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  #51  
Old 07-27-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

How would you like to hit one of these bad boys:

Losing Cargo in rough sea - YouTube

Notice the size of these tanks. They dwarf several containers lashed towards the stern of the ship. And they float.

Last edited by casey1999; 07-27-2012 at 03:00 PM.
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  #52  
Old 07-27-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
Does this mean we should do away with a ships look out, navigation lights, AIS, and RADAR?
No.

Your analogy is interesting but there is difference between one moving object striking a floating hazard and the chances of two moving objects (ships) striking each other, especially if the moving objects are all converging on constricted areas, such as ports.

It's a really big ocean. I am not attempting to downplay the hazards associated with colliding with a shipping container. Am merely suggesting a possible reason why we almost never hear about these collisions. We read more stories about whales and sailboats colliding (hmmm, two moving objects) or pirates coming aboard than we do about colliding with containers.
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  #53  
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyquest37 View Post
No.

Your analogy is interesting but there is difference between one moving object striking a floating hazard and the chances of two moving objects (ships) striking each other, especially if the moving objects are all converging on constricted areas, such as ports.

It's a really big ocean. I am not attempting to downplay the hazards associated with colliding with a shipping container. Am merely suggesting a possible reason why we almost never hear about these collisions. We read more stories about whales and sailboats colliding (hmmm, two moving objects) or pirates coming aboard than we do about colliding with containers.
Yea I don't really get it why we do not hear of more collisions. I imagine large cargo ships must hit the containers quite a bit, but do the containers just bounce off ? I would guess they would. They other thing there are really not that many sailboats that sail blue water that would encounter containers. Most sailboats spend their lives tied to a dock or limited coastal sailing.

The other thing, over the last 30 years the amount of container cargo has gone way up, along with number containers lost overboard. Where will we be in the next 30 years?
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Old 07-27-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

I guess there isn't such thing as shipping lanes (oops, I mean "shipping lanes").
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Old 07-28-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

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Originally Posted by Flybyknight View Post
That's my greatest fear
No doubt about it, the prospect of a direct hit on the corner of a container at hull speed in the middle of the night is a terrifying prospect, indeed... However, IMHO such a fear is so wildly out of proportion with the likelihood of it ever occurring, it's essentially meaningless - the odds of encountering a container are probably only marginally higher than being struck my a meteorite offshore, for example... (grin)

Just seems there are SO many more likely events to worry about, to me... Certainly, a lightning strike, or being attacked by a whale occur with greater regularity... Not to mention, simply falling overboard, or driving one's boat into a charted obstruction...

I'm guessing the OP will come up very short in his search for first hand accounts regarding encounters with containers... I've never heard one, myself... In all the years of folllowing events such as the ARC, Caribbean 1500, all the Bermuda Races and RTW races, I can't even recollect a confirmed instance of any of those fleets even SIGHTING a floating container, much less hitting one... And in all my years of running up and down the East coast, I can't recall a CG Securite' or Notice to Mariners ever broadcast regarding the position of a known container spotted offshore... The last time I can remember such a broadcast, was in the wake of the spring storm about 5 years ago in which the Little Harbor FLYING COLOURS was lost returning from the islands, and a broadcast was put out that a number of containers had been lost from a ship passing Hatteras...

Plus, such losses generally occur in places like Great Circle routes across the North Atlantic and Pacific, in wintertime or off season - hardly the places or times of year where yachts are to be found in any numbers... Sorry, but containers are simply not falling off ships going in and out of the New York Bight, in the summertime...

Always fascinating to see how sailors actually assess such risks and fears, and what measures they actually take to allay or diminish them... In this case, very little, it would seem...

Is your fear of hitting a container, for example, sufficient to cause you to heave-to throughout all hours of darkness? Or even, to maintain an absolutely rigid forward lookout schedule? One thing we tend to forget, is how little time the typical Mom & Pop cruiser actually spend watching the water directly ahead of them when sailing offshore, it's pitifully small in most cases, the odds of hitting a container awash or submerged in full daylight would only be slightly less than doing so at night, would be my guess...

Proportionally very few cruisers choose to sail metal boats as a defense against containers... Same is true with the choice of a boat with a forward collision bulkhead... One of the simplest, easiest things to do on even most stock production designs today, is to turn the space under the vee-berth into a watertight/collision compartment... For the life of me, I cannot fathom why every production builder out there does no do this as a matter of course, but it is certainly an easy retrofit for any owner to make to the majority of existing boats out there... Yet, I'm guessing a show of hands here would indicate that very few have bothered to do so...

Or, how about carrying a form-fitting collision mat aboard, that could quickly cover the forward part of the hull, within a foot or so of the waterline, from the stem to the leading edge of the keel? Custom made when the boat is out of the water, easily and quickly fixed with just 3 pre-rigged attachments - one at the stem, and one at each aft corner on the side... And yet, I imagine the number of cruisers out there who have bothered to take such a measure in response to their fear of hitting a container is miniscule...

Makes for an interesting discussion, perhaps, but the likelihood of ever hitting a container seems almost non-existent, to me... Having said that, however, I'm not so sure I'd be very keen to race to Hawaii anytime in the foreseeable future, that's for sure...
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Last edited by JonEisberg; 07-28-2012 at 02:14 PM.
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  #56  
Old 07-28-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

I recently finished reading a book called Awakening Waves, by Richard LeVine. He ends the book when he hits a submerged shipping container and holes his Tayana 37, while motoring from Holland to Denmark during daylight hours. He said he never saw it before the collision. The boat sinks and he spends several hours in a partially flooded liferaft. He said the container was just below the surface, and stopped his boat when hit. He sank very fast, and didn't have time to try and stop the water coming in. This incident happened about 1990. The book just came out in recent years.

Last year, I sailed over 3500 miles in the Gulf, and up the east coast, and didn't see any containers, but did see several logs that I'm glad I missed.
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Last edited by okawbow; 07-28-2012 at 02:45 PM.
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  #57  
Old 07-28-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Just makes that 3G Radar system I'm installing worth even more. Obviously, it cannot detect submerged objects, but it can detect partly submerged object, even small ones the size of crab pots.

Cheers,

Gary
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Old 07-28-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

I see 4x4's and lumber all the time and wonder if I hit one of those just right what It would do.
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Same here, Aaron. And, I've hit lots of them while sailing 5 to 7 knots in Chesapeake Bay - never had any damage, though. The ones that really scare me are the telephone pole size logs that are wedged into the bottom at one end and the other end hides just beneath the surface. I've been fortunate in that during more than a half-century on the water I have not hit one, but I've come damned close. Coral heads get my undivided attention as well - skimmed over the top of one just west of the Marquesses Keys near the wreck of the Atocha. Took a chunk out of the outboard's skeg.

Cheers,

Gary
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Ya, coral I can anticipate, the wayward log surfing in the gulf stream will catch me with my droors down.
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