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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Oasis of the Seas

Here she is, the Oasis of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship according to this livescience report by their senior writer Jeanna Bryner. The ship "stands 20 stories high, is as long as four football fields, and can accommodate 5,400 guests at double occupancy". Specifically she is also "1,180 feet long and displaces 100,000 tons" of water and " can hold 225,282 gross registered tons". Furthermore, for stability the ship is made very wide at 217 feet, which is of course not able to go through the 105 feet wide Panama Canal.

Of particular interest to me is the following discussion in the article:
. . . rogue waves are always a concern. Rogue waves are rare but towering problems that can soar 100 feet and are known to sink large cargo ships. Scientists have only recently begun to figure out what's behind the once-mythical waves. A study in 2008 suggested that in rare circumstances, waves that would normally cancel each other out can combine to form tall monsters in quick fashion.

The Oasis is no low-riding cargo ship, however.

"If it was struck by one I would expect there to be some local damage at the point of impact — maybe some broken portholes or bent railings, but little else," Collette said. "All ships are designed to make the chance of large-scale structural collapse very remote."

Hope the Oasis of the Seas will never face with the freaque waves problem. The article consulted Matthew Collette, assistant professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan. This fine article is very informational as well as educational. A good reading from the always superb Live Science collections!

Update

USA Today reports on November 6, 2009:
Royal Caribbean's much-ballyhooed, record-size Oasis of the Seas has hit extreme weather this week as it makes it way across the Atlantic to its new home in Fort Lauderdale. Here, the captain of the vessel, William Wright, talks about encountering nearly hurricane force winds and seas over 40 feet high.
Here's the video:

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