Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design

Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design
Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design

Automation presents a set of unique challenges to designers, insurers and operators of ships. In this article, reprinted from the Shipowners P&I Club website Keir Gravil, a naval architect at Frazer-Nash Consultancy in Bristol, UK discusses some of the key issues that could face automated ships of the future from a design perspective.

It is a truth recognised by many industries that the future of transportation lies with greater automation. Over the last 50 years we have seen huge changes not only in shipping, but in every form of transportation and vehicle. Aircraft now incorporate automation routinely on flights around the world, cars are being developed to drive themselves and many railways have been totally automated for some time. As each step in the evolution of transportation progresses, the human element of control is reduced or eliminated altogether. But what of shipping? Surely an industry the size and scope of international shipping faces unique challenges in the realm of automation?

The background
It is often the job of ship designers, especially those in the naval defence industry, to think ahead and anticipate future technological changes. One could argue that Continue reading “Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design”

North Sails completes its transformation from 3DL to 3Di

North Sails completes its transformation from 3DL to 3Di
North Sails completes its transformation from 3DL to 3Di

North Sails has ceased production of laminated sails reliant on mylar and has committed to spread filament, prepreg, 3D composite structures, introducing 3Di NORDAC for smaller cruising boats and 3Di RAW 760S for smaller race boats. It has also converted its manufacturing facilities in Minden, Nevada, US and Sri Lanka to increase production capacity.

“The expansion of the Sri Lanka factory is in response to the successful launch of 3Di RAW 760S sails for smaller race boats and 3Di NORDAC for smaller cruising boats,” North Sails CEO Dan Neri stated. “3Di sails continue to meet the requirements of sailors in all classes from the Continue reading “North Sails completes its transformation from 3DL to 3Di”

Improper maintenance could have cost the lives of two surveyors says UK P&I Club case study

Photo credit: UK P&I Club
Photo credit: UK P&I Club

In UK P&I Club’s latest ‘Lessons Learned’ series of case studies, Captain David Nichol presents the case regarding improper ventilation after a maintenance operation, which could have led to the deaths of two surveyors during a third party survey on the emergency fire pump.

About the incident
During a third party survey, the surveyor made a request to test the emergency fire pump, which was arranged with the assistance of the chief engineer. The emergency fire pump was located in a recessed well in the steering gear compartment, approximately 3 metres deep and accessed by an inclined stairway. At the start of the test, the surveyor asked to observe the pump being started locally and operating before proceeding on deck to check the hoses rigged fore and aft.

Shortly after descending into the fire pump well, the chief engineer urgently ordered the surveyors to get out and by the time both men reached the steering compartment deck, they were Continue reading “Improper maintenance could have cost the lives of two surveyors says UK P&I Club case study”

The largest ever China (Shanghai) International Boat Show gets ready

The largest ever China (Shanghai) International Boat Show gets ready
The largest ever China (Shanghai) International Boat Show gets ready

Preparations for the 23rd China (Shanghai) International Boat Show 2018 are well underway for April 2018, with organisers announcing more exhibitors, conferences and initiatives than ever before.

As Asia’s biggest boat show, organisers are expecting over 40,000 visitors to explore all aspects of the boating industry, from yachting culture and maritime lifestyles to water sports, water tourism, accessories, equipment and entertainment.

This year, the show will present more than 550 exhibitors in three key sectors, including Continue reading “The largest ever China (Shanghai) International Boat Show gets ready”

First hydrogen fuelled passenger vessel to be passed by a class society launched

First hydrogen fuelled passenger vessel to be passed by a class society launched
First hydrogen fuelled passenger vessel to be passed by a class society launched

‘Hydroville’ is a custom designed and built 14m high speed displacement catamaran and, according to its builders, BWSeaCat, is the first vessel in the world to be passed by a class society to operate with passengers using Hydrogen fuel in her propulsion engines. Consequently it produces no CO2, particulate matter or sulphur oxides.

Built in the UK by BWSeaCat Ltd for owners CMB Technologies of Antwerp Belgium, using a Hydrogen system supplied and installed by Revolve of Essex UK and in close collaboration with Lloyds, Belgian Flag, Air Liquide and Naval Architect Steven Lee, the vessel was launched late last year.

Based on a hull form originally designed by BWSeaCat Ltd Managing Director Iain Worrallo, by working closely with Naval Architect Steven Lee, BWSeaCat were able to adapt the hull’s internal layout and structural characteristics to accommodate Continue reading “First hydrogen fuelled passenger vessel to be passed by a class society launched”