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Cru[uuu]ise ship
January 31, 2014 3:12 AM   Subscribe

Cruise ship not long enough? Want that "limousine" feel to your ocean-going craft? Why not cut it in half and stick an extra 99 feet of ship in the middle? (Skip to 1:16 for a great cross-section shot)

I like how the cherry-pickers repainting the ship at the end look like super-efficient robot arms when sped up.

Bonus ship content: Ever wondered how to beach an old cross-channel ferry? You do it at full throttle while laying on the horn.
posted by EndsOfInvention (49 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Who's going to buy it now, knowing it's a chop and shut job, eh?
posted by pipeski at 3:19 AM on January 31


My nephew was an engineer on a cruise ship and this was done to the brand new ship he worked on. The cruise company decided, during construction, that the ship needed more space.

Probably would have worked out OK except the middle part was done with metric and the two ends english. All fluid lines leaked since the threads mated up "almost". And, they never had the right repair part because it was always the wrong size.
posted by mightshould at 3:37 AM on January 31 [9 favorites]


How can that be structurally sound?
posted by blue_beetle at 3:39 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


A proper weld is as strong as or stronger than the metal around it, if that what's worrying you. As to the other engineering aspects, I hope they figured it out before bringing out the big Sawzall...
posted by Harald74 at 3:45 AM on January 31


The USS Proteus (a submarine tender) which was launched in 1942, was cut in half and a center section featuring a massive crane (for swapping ICBMs in and out of SSBNs) in 1959 and remained in commission until 1992 and was then recommissioned as a Berthing Auxiliary (i.e. Naval base housing) until 1999. So it's not like we don't pretty much have this down.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:03 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


Well, yes, this was done to a ship I worked on back in the '80s.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:09 AM on January 31


A proper weld is as strong as or stronger than the metal around it

Like when I broke my arm and I was told the bone would break in a different spot before the fused section would again?

Also... I know what 'metric' is in terms of measurements, but 'english'?

Do you mean the antiquated system more commonly known as 'imperial'... now associated with the US?
posted by panaceanot at 4:12 AM on January 31


i'm really sad that this just kinda glosses over a lot of it and blasts through what would, to me, be the interesting parts. Like lets see the inside with them hooking up all the wiring and plumbing again, or more of it being welded together, or...

There's multiple angles, but it really just feels like a timelapse photo series from the side of the drydock that blasts through a lot of the interesting bits in 3 seconds or something.
posted by emptythought at 4:20 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Cruise ships are big enough as it is. I often hang out down in a spot in Brooklyn in the summer that's near where the big cruise ships pass through on their way out of New York harbor, and every so often one of them passes by and it's like watching an entire city block full of skyscrapers float past you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:29 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


an entire city block full of skyscrapers customers
posted by sneebler at 4:46 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Cruise ships are like a self-contained floating city: there's everything from energy conversion to water and waste, plus all the infrastructure needed for a large hotel and restaurants. For the folks who keep them running it's always hectic with occasional bouts of all hell.

Engineers usually sleep near the engine room. They may sleep through the first alarm if they've been working 20 straight hours because of problems, but all wake INSTANTLY when the ship gets totally quiet.

Taking a cruise is an act of faith given what I have learned.
posted by mightshould at 4:48 AM on January 31


Do you mean the antiquated system more commonly known as 'imperial'... now associated with the US?

No, Imperial weights and measures are different from US weights and measures. Both are derived from the old English system, but, as you will recall, the US revolted against the King and thus was not part of the Empire when, in 1824, they devised a new set of measures known as "Imperial". The US system, though updated as well, being based in the old English system, is referred to as "English" in the US.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:53 AM on January 31 [8 favorites]


That second video cracked me up.

I love the universal human experience we share- where I can react to something just like a couple of Turkish dudes do. They see a ship going full blast into the beach, bringing in a ton of water with it, they see the cameraman jump back because of the water, and they laugh at him and make jokes about "tsunamis."

I love that we all make jokes, and pretty much about the same things, wherever we're from.
posted by Old Man McKay at 4:55 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


Cruise ships are big enough as it is. I often hang out down in a spot in Brooklyn in the summer that's near where the big cruise ships pass through on their way out of New York harbor, and every so often one of them passes by and it's like watching an entire city block full of skyscrapers float past you.

Now with bonus norovirus!
posted by srboisvert at 5:13 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


So, even more toilets to back up and sicken even more passengers?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:38 AM on January 31


I have a friend who had a gig as a musician on a cruise ship. He hated it. He said it was like being in a hotel you could never leave.
posted by Repack Rider at 5:51 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Not so much a "cut" but an "open a segment" then "insert another". Looks like these ships are built in segments. Not to diminish the engineering here, but I'm guessing these ships are made for these kind of operations and doing it to a wooden sailboat would be a lot more work for a commensurately downscaled workforce.
posted by pashdown at 5:59 AM on January 31


It's nice to see that people from used car lots have a career progression. Bonus points for the new paint job!
posted by Yowser at 6:02 AM on January 31


So, even more toilets to back up and sicken even more passengers?

Yeah, but now they get to claim it's a "new" ship, even though there is the same old engine and norovirus in the dining room carpet.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:04 AM on January 31


Cruise ships are one of those things I like to look at from afar. I have no desire to ever go on one, but seeing their cross-sections and design is super fascinating.
posted by Think_Long at 6:10 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


it's like watching an entire city block full of skyscrapers float past you.

I live across the IJ in Amsterdam and when biking to the ferry, I can see the big cruise ships moored off at the other side. Those don't faze me, but when the Rotterdam was stationed there, it did look like a big new skyscraper had been build overnight.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:12 AM on January 31


The company I worked for supplied equipment for the stretching of Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas. Finnish-built middle section, installed in a Rotterdam shipyard.

Very impressive. They just hack the ship in half with circular saws (cut along dotted line), drag the new bit in and (mostly) line it up, and then surgically stitch it back (sometimes patching in 6" gaps where the ship twisted or the saws went off-course on the first cut).

Whole process took a little over 2 weeks.
posted by anthill at 6:18 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


This being LiveLeak, one of the related videos is "gentleman cut in half by train after stabbing Des Moines man."
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 6:22 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Who's going to buy it now, knowing it's a chop and shut job, eh?
Queen Victoria bought Balmoral castle only to knock it down and start again as the original was too small - so the new name, however unlucky, is a bit appropriate.
posted by rongorongo at 6:22 AM on January 31


gentleman cut in half by train after stabbing Des Moines man.

I swear I read that as "Gentleman cut in half by man after stabbing Des Moines train" and I think it made more sense.

I do like the implication that there are no gentlemen in Des Moines rimshot.
posted by eriko at 6:53 AM on January 31


I do like the implication that there are no gentlemen in Des Moines rimshot.

Well there was one, but now they're down to one half.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:11 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I've no problem trusting engineering generally. I do that every time I get on a plane and I'm sure the math was done and this is a good example of the lack of distance between blue and white collar.

What scares me though is when a ship has an 72/47 (153%) above water line height to beam ratio. I've had bath toys sink with a more stable ratio.
posted by vapidave at 7:34 AM on January 31


Thanks for the shot of boat/engineering eye-candy. Yeah, more details of the cut would have been interesting. And love the beaching video too. Not shown was the part where they go "No, I meant down there, between those other two boats".

I'm nuts about boats and boating, but about the only cruise lines I actually want to go on (right after a lottery windfall) are the ones going up and down the Rhine.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:46 AM on January 31


I was watching the beaching video while listening to Doris Norton from the Women and their Machine post, so I missed all the Turkish bantering, but it really goes together well.
posted by MtDewd at 7:55 AM on January 31


Yes, yes you are all correct. Norovirus, backed up toilets and Poseidon Adventure. Stay away from the big death traps. Beware!

Now I can take a cruise in peace.
posted by Splunge at 8:12 AM on January 31


The US system, though updated as well, being based in the old English system, is referred to as "English" in the US.

In all my 30+ years of buying and using tools in the US (~10 of those professionally) I have never once heard this referred to as the "English" system of measurement, always "Standard", or occasionally "US". A quick glance through several online tool catalogs confirms that I do not live in some weird language bubble, so this could be is a regional thing, or perhaps the language varies by trade?
posted by bizwank at 8:28 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


It looks like the ship would just tip over in the dry dock -- what holds it up?
posted by swift at 8:31 AM on January 31


Not to derail too much, but a pinch of anecdata:
Here in Canada, we recognize Metric, US and Imperial systems of measurement.
posted by Evstar at 8:47 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


> I do not live in some weird language bubble, so this could be is a regional thing, or perhaps the language varies by trade?

No...it varies by pedant.
posted by kjs3 at 8:51 AM on January 31


Metafilter: It varies by Pedant.
posted by endotoxin at 8:53 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


I wonder how often the guys making the middle part make it to spec, only to be told that they discovered, on cutting the ship in two, that the 'as builts' weren't updated properly.
posted by fatbird at 10:15 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


They did this to an Alaska state ferry, maybe two. They've been in service forEVER and you'd never know it wasn't that way from the start.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:30 AM on January 31


Would British Standard Fine and British Standard Coarse appease everyone? They don't overlap exactly with SAE, but if you haven't heard someone describing 1/2-13 as "English" (when 1/2-12 is really the English equivalent) I'm kind of surprised.

Let's not delve into flank angles for therein lies madness.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:01 AM on January 31


Kid Charlemagne, it's Whitworth thread that convinced me of the truth of what everyone around me already knew: I was not meant to own a classic British car.
posted by Fnarf at 11:13 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


They did that to one of our inter-island ferries (New Zealand). That one has always been a lemon. Brand-new into service and it was broken down more than it was running. It improved and then they extended it. Then a few months back it lost a propeller when the shaft broke. They've recovered the prop and it's about to limp off to Singapore to be repaired.

The best thing about the ordeal is that the replacement ferry they've leased in the meantime is a North Sea ferry that recently ran aground (Stena Allegra).
posted by bruzie at 11:39 AM on January 31


Whitworth all the way (actually a very well-engineered specification, as far as I'm aware).
posted by maxwelton at 12:29 PM on January 31


Here in BC they not only "stretched" the ferries, they also "lifted" them by slicing them horizontally and inserting another deck. This page talks a bit about that, and there are a bunch of pictures starting here and continuing through the gallery by clicking next.
posted by Emanuel at 1:19 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


It's like I"m sitting near the center of the dinner table hearing two separate conversations from either end that diverged from the same table-wide topic.
posted by achrise at 1:44 PM on January 31


It looks like the ship would just tip over in the dry dock -- what holds it up?

There are braces that can ride up and down those outside tracks. They don't really shown them in the video. If you have ever seen sailboats sitting in cradles at the local boatyard - they are essentially the same but on a much bigger scale.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:53 PM on January 31


We have some large shipyards here in Hampton Roads (mostly, but not totally, military), and it's impressive work to watch. Modern ships are incredibly modular; sections are built everywhere - sometimes hundreds of miles or more away- and then assembled together into a finished product. Stretching a boat like this is no big thing for them. Physically, anyway. The resultant changes in the new ship's characteristics is a whole 'nother thing.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:00 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


My 2-year-old has made me watch "the cwashing one!" five times now because it involves a crashing ship AND an airhorn, so thanks for that I guess!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:37 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the shot of boat/engineering eye-candy. Yeah, more details of the cut would have been interesting. And love the beaching video too. Not shown was the part where they go "No, I meant down there, between those other two boats".

The best part is seeing the steam created from the keel rubbing against the beach.
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:54 PM on January 31


We have some large shipyards here in Hampton Roads...

Isn't that sort of like saying, "We have some large launch pads here at Coco Beach"?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:33 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


bizwank, if you want a data-point, here is the summary of the NASA report on the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter:

The MCO MIB has determined that the root cause for the loss of the MCO spacecraft was the failure to use metric units in the coding of a ground software file, “Small Forces,” used in trajectory models. Specifically, thruster performance data in English units instead of metric units was used in the software application code titled SM_FORCES (small forces). The output from the SM_FORCES application code as required by a MSOP Project Software Interface Specification (SIS) was to be in metric units of Newtonseconds (N-s). Instead, the data was reported in English units of pound-seconds (lbf-s).

When you're buying tools, you're less likely to see the English-unit tools given any general designation, while everything metric gets that right in the search term. The Ace Hardware site, for example.
posted by dhartung at 6:43 PM on January 31


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