Hawsepiper: The Longest Climb Discusses the Pucker Factor in Craptastic Ship Design

 imageHere’s my bunker barge moored alongside a pretty little ship. Notice the little hose snaked between us. This is a small hose used for transferring small parcels of diesel. The fuel oil hose is twice that size, and the 30-meter (100-foot) hose we use most often weighs several tons, even when empty.

Let’s say you’re going to spend… I dunno, between 15 and 75 Million US Dollars to build yourself a nice bulk carrier, or a handysized container/breakbulk ship… or even a reefer boat… whatever, you’re building a new ship. Congratulations.

Why would you design a ship that is completely miserable to fuel up? Wouldn’t you want your bunkering operations to be safe and fast, so that your crew can do the million other things to be done on board?

Now, chances are, unless the ship is being built for a highly specialized run between two ports, your first concern might be usability. You want your new ship to maximize profitability over the long term, and, aesthetics aside, this means being built to last, but at a low cost…

keep reading »