Fleet in service – exploit its potential, control costs: Increase of load draft

By Peter Pospiech at September 10, 2013 07:16
Filed Under: Company News, General

Vessels of the today’s fleet in service may be modified by increasing the load draft to improve the capacity. This results in a more efficient ships operation that is particularly worth at slow steaming and with heavy container loads.

The plimsoll line

If load draft and load capacity are increased at unchanged ships power the energy consumption per ton load is reduced – and causes therefore a better efficiency. For this only the plimsoll line must be changed. This relatively simple process can be done easily during the next survey and / or often during normal operation. At vessels with ice-class it’s important to consider that an increase of load draft normally comes to a downgrading or even a nullity of the mentioned ice-class for the new load draft. Before an implementation takes place the procedure of a feasibility study is highly recommendable to ensure that the load draft of the affected ship really can be increased. With this, the hull stability for the increased load draft should be done. Furthermore the freeboard must be calculated new, including the check of the locking status. Finally the damage and intact stability should be checked. The increase of load draft can be done in a relatively short period of time after a positive valuation. If a vessel is not fully loaded it must take ballast water to reach an average load draft. The fuel consumption therefore can be kept constant and is not subject for fluctuations caused by heavy seaway.

This measure is particularly suitable for container and multipurpose ships. Based on the very little investment costs and the very fast amortization it is worth also for vessels with advanced years.


Source/Image: GL / courtesy of PPM News Service Maritim

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