Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Ships

A model of the Offshore Accommodation Vessel, riding out the waves in a test tank (Photo: ...

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

The NB 508 (aka the Baltika) crashes through the ice side-on (Image: Arctech Helsinki Ship...

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

The DIFIS system dome deployed

When ships sink, as well as the loss of property (and very possibly life), there’s the danger of environmental damage. An oil tanker breaking up is a disaster, but even a cargo ship going down can mean oil leaking from fuel bunkers. Double Inverted Funnel for Intervention on Shipwrecks (DIFIS) is an EU project coordinated by Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) that uses a passive system to catch oil as it leaks out of a wreck on the ocean floor.  Read More

A sample piece of hull material painted with (bottom) and without the ivermectin-laced pai...

Barnacles may look nice and nautical on things like rocks, but they’re a major problem for watercraft of all sorts. On the hulls of ships, for example, they can drastically decrease the vessel’s hydrodynamics, causing it to burn more fuel and emit more emissions in order to maintain its cruising speed. The most common way of keeping barnacles off those hulls involves the use of environmentally-unfriendly paints. Now, however, a scientist from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg has developed what could be a less harmful alternative.  Read More

Berthing area for the terminal (Image: Foster + Partners)

Flying into Hong Kong was once an aerial adventure as gigantic passenger planes made alarmingly steep descents over the harbor and then low over crowded high rises to runway 13. Those adrenalin-filled landings ended when the new Hong Kong International Airport to the west opened in 1998, however, the site of those dramatic flights has now been repurposed as the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. It was formally opened on June 12 as the Commissioner for Tourism, Mr Philip Yung, welcomed the inaugural berthing of the cruise ship Mariner of the Seas.  Read More

The purpose of the new jets is to increase the speed of the LCS while lowering running cos...

The U.S. Navy is fitting Rolls Royce water jets to its Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). The new water jets can pump out half a million gallons (1.9 million liters) of high-density seawater per minute, pushing the LCS at over 40 knots (46 mph, 74 km/h) while providing more power for less weight.  Read More

Zebra mussels fouling a marine sensor (Image: NOAA/Wikipedia)

Engineers at Duke University have developed a polymer that keeps ships’ bottoms clean by twitching like living skin. The paint-like material combats hull fouling by preventing marine organisms from collecting on hulls by physically moving on the microscopic level and thus dislodging bacteria from the surface without toxic chemicals.  Read More

The world's first car-carrying electric ferry is scheduled to begin operations in Norway, ...

Presently, the Norwegian villages of Lavik and Oppedal are linked by a ferry that burns about a million liters (264,172 US gallons) of diesel a year, emitting 570 tonnes (628 tons) of carbon dioxide and 15 tonnes (16.5 tons) of nitrogen oxides. That’s about to change, however, as it’s slated to be replaced by what is claimed to be the world’s first all-electric car-carrying ferry. Developed by Siemens and Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand, the vessel can recharge its batteries in just ten minutes.  Read More

One of the test hulls, which had the electrochemical paint applied in select areas

Marine biofouling is the process in which organisms such as barnacles problematically colonize underwater surfaces. When it happens to the hulls of ships, the vessels become less hydrodynamic, having to burn more fuel in order to move through the water. Although hulls can be coated with paint that kills the offending organisms, that paint also releases toxic substances into the surrounding water. Now, however, scientists from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials have developed a more environmentally-friendly paint, that uses electrolysis to control biofouling.  Read More

The M/V Aria, cruising the Amazon River in Peru

Tour operator Aqua Expeditions is an adventure travel company that offers guests the chance to cruise the Amazon River in Peru, while staying on board a 147-foot-long (45-meter) floating hotel. Designed by Peruvian architect Jordi Puig, the M/V Aria is an intimate cruise ship that can accommodate a maximum of 32 passengers, plus crew. The unique accommodation offers a rare chance to observe the wonders of the Amazon region from an unobstructed vantage point – be it from one of the ship’s numerous outdoor decks, or from the privacy of a guest suite.  Read More

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