you noticed that when-ever have been away, even for a long week-end, you
return to your home and work expecting things to be different. Almost
invariably you are surprised to find that rather than there being any
changes at all, things have remained almost obstinately the same.
My wife and I have just
got back from what was a very interesting trip to North America where we
visited friends and relatives in Canada, and flew to Lafayette where I
presented a paper on tank cleaning at the IADC Offshore Logistics Conference
in Lafayette. I may or may not choose to comment on this conference later.
However getting to the
point. I arrived back to find that nothing had changed at all, specifically
in the area of writing for the website. We have once more received no
contributions even though we are offering money prizes and I know that there
are thousands of creative writers all over the world, many of whom must have
some knowledge or interest in the maritime world. So I am just going to have
to make further contributions myself.
The Ship with the
I have just been directed
to a press release on the Ulstein Verft page by a friend of the website who
works for Maersk, and I have taken the liberty of reproducing the pictures
from the page here, though I hasten to add that should Ulstein Verft AS wish
me to remove the pictures then they have only to say. This is a first for
the News and Views, and I recognise that pictures make articles so much more
interesting - possible contributors should note.
The above is a picture of
the bow of the Ulstein AX104 provided with what is called the "Ulstein X-Bow
(TM) . According to the press release this bow design "eliminates slamming
by the sea. The shape means the vessel can achieve higher speeds in all
conditions and fuel economy is good".
The managing director of
Bourbon Offshore Norway said "We saw the sketches of the ULSTEIN AX104 and
liked the shape of it" !! (Our exclamation marks). It is really difficult to
be objective at this point, and one can't help thinking that if this was
really a good idea then surely all ships would be like this, or is it
because the whole of the bow and the accommodation can be incorporated, so
the fact that the seas can climb up to the bridge level is not important.
They've done tank testing, so it must be OK. But I still have the memory of
being really pleased that the flare on the bow pushed the waves away from
the ship, otherwise the seas would have been coming through the bridge
windows, and not being pleased when the flare failed to push the waves away
and the seas did come through the bridge windows.
The other end of the ship
offers some surprises as well. The ships is equipped with the "newly
developed Safe Anchor-Handling System SAHS, provided by ODIM which increases
the safety of the anchor-handling work" . This picture in pretty interesting
as well, and is really a sign of the times. It has been noticeable recently
that designers have found it less necessary to provide anchor handlers with
a means of allowing the tow wire to run along the crash barrier. This is
because the ships can turn without having the move the tow wire from the
stern at worst enough sideways thrust can be applied to change direction
with the ship and the wire pivoted at the tow end.
system appears to absolutely prevent the tow wire from going round the side
- or perhaps the ship is not to be used for towing. And call me picky but
surely a steep ramp from the point at which the crew will be working to the
water would make it easier for people to slide into the sea, and in fact
impossible to recover them. This thought caused me to visit the ODIM page
where the picture shows a different structure altogether.
have now had a supply ship with accommodation aft and an anchor handler
which uses the accommodation forward in a different way, what else can
happen. What-ever it is I just can't see the model builders being keen on
the ULSTEIN AX104.