Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Are Car Ships Ugly?

Cepheus Leader - Leader Class PCTC (photo from NYK Logistics Calendar)

Many mariners claim car ships are ugly. (and here, part 2) Below is a bunker ship alongside in Gibraltar - Form follows function, it is designed to deliver bunkers in the port of Gibraltar. I wouldn't say it's ugly but it's no beauty.

Bunker ship SPABunker Twenty coming alongside in Gibraltar (Photo by K.C.)

The bow of the SPA Bunker 20 is built from two flat pieces of steel , not too graceful. I don't think she ever hits over 8 kts.

At the site Ugly Ships, the post Livestock Carriers (part 2) Seabart says about livestock carriers:

I think theses (livestock) ships are as ugly, if not more, as the ugliest ships in the world: carcarriers.

Below is a livestock ship, this one had a second house added forward during its conversion.

Livestock ship - Photo by amateur_photo_bore

It is not a good looking ship. As ugly as a car ship? Ouch.

People often say carships look like a giant box, below is a "box boat".

Container ship - Photo from Wikipedia

If you moved the house forward and include the containers, the profile is very similar to a car ship. Above the water line both are box-like, cargo is easy to fit in a box. What is more box-like then a box? I never though containers ships were good looking.

Next, here is another common ship - the LNG carrier.

LNG Ship (photo from Wikipedia)

For liquid under high pressure a sphere is the ideal shape, not many people would say a LNG ship is good looking.

Here is another photo of a Leader Class Car Ship.

Leader Class PCTC upbound Westerschelde River (photo by K.C.)

No nonsense, it was built to cross oceans, it's capacity is 6500 standard (RT43 Type) size cars, the stern ramp is rated at 150 tons, the ramps inside can handle two way traffic, if you want to move Roll on / Roll off cargo, this is the way to do it.

The shape changes drastically at the waterline,

A Leader Class out of the waster (Photo by K.C.)

Above the waterline, it's about cargo capacity, below, it's about water resistance.

I think the reason people think car ships are ugly is that when people look at a conventional ship they don't really look at it, it doesn't attract notice. Most people would never give the ship below a second look.

Container ship Alongside (Hirokura Co., Ltd. Photo)

A car ship on the other hand, towers above us, the visual impact of the steel sides commands attention and its non-traditional looks demands that we form an opinion.

Leader Class PCTC Alongside (photo by K.C.)

But is it ugly? Compared to most of the merchant fleet today, I say, have another look.


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