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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-04-2014 07:57 PM
Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Guess we should all get ahold of BS for a Brentboat - they shrug that stuff off like confetti.
10-04-2014 05:11 PM
Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

A good friend of mine hit a loose piece of dredge pipe while sailing in the Mississippi Sound. he didn't sink but it brought him back to Jesus.

An Aegis cruiser hit something one night south of Horn Island, while running at really high speed and holed itself. It barely go back to the dry dock at Ingalls. That was a warship.

I used to have a picture of a big old steel float, about five feet in diameter and about 15 feet long that washed up on the beach at Long Beach, MS one time. I would have hate to have hit it.

There is stuff out there.
10-04-2014 12:17 PM
Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

This is one of those things that is best left un-thought.

In my little dinghy, on a little lake... a shipping container is unlikely, but logs, or tree stumps when the water is down... is a possibility.... and since I am kind of a greenhorn, not much time is spent looking for anything beyond the shore and other boats...

On the other hand, it is a possibility, like getting hit by lightning... more like lightning in a box. And it doesn't sound like there is a lot you can do to avoid it.
10-03-2014 01:09 PM
Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Yes..that was a very interesting trip.. saw a sub launched missile...a hatch board in a verticle position that looked like telephone pole bobbing up and down on a moon lit night..whale breath (blow hole)that smell like bad shrimp...

There is a lot out there if one keeps his eyes,ears and nose alert....
10-03-2014 12:10 PM
Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Originally Posted by aa3jy View Post

A legendary offshore danger - Ocean Navigator - March/April 2013

I've had my photos published in several mags...
Photo from your link. Great shot!

10-03-2014 11:52 AM
Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Originally Posted by Krisan View Post
Or survived the inspection of one.

I've had my photos published in several mags...
10-03-2014 10:13 AM
Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

More than 50 years plying the Atlantic and never saw a single one.

10-01-2014 08:33 PM
Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

What are the odds of someone going totally off-topic in a response to a thread that died nearly two years before they came across it? Higher or lower than the odds of someone sailing with an improper watch and hitting flotsam of any kind?

I'm so confused, ever since Jimmy the Greek died, I haven't been able to get firm odds on anything, and these days, Jimmy won't even give odds through Harry Houdini's ghost!

"Die, Vampire, Die!"
10-01-2014 08:25 PM
Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

So, the next question is has anyone found any cool stuff in a lost container? Or survived the inspection of one.
10-01-2014 07:57 PM
Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Originally Posted by johnnyquest37 View Post
Hellosailor posits that 10,000 shipping containers go over the side each year. It appears that these containers eventually sink or wash ashore. Let's just say they stay afloat for an average of six months. This means we've got about 5,000 containers floating out there at any given time. A standard shipping container is aprx. 40' x 8' resulting in a maximum surfaced area of 320 square feet. Five thousand of these results in 1.6 million square feet of hazard. Total surface area of the world's oceans are 3.6x10 the 15th power square feet. Dividing container sf by ocean sf ocean sf results in 4.4x10 to the negative 8th power or 0.00000000044 percent chance of encoutering a container at any given time.

This is very generalized, of course. Containers are certainly more concentrated near the shipping lanes and ocean currents may tend to concentrate them even further.

Not trying to pooh-pooh the concern of hitting one, but given the odds, it does not surprise me that we don't hear many stories of folks running into shipping containers.
Great intent on this, but it's not a surface area issue. Surface area would apply to the odds of a single, ocean-striking meteor hitting a boat, since the meteor slices through the "plain" of the ocean.

You boat is going to "slice through" the surface of the ocean/bay from one side to the other.

So, just rattling this off without too much thought in it... the odds of hitting a container is proportional to the length of your voyage, the number of containers afloat in the waters that you travel, the beam our your boat (kind of), and the beam of a shipping container (kind of). (Since shipping containers could be broadside to your path or not, use the average of the lenght and width of a shipping container. I'm ignoring height for this, although a container could be tilted, etc.) The odds are inversely proportional to the area of the waters you travel. (This along with the number of containers actually gives us the container-density).

Actually, the odds aren't exactly proportional to the beam of the boat and the beam of container. That would be true for one if the other had minicule width like a floating lobster pot buoy. Noodling it a bit, it's more proportional to the two beams added together.

So if I may do this with estimates and in the metric system to make the math easy...

. . . . . . . . . . TripLength * NumbConts * (BoatWidth + ContWidth)
. . . . .odds = ----------------------------------------------------------------
. . . . . . . . . . AreaOfWaters

Trip = 1,000km
Number of Containers currently floating in your ocean = 1,000
Boat width = 2 meters
Shipping container width = (13m + 3m)/2 = 8 m
Breath of ocean = 1,000km
Area of Ocean that containers are distributed across = 1,000km * 1,000km

. . . . odds = (1,000km * 1,000 * 10m) / (1,000km * 1,000km)

canceling out one set of "1,000km":

. . . . odds = (1,000 * 10m) / 1,000km

. . . . odds = 10km / 1,000km

canceling the "meters" from both side and dividing by 10

. . . . odds = 1 / 100

So if there were 1,000 containers floating in an smallish ocean, and you were to sail across that ocean, the change of hitting one is 1 in 100! (Even 100 containers floating in your small ocean would mean a 1 in 1000 chance of hitting one!)

Obviously there aren't that many containers still floating or there are fewer sailboats making such long trips. Either that or we just explained some of the sudden disappearances of sailboats.

(And yes, we could use the boat's smaller beam at the waterline instead. Like I said, this is quick noodling.)


Another way to picture this is to look at the area of your path, much like the area cleaned by a single push of a vacuum cleaner. And then compare that with the area of the ocean. If you path is longer, you have a greater chance of hitting something.

Hope this helps with a better approximation of the math. Not sure it's complete yet, but it's a bit better, and a bit scary.

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