Biggest ship, nope nope nope.

A lot of misinformed malarkey in the press this week about the world’s  biggest cargo ship. Impressive figures and no mistake but it’s referring to the world’s biggest container ship. There are much much bigger maritime behmoths out there, indeedy so.

The following childlike ‘gush gosh’ facts from the tinterwebby.

The world’s biggest cargo ship has docked in Britain for the first time.

The Globe was built in South Korea and has arrived on its first trip.

It measures 400m long, 56m wide and 73m tall. So how can a ship so big work?

It can carry nearly 20,000 containers – the same as 14,500 buses – so how can it float?


It’s all down to the ship’s massive size, and something called displacement.


For a ship to float, it has to push its weight in water downwards – or displace it.

Once it’s pushed down by the ship, this water pushes back upwards – and floats the ship.

So the bigger the ship – the more water it pushes down.


If you laid every cargo container the ship can carry end to end, they’d stretch for 72 miles.

It’s also important that the heavy cargo crates are put at the bottom of the ship, and the lighter ones at the top. This stops the ship swaying when it’s at sea.

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The BBC’s Richard Westcott explains how the Globe is loaded

The engine

So once a ship of that size is floating – how does it move?

It needs a big engine. And the Globe does not disappoint.

According to the company that made its diesel engine, it’s the biggest ever.

Globe engine

It’s over 17m tall and can generate the power of 38,000 powerful vacuum cleaners! (wtf does that mean?? Ed.)

How big can ships get? (Ever so ever so ever so big??)

With engines and ships so large – just how big can they get in the future?

The Globe will only have been the largest on the planet for a total 53 days.

MSC Oscar

MSC Oscar – soon to be the largest cargo ship in the world

MSC Oscar will overtake it when it first sets sail at the end of this month. It’ll be able to carry about 5% more than the Globe.

Bigger ships are appealing to transport companies because they can move more cargo per trip – saving money on fuel.

There are downsides though to larger ships – those big enough to carry 18,000 containers or more are too big to stop in many ports around the world.

In fact they can only sail between Asia and Europe, with ports in countries like the USA being too small to hold them.

The Globe even takes up two giant parking spaces as it’s docked in Felixstowe.


Shippuss Giganticus (this ship will swallow the above ship in one easy gulp!!)

From g Captain

The world’s largest ship, the Pieter Schelte, arrived in Rotterdam Thursday after an approximately 7 week voyage from the DSME shipyard in South Korea, at least 4 years under construction, and decades of planning.

The giant catamaran-like ship has been moved to Rotterdam where the final phases of construction will take place. Plans call for the vessel to be moved to Alexiahaven to a specially-designed and dredged berth known as Maasvlakte 2, where the 65-metre long beams of the topside lift system will be installed.

At 382 meters (1,253 feet) long by 124 meters wide (407 feet), the vessel is arguably one of the biggest ships ever constructed. With help from a slot at the bow and a 48,000 tonne lifting capacity, the Pieter Schelte will be used to install and remove decommissioned topsides and jackets of large offshore oil and gas platforms in the North Sea with a single lift. The vessel is also equipped for laying large pipelines with a capacity that will also make her the largest pipelay vessel.

The Pieter Schelte was commissioned by Swiss company Allseas, which specializes in offshore pipeline installation and subsea construction, and reportedly cost close to $3 billion to construct.

The vessel has been under construction at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering shipyard in Okpo since 2010 (although early construction even began as early as 2007), and the concept dates back to 1987 when it was first designed by Allseas founder and chief executive Edward Heerema.

Pieter Schelte departed DSME on November 17, 2014 with the assistance of tugs. On its journey to Rotterdam, the ship made stops at Singapore and then Cape Town as it passed the Cape of Good Hope.

Offshore operations are expected to commence in the summer of 2015, according to Allseas. Allseas is also planning a second, larger ship with a lifting capacity up to 50% greater capacity.

Pieter Schelte Particulars:

Length overall (incl. tilting lift beam and stinger): 477 m (1,565 ft)
Length overall (excl. tilting lift beam and stinger): 382 m (1,253 ft)
Length between perpendiculars: 370 m (1,214 ft)
Breadth: 124 m (407 ft)
Depth to main deck: 30 m (98 ft)
Slot length: 122 m (400 ft)
Slot width: 59 m (194 ft)
Topsides lift capacity: 48,000 t (105,820 kips)
Jacket lift capacity: 25,000 t (55,116 kips)
Stinger length (incl. transition frame): 210 m (690 ft)
Operating draught: 10-25 m (32-82 ft)
Maximum speed: 14 knots
Total installed power: 95,000 kW
Accommodation: 571 persons
Dynamic positioning system: LR DP (AAA), fully redundant Kongsberg K-Pos DP-22 and 2 x cJoy system
Deck cranes: 3 x Pipe transfer cranes of 50 t (110 kips) at 33 m (108 ft), 1 x Special purpose crane of
600 t (1,323 kips) at 20 m (66 ft)
Work stations: Double-joint factory with 5 line-up stations and 2 stations for combined external and internal welding; Main firing line with 6 welding stations for double joints, 1 NDT station and 6 coating stations
Tensioner capacity: 4 x 500 t (4 x 1,102 kips)
Pipe diameters: From 2? to 68? OD
Pipe cargo capacity (deck): 27,000 t

About allatsea

Sixty year old master-mariner. Absolutely gorgeous. Well wedged.....when compared to a Nairobi street urchin. Sorted, in that I haven't been in court recently. Hopelessly optimistic, terminally disappointed. Good with cats and other fluffy things. No musical talent. Generous to a fault provided it's someone else's round. Political centreist with far right and left viewpoints. A green activist from the hydrocarbon position with nuclear leanings. Averse to avarice but always happy to receive lottery wins, gifts, windfalls, legacies, prizes and wet sloppy kisses.
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