cairns, Thursday Island, Madang,Christ Church New Zealand,
                Rio, Buenos Aires, Montivadao,Valpariso, Maricibo, Aruba...and more forgotten.

                Excuse my spelling and puncuation as I am tired.

                Steady As She Goes,   OBie

                ----- Original Message -----

                From: Nelson Combs

                To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com

                Sent: Thu, 2 Jul 2009 23:12:30 +0000 (UTC)

                Subject: RE: [PMMC-NLUS] Re: World's Largest Cargo Ship - Emma Maersk































                    


                            

                      

                   I worked on some Marine Firemen's Union and SIU benefit plans over a period of twenty years.  What the old timers seemed to complain about was the lack of the romance of the fast turn world of shipping.  Gone are the copra runs and the slow turn in some ports in Asia where a nice long liberty could produce adventures.  (I don't know if "liberty" is the right word in the merchant marines, but that's what we used to call "time enough in a port of call to go ashore and get into trouble" in the Navy.


                     Nelson Combs








                    
                  



                    

                    

                    

                    




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