New CMA CGM Ships to Lose Bulbous Bows


Pictures of CMA CGM’s new LNG-powered, next-generation ‘Megamax-24’ containerships with bulbless bows has caused a stir in the maritime world as it breaks the decades-old design trend for efficient ocean movement.

The feature may be lost from all future megaships of a similar size as the lower speeds that mainline container trades travel at has reduced the benefits gained of fitting a conventional bulb.

Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard, part of the CSSC Group, shared its designs for the vessel at a recent steel cutting ceremony.

In its latest newsletter, shipping analyst Alphaliner explained that shipbuilders design bulbous bows for a vessel’s specific speeds and draft.

Mark Welles and Li Yongcui discuss how automation can be used to welcome the world's largest ships in a recent Port Technology technical paper

However, ships that sail at different speeds on various legs of a trip, or ships that sail at less than full draft for extended sections of their voyage, are gaining far less efficiency from the feature.

Alphaliner also pointed out that containerships built in the early 2000s had their bulbs redesigned after the old ones proved counter-productive, particularly when travelling at slower speeds.

Work on the Megamax-24 vessels began in late July 2018 at Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding.

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