April 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Number Of Vessels Classed By ABS Increased In 1976

An increase in the number of vessels under American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) classification during 1976 was reported by Robert T. Young, ABS chairman and president, at the annual meeting of members of the international ship classification society, held at its New York City headquarters on March 15. In his annual message to the members, Mr. Young said that as of December 31, 1976, a total of 14,026 vessels of 166,254,000 deadweight tons, or 93,947,000 gross tons, were under ABS classification.

During 1976, ABS classed 1,632 new vessels totaling 14,075,000 dwt, or 7,406,000 gt, and 120 existing vessels, totaling 2,158,000 dwt, or 1,307,000 gt.

As of January 1, 2,469 vessels of 39,867,000 dwt, or 22,724,000 gt, were being built, or were under contract to be built, to ABS classification in 47 countries.

Mr. Young reported that the 12 ABS Technical Offices throughout the world, which review hull and machinery plans, received approximately 144,500 plans in 1976—making it one of the busiest years for plan review in ABS history. However, he said, "a lesser proportion" of vessels for which plans were reviewed have reached construction compared to previous years.

While fewer new oil tankers were classed by ABS in 1976 than in 1975, Mr. Young noted that more cargo vessels were classed. These included bulk carriers, general cargo ships, container carriers, vehicle carriers, and liquefied natural gas carriers.

"Our container certification program moved ahead strongly in 1976," Mr. Young said. "Twentynine thousand containers of 90 different design types were contracted to ABS certification. This is an increase of about 23 percent over 1975." As of the end of 1976, more than 189,000 c o n t a i n e rs were contracted to ABS certification.

For the offshore drilling industry, ABS classed 36 offshore mobile drilling units last year, bringing to 196 the total of such units classed by ABS as of the start of 1977. Mr. Young noted there were 73 units on order to ABS class.

ABS activity in regard to submersible units showed "considerable growth over the past year," remarked Mr. Young. In 1976, the society classed seven manned submersibles, making a total of 37 such units in ABS classification as of December 31, 1976.

Under contract to be built to ABS class were a variety of 56 submersibles, which is twice the number on order the previous year.

Reporting on the DAISY system of computer finite element programs, which Mr. Young called "an analytical tool invaluable to our classification and research work," he said that an expanded version of the program was developed last year and made available for general use on the ABSCOMP IBM 370/158 computer.

(ABS Computers, Incorporated is a subsidiary of ABS.) The new version of DAISY enables engineers to model complex structures more accurately and effectively than previously possible.

In its efforts to make ABS classification services "as accessible as possible to the marine industry in all parts of the world," ABS opened five new exclusive offices in 1976. They are located at Tokushima, Japan; Fort Laud- erdale, Fla.; Khorramshahr, Iran; Munich, Germany, and Turku, Finland. In addition, two formerly nonexclusive offices — in Cartagena, Colombia, and Cebu, Philippines—were given exclusive status. ABS was represented in 88 countries as of January 1, 1977.

Mr. Young said that ABS Worldwide Technical Services, Inc., an ABS wholly owned subsidiary, had completed its fifth year with steadily increasing activity.

ABSTECH has participated in more than 6,000-long and short-term projects. He reported that the American Institute of Steel Construction Inc. has called on ABSTECH for quality control evaluation surveys for the certification of steel fabrication plants.

By the end of the year ABSTECH had evaluated 25 plants. "This certification program and ABSTECH's services in general," Mr.

Young said, "have been well received by the steel fabrication industry." Mr. Young reported that ABSTECH anticipates more activity in its steel fabrication plant certification work for 1977.

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