Monday, October 24, 2016

Float-On/Float-Off Ships (Semi-Submersibles)

Wired, US Navy: MV Blue Marlin carrying USS Cole back to US for repairs

Wired, Dockwise: Vanguard carrying an oil rig
These are just 2 of the 20 semi-submersibles owned by Dockwise. The 900x230-foot Vanguard can fill its ballast tanks and submerge the ship by more than 50 feet. It can also move the ballast tanks along the side of the ship to help balance a load. It can carry up to 110,000 metric tons. It can also function as a mobile drydock lifting a structure out of the water for repairs where the structure is deployed. [Wired]

The jaw-dropping image I saw on Facebook that got me researching this topic is more properly copyrighted and explained by DailyMail. It makes you wonder what kind of cranes they used to stack those ships onto the Blue Marlin. The article said they were floated on. But they are stacked much higher than the Blue Marlin is tall. The ship is a semi-submersible, not a submarine. Maybe the ship pulled up to a dock of the same height as the deck and then they used "house moving equipment" to move a barge with its stack from land onto the ship with continuous adjustment of the ship's ballast as more of a barge was wheeled onto the ship's deck. And as the first barge was wheeled across the ship's deck.

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