December 2012

At the end of 2012 we can look back and see it has been another interesting year in our industry.

 

Here are ten things, in no particular order of importance, that stand out for me:

 

1. Planet Solar

There is no doubt that we can get around the world by sail, but what if we were to use the other sustainable technology, photo voltaic solar power? The math for PV is much more difficult than sail. By comparison, sun light has much lower power densities than wind. It is very difficult to fit sufficient PV areas on a ship and still have it move at a reasonable speed. But can it be done? It was proven to be possible with Planet Solar. It certainly was not fast, but extremely low weight and very high efficiencies with regard to drag and propulsion made it work and in 2012 she completed her first PV powered circumnavigation.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%BBranor_PlanetSolar

 

2. Vestas Sailrocket 2

On November 24, 2012, the Vesta Sailrocket 2 set an outright sailboat speed record of 65.45 knots. This is a doubling of the outright sailboat speed record since 1977 when it was 31 knots! Remarkably this increase in speed was almost entirely achieved by very careful optimization after 35 years of continuous experimentation.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestas_Sailrocket

 

3. CMA CGM Marco Polo

It is not entirely clear if she is even the largest container vessel today, but she is proof that the growth trend for super large container vessels has not yet stopped. Bigger boats from Maersk are expected next year. Remember these vessels are the longest vessels currently plying the oceans, because ULCC’s like Seawise Giant have been scrapped.

  read more »

Holiday gift giving is always difficult, but you know what they say, it is not the size of the gift, it is the thought that counts. 

 

What to give to those who love maritime, and that can be given to all our many friends anywhere around the world?

Books are nice, but they need to be shipped and that would be a lot of books to a lot of friends. Technology helps us, since somehow it must be possible to upload a list of recipients to the Amazon account and then to push a button and all these books will be sent out all over the world. But what book to send? My friend Arthur Mournian once sent me a photocopy of what he considered the best maritime story ever. It is called "Bread upon the Waters" by Rudyard Kipling. And it is nothing like what one would expect, but anybody who has dealt with H&M claims, salvage, general average, marine engineering or maritime law will love it.

 

It is not even available on Amazon, but it is off copyright and available on Gutenberg.

 

So here is our Holiday present, Bread Upon the Water" from The Day's Work by Rudyard Kipling. read more »