Every ship has its purpose, from oil tankers or cargo carriers to cruise liners, in a variety of sizes and different engines. These giants require massive propulsion systems, from diesel engines to nuclear, wind energy, or even solar, in order to remain on the sea for months. It may not be spectacular but seeing a supertanker or a cruise liner in person, it’s enough to put into perspective their engineering complexity what was the basis of the construction.
Here is a list of a few of the largest ships ever built in the world.
Ti Class Supertankers
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering built these mega tankers, in Okpo, South Korea in 2003 for the company Hellespont. The Tankers International L.L.C’s fleet consists of TI Africa, TI Asia, TI Europe, and TI Oceania, but the vessels were initially named Fairfax, Tara, Alhambra, and Metropolis by the Greep shipping corporation Hellespont.
The TI supertankers have a gross tonnage of 234,006 GT (162,477 NT), spans a length of 380 m (1,247 ft), a beam of 68 m (223 ft), and can travel at 16.5 knots (30.5 km/h; 18.9 mph) fully loaded propelled by a single HSD-Sulzer 9RTA84T-D engine that develops 50,220 hp.
This supertanker was built in 1976 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique at Saint-Nazaire for Shell Oil. Batillus was one of the biggest ships in the world, surpassed in size only by the Seawise Giant.
In terms of measurement, it has a length of 414.22 m (1,359 ft), a beam of 63.01 m (1,359 ft), and a gross tonnage of 273,550 GT lets the tanker ship carry the cargo in 40 tanks with a total volume of 677.300 m3. This “monster” was equipped with 4 Stal-Laval steam turbine engines that developed 64,800 bhp (48.3 MW) and had a cruising speed of 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph).
Seawise Giant, the biggest ship ever built, also has an interesting history. The ship was ordered in 1974 and delivered 5 years later, in 1979 by Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. in Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan for a Greek owner. Unfortunately, the ship was damaged during an Iran-Iraq war while transiting the Strait of Hormuz. The wreckage was towed to Singapore from the Persian Gulf, after was bought by Normal International, repaired and renamed as Happy Giant in October 1991, and returned to active duty. Shortly, the largest ship ever built was bought by Jørgen Jahre and renamed Jahre Viking, later Knock Nevis and Mont. In 2010, the “marvel” was scraped and the ship’s 36-tonne anchor was donated to Hong Kong Maritime Museum.
The Seawise Giant had a tonnage of 260.941 GT (214,793 NT), a span length of 458.45 m (1,504.10 ft), and a draft of 24.6 m (81 feet). The ship was longer than the Empire State Building’s height and had a cruising speed of 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph) propelled by 2 Mitsubishi V2M8 boilers that generated 50.000 hp. With that enormous tonnage, the ship took 9 km (5.5 mi) to stop from its cruising speed and had a turning circle of 3km (2mi).
CSCL globe and the other four sisters ships were ordered in 2013 and built by Hyundai Heavy Industries at their shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. With a tonnage of 187,541 GT, the ship can travel at 22.0 knots (41 km/h) with a capacity of 19,000 TEUs. CSCL Globe has a total length of 400 m (1,312 ft), a beam of 59 m (193 ft), and a draft of 16.0 m (52 ft) making it one of the world’s largest container ships.
Upon its entry into service, the ship Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller was surpassed by CSCL Globe as the world’s largest operational container ship.
The USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
USS Enterprise is the longest naval vessel built and the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. With a total length of 342 m (1,123 feet), the ship was designed to carry a maximum of 5,800 military personnel, propelled by 8 Westinghouse A2W nuclear reactors with a total power of 280,000 shp (210 MW) at a cruise speed of 33.6 knots (38.7 mph; 62.2 km/h).
After 55 years of service, the ship was decommissioned on 3 February 2017 after so many fierce battles.
Prelude FLNG is the world’s longest floating liquefied natural gas ever constructed. This marvel of the oceans is owned by Royal Dutch Shell, built by Technip–Samsung Consortium in South Korea, and launched in December 2013. This massive ship has a length of 488 meters (1,601 ft) long, 74 meters (243 ft) wide, a beam of 74 m (243 ft), and a weight of more than 600.000 tonnes fully loaded. The cost to date of Prelude FLNG may be over $US20 billion more than they anticipated.
Wonder of the Seas
Wonder of the Seas is currently the largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage and is operated by Royal Caribbean International alongside its sisters, Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and Allure of the Seas. The Wonder of the Seas has a total length gross tonnage of 236,857 GT, a maximum beam of 64 m (210 ft), and spans 362.04 m (1,187.8 ft). The massive cruise ship can travel at 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) and can seat 5,518 passengers at double occupancy.
On this cruise ship, you can choose to take dinner at 20 different restaurants or to swim in one of the 8 pools. Onboard the Wonder of the Seas, the fun never ends with activities like a surf simulator, a zip line, laser tag, or climbing walls. There are also plenty of kid clubs where children can have fun and make friends while parents get some alone time.
The ship is scheduled to make her maiden voyage on 4 March 2022 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.
The Ever Ace is the world’s biggest container ship with a total capacity of 23.992 TEUs, a total span of 400m (1,312 ft 4 in), and a beam of 61.5 m (202 ft). The Ever Ace is the first of a 14 container ships series named Evergreen A class being built for Evergreen Marine by Samsung Heavy Industries in North Korea. This “monster” has 24 rows of side-by-side containers and is propelled by a 78,584 hp Wartsila 2-stroke main-engine with 11 cylinders at a cruising speed of 22.6 knots (41.8 km/h; 26mph)
TEU is an acronym used in logistics, which means “Twenty Equipment Unit”, a ’20 foot container often used for container ships and container ports but can be easily transferred to ships, trains, and trucks.
Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller
The ship was constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea and launched in February 2013. At that time, Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller was the largest container ship, with a total length of 399 meters (1,309 ft 1 in), a beam of 399 meters (1,309 ft 1 in), and a maximum capacity of 18,270 TEUs. To achieve 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph), the ship is propelled by two MAN-B&W 8S80ME-C 9.2 engines that develop 39,800 hp each.
We wonder how largest the ships will be in the future, and how transportation will change the world, but one thing is obvious: we are evolving more and more every day.
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