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Marine

When offshore oil drilling rigs are being installed, serviced or dismantled, the workers typically stay in cabins located on adjacent floating platforms. These semi-submersible platforms are towed into place (or travel under their own power) and then their hulls are partially filled with water, allowing them to remain somewhat stable in the pitching seas. Now, a ship is being built to serve the same purpose, but that will be a much more mobile alternative. It will keep from rolling with the waves by generating its own waves, inside its hull. Read More

When we first reported on the SmartCap early this year, the fatigue-monitoring system was being developed for use in the mining industry. Now, eight months after going to market, the SmartCap is being put to the test at sea. Read More

Unless you're a submarine pilot, it isn't every day you get to pilot a submarine, and so I'm in Malta to test drive U-Boat Worx' C-Explorer 2. The 2 isn't a version number, but denotes that this is a two-seater submarine. Coincidentally, it also denotes roughly the number of millions of euros you'd need to buy one. It's a millionaires' plaything designed for exploring under the sea to depths between 100 m (328 ft) and 1,000 m (3,280 ft), depending on the spec. My mission: to explore a wreck at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. Equipped with U-Boat Worx' GoPro video cameras in and outside the sub, my trusty point and shoot camera and a dictaphone smartphone app, I'm as ready as I'll ever be for my appointment at the seabed. Read More
In three years, if you happen to be 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) beneath the surface of the ocean, keep an eye out for the Cyclops. No, not the hairy giant, but the 5-passenger submersible. Once it’s commercially available in 2016, it should be “the only privately owned deep-water manned submersible available for contracts.” As for why it’s called the Cyclops, just check out its one-big-eye-like 180-degree borosilicate glass observation dome. Read More
A carbon fiber surfboard? Well yeah, you could buy one of those, but ... if that board is intended for use somewhere warm and sunny, then coconut husk fibers would be way more appropriate! As it turns out, they also offer an unmatched strength-to-weight ratio, they come from a natural and renewable source, and require less toxic epoxy resin in their construction. That’s why they’re used in Global Surf Industries’ line of Coco Mat surfboards and paddleboards. Read More
Civilization depends on the Global Positioning System for everything from precision armaments to finding the location of the nearest pizza shop. Indeed, access to GPS's strengths and capabilities has grown so fast that little concern about its weaknesses has penetrated the public consciousness. Fortunately, assistant professor Todd Humphreys' team at the University of Texas at Austin continues to arrange splashy demonstrations of GPS spoofing. His latest is to covertly alter the course of an oceangoing yacht. Read More
Sunreef Yachts’ first luxury catamaran in its new Carbon Line hit the open water for the first time last month and is undergoing sea trials before making its way to the Cannes Boat Show 2013 in mid-September for its world premiere. To reach its lightship weight (the weight of the completed vessel, minus any provisions, supplies or cargo) of 45 tonnes (49 tons), the 80 Levante is made from an advanced composite sandwich that combines vinylester, PVC foam and carbon/glass fiber. Read More
Frankly, what I know about water sports can be written on the dorsal fin of my imaginary surf board (what do you mean they don't have dorsal fins?), but I'm not going to let that stop me telling you a bit about Asap, an electric watercraft which combines elements of Jet Skis, body boards and catamarans. Read More
Given that icebreakers clear a path for other ships by traveling through the ice head-on (or sometimes butt-on), then in order for one of them to clear a wider path, it would have to be wider and thus larger overall ... right? Well, Finland’s Arctech Helsinki Shipyard is taking a different, more efficient approach. It’s in the process of building an asymmetric-hulled icebreaker that can increase its frontal area, by making its way through the ice at an angle of up to 30 degrees. Read More
While it can be fun canoeing with another person, there is one problem with the setup of a traditional canoe – the front passenger has to turn around in order to see the back passenger’s face. British engineer Joe Rutland decided to do something about that, so he designed the Tandem canoe. Not only do the two passengers sit facing each other, but instead of paddling the boat, they pedal it. Read More
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