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Old 08-08-2010, 18:43   #16
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You know, I'll start acting like energy conservation is important when the shrills telling me it's important (Al Gore, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, etc) start acting like it is themselves. Same with Greenhouse gases.

Until the people who think they're my 'betters' start demonstrating leadership, they can pound sand with their nonsense. Al Gore's many mansions (the last two on the beach: So much for sea level rising), the entire circus of the Copenhagen GHG last December, the one before that in Bali, the one after that in S. Africa....entertainers with a sub-par (even by US public school standards) education flying in in their nearly empty private jets (to the point that airports had to be closed to commercial traffic: No room to land them), every limo in Western Europe tied up for the show, etc.

I can't stand hypocrisy.

As far as safety being enhanced by lower speeds, why haven't accident rates gone up since the 55 limit was revoked? They continue to decrease. There was a blip when the slow laws were imposed, because enforcement was high but you know what? People (who elect politicians, and minor judges in many locales) didn't like that enforcement action. High enforcement exists for things like drunk driving. Engineering has improved both autos and roadways.

Oh, and the horsepower required to push a hull through the water at 10knots is very often twice that needed to go 6 knots. In a car the additional horsepower can be as little as one, maybe five or ten, between 55 and 75.

Comparing boats and autos isn't appropriate, or logical. However, for those who certainly want to conserve energy, stop using it: No cars, no boats, no electricty, no prepared foods, no commercially manufactured clothing, medicines, etc. After all, you want to SAVE ENERGY, right? Or do you expect the rest of the world to enable you to live a profligate energy waster life?

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Old 08-08-2010, 18:47   #17
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why haven't accident rates gone up since the 55 limit was revoked?
Read my first post - it's about fuel use, not safety.

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Old 08-08-2010, 20:57   #18
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I owned a 1977 chrysler new yorker with a 440 engine in it,,, got 19.6 mpg on the highway going 70 mph with ac on,,, why is it today that cars get LESS mpg and are considered MORE fuel efficient
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Old 08-08-2010, 23:02   #19
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my last ship was a 25000 ton container job running from n.z. to japan;by dropping down from 28 kts. to 18 we saved 590 TON of fuel(on adelivery trip on a 55 ft. sloop on the same trip) we used 320 liters and averaged 7knts.Says somethingabout sails
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:01   #20
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This is nothing new, we were doing the same during the fuel crises in the seventies. I can remember we even sailed slower (down to 8 knots) on a big (320000 ton) VLCC. Because we were sailing at such a low speed we couldn't use our bleeders in the steam turbine lowering our efficiency; overall fuel consumption was still improved (fuel consumption has a third power relation to speed). An other mishap that happened (on our sister ship) was that condensed steam = water (due to low temps) entered the HP turbine ripping of a couple of blades from that turbine.
Al in all it was boring because crossings took forever.

Sailors do it with the wind...
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:59   #21
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The article quoted says speeds for cargo ships have been lowered from the "standard 25 knots to 20", and then lowered further.

Aside from the occasional fast container ship that was really in a hurry, NO ONE carried merchant cargo that fast, even in the cheap-oil days. 16-18 knots was more like it for the quick ships, with most at 14-15.

"Slow-steaming" has been around a long time, but the reduction to, say, 12-13 knots isn't nearly as big a reduction as the author is trying to tell us.

Would this bring back sailing cargo ships? You'd think so, especially for coastal routes where there's good wind, but the very few attempts just haven't worked out at all. The hull shape that can carry lots of cargo doesn't sail worth a damn, and would require massive rigging just to attempt it. And labor is expensive enough that labor-intensive sailing ships wouldn't overcome their fuel savings.

Wish it were otherwise, since I have a sail (and motor) license, but doesn't seem in the cards unless fuel prices and trading patterns change a lot.
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Old 09-08-2010, 13:06   #22
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How much of that is driven just by fuel costs, or also driven by the desire to keep ships in service? The BDI (Baltic Dry Index rate - a leading indicator of shipping traffic) is having issues again and as far as I know, the Singapore Ghost Fleet is still swinging on hook.....

So, going slow means what cargo there is takes more ships, too.
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Old 09-08-2010, 13:17   #23
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Don't forget that fuel is only one cost of moving things, and usually not the main cost. You've got depreciation of the ship, maintenance which is determined by time rather than miles, fixed costs like salaries, insurance, and so forth, and the cost of the ship itself. Half the speed which means half the cargo moved every year for the same fixed costs. Fuel would have to be amazingly expensive to offset those higher costs per trip.

I'm with Healer52 -- I doubt this would be done if there were decent capacity utilization in the shipping industry. It's worth while slowing down if you have ships sitting around empty anyway. If not -- then I think not likely.

As to highway speed limits -- no one here advocating lower speed limits has mentioned the value of people's time lost to slower speeds. We don't liveforever; our days are numbered. Someone calculated that if you add up the hours of people's lives lost to the 55 mph speed limit it amounts to the equivalent of something like 20,000 extra fatalities a year.
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Old 10-08-2010, 13:15   #24
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Whatever the benefits of the 55 mph speed limit, its costs are important.
On the rural interstate highways, it costs about 250 years of extra driving time to save one life.
The policing resources, spent on enforcing the 55 mph limit, might save more lives if they were allocated to other highway safety measures.
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Old 10-08-2010, 13:42   #25
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Since TaoJones has inadvertently revealed that he is really old, it doesn't bother me to confirm his recollection of trucking industry reaction/argument against the national 55 mph speed limit. From those days I have some other really old memories:

1. Connecticut went further and imposed a state 50 mph limit. But, when they posted 50 mph signs on U.S. highways in Connecticut, they were sued and lost on grounds of federal preemption similar to the recent Arizona immigration law.

2. I once rented a Ford Escort (I think) in those days and it was nearly undriveable on New England hills because the auto tranmission kept hunting for the "ideal" EPA 55 mph speed.

3. I was in a courtroom when a guy tried to argue against a speeding ticket for going 113 mph in his Mazda RX7 because his speedometer only went to 85 mph.
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Old 13-08-2010, 17:17   #26
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Actually, the 65mph is most efficient for trucks. I drive for 10 years and prove many times that 65mph it is the best unless I am driving on "flat road" all the times. When goes to hills and mountains, 65 is better as I do not have to "drop" many gears going uphill with heavy load. Even in Florida driving 65 is better. When goes to large boats, the momentum of higher speed will get then better trough rough seas with less fuel consumption.
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Old 14-08-2010, 00:26   #27
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Back onto ships and things in the water... LA freeways are on land ya duffers!

It does make the penny drop for me with some things we have seen at sea. In the Gulf of Aden ships are advised to speed up when approached by pirates... I thought all would be going top speed anyway.

Lowering speeds if there is an over abundance of ships as Healer52 said. (and yes theres still lots of ships anchored near Singapore but if they are a ghost fleet or not needs an expert to comment).

We know ships are conserving fuel as they will cut corners very closely, they will not move from course unless they need to. They dont appear to waste fuel.

The other thing I dont know about is sheduling. We see some ships near a port only doing 4 to 6 kts and they must be waiting for their berth time.

And, finally, economic crusing speed seems to me on our boat to be when the engine is going slower. At low revs we use 1 gerry can of diesel per 24 hours making about 4kts. Slow and steady can get our boat a long way... and getting the white floppy things up the mast helps too!

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Old 14-08-2010, 12:29   #28
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Since this thread is supposedly about going slow in the oceans - there was an interesting study done in response to the continued use of the Suez Canal route and exposure to the Somalia Pirates versus just routing the ships around Cape Good Hope to Europe.
- - The extra mileage which equates to more time (which can also equates to going slower on the old route) - caused a reduction in the useful trips per year of the particular vessel. Minor factors were the increased crew costs and fuel costs which were offset by the cost of the Suez Canal fees. But the major determinant was the useful trips per year for a particular ship which was reduced by a whole trip per year. Since the ships were making an average of 5 or 6 trips per year the loss of the revenue from the trip that could not be made was significant enough for the shipping companies to hazard the Red Sea/Suez route. Even factoring in the ransom fees it was more profitable to use the shorter more dangerous routing.
- - So reducing overall cruising speed may save some fuel but it also reduces the productivity of the ship and since we live in a capitalistic world, reductions in income that are not offset by fuel savings is a losing deal. Bottom line, there is a lot more factors involved than just fuel costs. Which incidentally was the rational used by the motor trucking industry to remove the 55mph limit on cross country trucking. There are legal limits on how many hours per day a truck driver can work and slowing him down add significant costs in productivity and added spoilage percentages on perishable veggies/fruits. Same bottom line - it cost more money to slow down than was saved by reduced fuel burn.
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Old 14-08-2010, 13:09   #29
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Boat fuel mileage seems to be easier to figure out to me. Slower definately makes a big difference. In my 19' powerboat running just off idle about 5 mph per my gps nets me my best mpg. Once on plane, it is much like a car and there is definately another most efficient spot at 2800 to 3000 rpm @ 22 mph. any faster or slower on plane makes for a big drop in mpg. Wieght also makes a huge difference in mpg.

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Old 14-08-2010, 14:15   #30
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If one wants to be environmentally conscience then nobody is stopping you from driving 55 in the slow lane. At least that's one thing the government is not forcing you to do.

Osirissail is exactly right, the faster a ship can move, the more cargo a ship can carry in its limited lifetime and the better it can cover its costs keeping it competitive with other ships. The cargo goes to the shippers who can do it for the least cost.

I don't think the difference between 25 knots and 20 knots for a ship for example would make any difference in safety for pleasure boats.

I doubt the transit times for large clipper ships are faster than what ships are doing now. Did the wind always blow off the port or starboard quarter at a steady 20 knots for the duration of a clipper ships voyage? Did they somehow manage to sail directly upwind? The transit times for sailing ships rounding Africa or South America was measured as a few months.


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