Thursday, April 19, 2012

Towing?

It took a bit of staring to figure out why this ship was doggedly chasing it's bow. There is almost no freeboard near the center of these ubiquitous Indonesian ferry and cargo ships. The low freeboard makes it easy to board without a gangway or boarding ramp when the ship pulls along side a floating dock or another ship--which is surprisingly common. These ships are often docked 3 or 4 abreast, making for a nice raft party, I'd imagine. But once they get underway, the deck would surely collect a lot of water. Maybe that's why the bilge pumps seem to be constantly running on these boats. It scares me when I see them overloaded with diesel drums or human cargo. But I imagine that if you pushed her at just the right speed, her bow wave trough would line up perfectly with this low gap in the middle, ensuring a dry deck and bilge--as long as no waves assaulted from the side.

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