Page 49: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (October 2019)
Marine Design Annual
HISTORY DESIGN EVOLUTION second suggesting that sailing bulkers will go as fast as today’s fastest sailboats,
For each column I write, Mari- it should never be forgotten that the fast- time Reporter & Engineering
News has agreed to make a small est waterborne circumnavigations have donation to an organization of my been achieved with sailboats. Not steam- choice. For this column I nominate ships, not diesel ships, not nuclear ships,
Twin Lights Historical Society, the not even nuclear submarines; the fastest co-organizer (with NMHA) of Guns waterborne circumnavigation was accom-
Blazing! The War of 1812 exhibit at plished by the trimaran IDEC 3 in 2017
Twin Lights Museum in Highlands, at 41 days. This boat’s inherent top speed
NJ. The show will run through No- vember 22, 2019. of 33 knots (that is average speed over www.twinlightslighthouse.com/ 24 hours!) was needed, but speed means about-us.html nothing if you can’t keep the wind, and weather routing allowed this record to be set. Unfortunately, it is mathematically more dif? cult to take advantage of weath- er routing if your vessel is slower (it is more dif? cult to route the vessel into the optimal winds and to keep it there), but longer term accurate predictions and big oceans with lots of alternatives help a lot.
Today it is not unrealistic to assume an average transit speed of 8-10 knots on long voyages for big sailing bulkers.
That is zero emissions at speeds that are not far away from slow steaming bulkers!
Unfortunately, the logistics customer today wants predictability and average speeds are not the same as actual speeds, and therefore the cargo may arrive a little late, or a little early.
There are two ways to ? x this issue. One is to generate a little energy underway with solar or trailing propeller systems.
This energy can be managed to keep the vessel in the wind zones by running under power for relatively short distances when needed.
The other way to ? x it is to think in logistical system terms. If we think of sailing bulkers as both transport and stor- age devises, a ? eet of sailing bulkers can simply be loaded and sent on their way to deliver the cargo at some distant loca- tion. Once the ? ow starts, the vessels can be scheduled to arrive earlier and simply keep station under sail until the berth is available. Two or three vessels in the pro- verbial pipeline can ensure, to a very high degree of certainty, that cargo will be de- livered when required.
Most likely sailing bulkers will use a combination of both approaches and oth- er technological advances that will come down the pike in the next few decades.
I am pretty sure it will happen, unless there is a renewed interest in nuclear pro- pulsion. Newer nuclear technologies show a huge amount of promise, but while an individual shipowner can elect to invest in sail, the investment in nuclear needs to be driven by government investment. And government investment in maritime is as rare as a young nation with a small Navy being able to teach the largest Navy in the world a lesson or two. www.marinelink.com 49
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