Page 36: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (December 2000)

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Blue Marlin giving the stricken Aegis destroyer Cole a lift home.

Vessel Name




Black Marlin, Blue Marlin

Heavy Lift Ship

Offshore Heavy Transport

CSBC, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The Marlin class heavy lift ships — Black Marlin and Blue Marlin built at CSBC, Kaohsiung, Taiwan — are the largest of their kind in the world. While the latter is perhaps better known for its role in transporting the strick- en USS Cole home from the Middle East, both ves- sels embody the latest marine technology and unique design features that are inherently neces- sary in such a unique marine structure. The large stowable deck is 584 ft. (178.2 m) long and 137.8 ft. (42 m) wide amounting to more than 77,672 sq. ft. (7,216 sq. m.). This is large enough to stow three large jack-up rigs of Marathon LeTourneau 116-C class simultaneously. The extra long deck can also support very long structures like floating docks or offshore SPAR buoys.

Designed for Stability

The ships were designed with a priority objective to obtain low motions and accelerations in heavy seas. Many of the cargoes OHT aim to transport are not designed to move in heavy seas and be exposed to accelerations from rolling from one side to another. The Marlin class hull form is designed similar to a sea going ship and not as the traditional flat- and wide barge. The deep and smooth ship-shaped hull is designed to generate smaller wave forces. To ensure that the ship is nei- ther too stiff nor too flexible, thus allowing it the capability to handle the widest variety of cargoes and thus maximize its profitability, OHT has installed double deck and double bottom ballast tanks. By filling double deck tanks, stiffness will be reduced and better motions gained. By filling double bottom tanks stability can be maintained for very heavy and high cargo.

The Marlin class ships was specially designed to meet the new requirements from the offshore industry for exploration and production in deeper waters, as the rigs and platforms constructed to perform these taxing duties tend to be large, heav- ier and taller. The new Marlin class has nearly twice the deadweight and stability capacity and can now offer safe transport of the largest jack-up rigs and the heaviest semi submersible rigs as well as self-elevating and twin hull production platforms,

TLPs and SPAR-buoys. The ships are equipped

Black Marlin/Blue Marlin Main Particulars

Length, o.a 712 ft. (217 m)

Length, bp 677 ft. (206.5 m)

Breadth, molded 137 ft. (42 m)

Summer Draft 33 ft. (10.1 m)

Deadweight 56,000 mt

Submerged Depth above Deck 32.8 ft. (10 m)

Free Deck Length . .584.6 ft. or 515.7 ft. (178.20 m or 157.20 m)

Free Deck Area More than 7215 m2

More than 77,672 m2

Main Engine Output 12,640 kW (17,160 bhp)

Bow Thruster 2,000 kW (2,712 bhp)

Cruise Speed (14.5 kn)

Cruise Range 25,000 nm

December, 2000 with four large capacity ballast pumps, with a total capacity of 12,000 mt per hour, allowing the ship to perform loading and discharge operations quick- ly and efficiently, a big benefit given the severe weather in which it will often operate. In addition to the pumps, 36 ballast tanks can be free flooded.

With all four ballast pumps in operation and flood- ing of tanks, the ship can change the draft at a one- meter per 20-minute clip. Once the deck is sub- merged, the rate is one meter per five minutes. A number of new features are built into the ballast system. For example, the ships have double redundant ballast lines and valves. This double sys- tem makes it possible to pump directly from any one tank to any other. This will specifically be use- ful during skid-on operations to compensate for large heel moments and tidal changes. In addition, all main valves are operated remotely from a con- trol room overlooking the cargo deck area. A com- puter system is connected to double redundant level gauges in each tank. The computer system will calculate with online information all ship load- ing parameters to high accuracy even when the ship and cargo is submerged. The same computer can also be used to simulate complex ballasting operations to address all safety features before exe- cution and to prepare safe ballasting procedures.

Propelled by a main engine generating more than 17,000 bhp, the vessel can maintain a 13.5-knot speed with large cargoes, and is capable of a max- imum durable speed of 15.5 knots. Due to the ship hull form and size; the ships will experience little loss of speed due to high seas. When designing the

Marlin class ship, OHT wanted a ship with ballast tanks in three height layers, a configuration that is more expensive to build, but offers many of advan- tages. The three layers triple the number of ballast tanks. This gives the wanted flexibility to find suit- able ballast conditions to balance the ship for sta- bility and bending stresses. The large flexibility of tanks makes the Marlin class ship ideal for com- plex skid-on operations. Smaller tanks are easier to control for free surface and better compensation for weight transfer and tidal compensation can be found.

Worldwide Experience


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P.O. Box 882 Solomons, MD 20688-0882

Fax: 410-326-9125 410-326-9122

Circle 217 on Reader Service Card

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Inch Level Accuracy for All Liquid Cargos!

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