Monday, July 6, 2009

Ship Displacement and Capacity Limitation

by Charles Roring in Manokwari of West Papua of Indonesia

Ship is the product of human engineering. It is intended to transport goods and people from one island to another. Ships support the progress of human life. People trade goods to every corner of the world with ships. In the same way, people also go around the world with ships. The invention of airplanes does not replace ships as the major transporter of goods and to some extend people.


The competition in business forced ship designers or naval architects to build ships that are efficient. Therefore, they tend to design and construct ships that are bigger both in displacement and passenger capacity. Ships that carry more goods and people are effectively more efficient than small ships.


But the construction or the design of ships should not only be seen from efficiency and dead weight tonnage. There are still other factors which ship-designer and shipbuilder have to think before a final design is approved for construction. Two of them are ship's safety and environmental assessment impact. For instance, if the newly designed ship is an oil tanker with a dead weight of 500,000 ton then it will not be wise to build it due to its potential environmental impact. This giant oil tanker might face an accident at sea. Oil spill from such tanker can be difficult to overcome due to the massive amount of oil which has to be contained and collected from sea surface. If 500,000 ton of crude oil covers the surface of the sea, it will block sunlight, and choke a lot of marine animals.


Such consideration also applies to passenger ships. Cruise ships that are designed with passenger capacity of more than five thousand people might not be wise to be constructed. It might be an efficient transporter but it will be dangerous if the ship face similar accidents to Titanic. Passenger safety should also be taken into account when designers want to decide the carrying capacity of a bus, a train, and most importantly a passenger airplane. Airplane that carries more than 500 people will be potentially dangerous for the passengers if it crashes. There will always be a possibility of accident at sea, land and air to all man made structures no matter how perfect or how advanced they have been designed and constructed. Also read: Traveling with ship; and Propeller Rake and Blade Thickness Diameter Ratio