Load Spreading and Sea Fastening



Captain Brian Powney, Elissa Clark and Samuel Vernon, Intermarine Technical Department, Intermarine, Texas, US


Circa 1760, the rise of the Industrial Age in Great Britain was primarily characterised by power driven technology that replaced hand operated tools. These technologies included the steam engine, which gave rise to locomotives, steamboats, and by1815, the golden age of massive ocean transportation vessels. In turn, these advancements enabled the worldwide transportation of the proliferation of manufactured goods via global waterways. As manufactured goods became larger, heavier, and more complex, the multi-purpose fleets became more diversified. Crane capacities and deck strengths increased and we witnessed the introduction of Ro-Ro and semisubmersible vessels. As recently as four decades ago, a unit of a mere 60mt was considered a heavy lift for a marine vessel.


In today’s developing world, large infrastructure projects are becoming more and more prevalent. Large power stations, oil refineries, and LNG plants were initially “stick built”. This system involved shipping small components which were assembled at the site. Inevitably, a lack of resources, skilled labour and complicated supply chains resulted in significant delays and cost over runs. Today, we see a significant increase in ‘modularisation’, whereby large components are fabricated at an industrial facility, shipped to the final destination, and then rolled into position. This process typically requires vessels with large crane capacities or Ro-Ro capabilities…

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