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Old 27-06-2013, 10:39   #61
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

I was thing to mount a depth sounder horizontally facing forward.
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Old 27-06-2013, 10:44   #62
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

One of my friends who sailed from Vancouver BC to Mexico suggested: Don't use black bottom paint. The whales think your one of them and may like to get too friendly.

Really.
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Old 27-06-2013, 10:46   #63
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"Has anyone ever picked up a container as a target on Radar?"
ROFLMAO.

All you need is a downlink from an E6B AWACS circling overhead with pattern-recognition enabled surface-scan radar, that can actually see rectangular objects awash in the surface of the ocean.

Conventional shipboard radar just ain't gonna read through surface clutter.

Figure the AWACS will cost you about ten grand an hour, if you can get anyone to admit they have the equipment and loan it to you. Good business opportunity for a drone-maker, though.
Actually I have some experience in Radar during my service in the Royal Air Force and you might like to know that a large metal object bobbing around at sea, even if it's just about submerged can be easily detected by most of the modern radars. Mine can spot a paddle boarder at a quarter of a mile. So my question still remains for those who actually have used radar at sea rather than pontificating from a armchair,
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Old 27-06-2013, 10:48   #64
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Containers have a dissolvable plug"
First time I 've heard of this after seeing many onlines discussions about the concept. Is this scuttlebutt, or common practice now? Since when?
Never heard of a plug in a container and I've shipped hundreds over the years. However they really don't need one. They are far from air tight and will fill with water pretty quickly through cracks in the doors. One exception would be refer containers that are better sealed but still have ventilation through the external cooling unit.

The problem is there 's lots of stuff in containers that won't sink. Think stuff made of light weight plastic, foam, or molded things with air space. Plenty of manufactured goods that would never sink.
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Old 27-06-2013, 10:51   #65
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Forward scanning sonar has been around for quite a while, I have a Interphase unit on my boat.
Oh, I generally use the radar in daylight in good visibility for a few scans every now and then. Also for your info a whale on the surface can also give a decent radar return, I know that for a fact having skippered out of Boston for a while back in the eighties going grey whale watching.
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Old 27-06-2013, 10:56   #66
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

You have a better chance of being hit by lightning, twice, in your lifetime than you do of hitting a shipping container based on statistics of how many are lost overboard each year and what their liklihood of floating for X period is.

Look at it another way. How many sailors do you know who have confirmed hitting a shipping container? How many reputable, verifiable reports have you seen of someone hitting a shipping container? They are like UFOs. If this was really a problem then these things would be washing up on beaches with some regularity. They don't.

Can't wait until All is Lost hits theaters here in the US. It's going to be like the equivalent of JAWS for sailors. Shipping containers will be the new evil villain for every blue water sailor.

The chances are so astronomically low and the situation so impossible to avoid, should it actually happen, that there is really no point in preparing for it, other than strategies for a hull breach and having adequate survival equipment and knowing how to use it.
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Old 27-06-2013, 11:05   #67
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I'm going to ask again -- what's the state of flotsam in the Pacific from the tsunamai in Japan?
Not too bad, and, except in patches, not much different than the "normal" amount of debris.

Last year, racing to Hawaii the Pacific Cup and the Singlehanded Transpac fleets encountered some big pieces of debris on the San Francisco / Oahu run. There was another floating dock, and a number of huge mooring balls / fenders (?), and no doubt smaller stuff that we didn't see, but nobody hit anything as far as I know (I was radio comms vessel for the Pac Cup, so if it happened I heard about it). The bulk of the debris was only a few hundred miles offshore of the mainland. The average trash density was perhaps slightly higher than normal, but the distribution is sparse and random, so it's hard to tell.

On the return trip, we, or other boats, saw some definite tsunami debris, including a couple of metal fishing boats and other junk with Japanese writing on it. Our only impact was with a floating piling about 500 miles offshore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but that was lust as likely not tsunami-related. We sideswiped it and heard a couple of bumps, but no damage was done.

The tsunami debris is no doubt more dispersed now, so the density will be even less. I doubt that the odds of hitting anything big have increased by even one percent. I personally know more boats that have hit whales, than have hit debris.
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Old 27-06-2013, 11:57   #68
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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Not too bad, and, except in patches, not much different than the "normal" amount of debris.

Last year, racing to Hawaii the Pacific Cup and the Singlehanded Transpac fleets encountered some big pieces of debris on the San Francisco / Oahu run. There was another floating dock, and a number of huge mooring balls / fenders (?), and no doubt smaller stuff that we didn't see, but nobody hit anything as far as I know (I was radio comms vessel for the Pac Cup, so if it happened I heard about it). The bulk of the debris was only a few hundred miles offshore of the mainland. The average trash density was perhaps slightly higher than normal, but the distribution is sparse and random, so it's hard to tell.

On the return trip, we, or other boats, saw some definite tsunami debris, including a couple of metal fishing boats and other junk with Japanese writing on it. Our only impact was with a floating piling about 500 miles offshore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but that was lust as likely not tsunami-related. We sideswiped it and heard a couple of bumps, but no damage was done.

The tsunami debris is no doubt more dispersed now, so the density will be even less. I doubt that the odds of hitting anything big have increased by even one percent. I personally know more boats that have hit whales, than have hit debris.

Thank you. It probably looks worse when it comes ashore because it can then pile up.
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Old 27-06-2013, 12:01   #69
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

I have been inside many a container and quite frankly, regardless of their content, they are not watertight. Water ingress would be quite rapid.
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Old 07-08-2013, 15:15   #70
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

One of the things we dread is hitting a floating container. Many are lost at sea each year, between a few hundred and several thousand, depending on whether you believe the shipping companies or environmentalists and sailors. Most, presumably, sink, but some, undoubtedly, float. It has to depend on what the cargo is. When up to several thousand are lost each year, the number of floating ones adds up, and represents a danger to sailors. Made of steel, with hard corners, probably awash and partially filled with tones of seawater, a container is not nice to run into. Avoiding them is really not possible. Hitting a container with a sailboat is a disaster. Certainly serious damage will occur. Often such a collision will result in a sinking. Lives may be lost and have been, and it happens surprisingly often. Stronger boats and collision bulkheads would help, primarily in a head-on collision, but just as often, it is a glancing blow. Most of the time, I would guess, the boat and crew survive, but sailors report hitting containers every year, and sailors are mysteriously lost, just disappeared, actually. Who know what they hit?

More often sailors report hitting something hard and unknown, usually during the night, but nobody gets a good look at it. I never have hit one or seen one, but my friend did hit something, possibly a container, while sailing from Chagos Islands to Madagascar,. In strong winds, traveling, at about 8 knots, he hit a glancing blow on something hard which cracked the hull, broke internal framing, and started heavy leaks. He stemmed the flow of water by applying underwater epoxy inside the hull and was able to continue on to Madagascar where he hauled the boat and made permanent repairs. He said the item he hit made a large, square, dent along the side of the hull, and, at a through hull fitting, caught in the opening and ripped a chunk of fiberglass out.

Each year racing boats report collisions which damage hulls, keels, and rip out rudders or centerboards. Few are lost, but even so, it is not fun.

Now, as sailors, we would like to hold the shipping companies responsible for these types of damages, however that is pretty much impossible. Nobody gets a number or identification off of a container awash in the sea, particularly when they are busy saving the ship. What we'd really like however is for the shipping companies to take it more seriously and to do more to prevent these losses.

And the idea that a ship can lose containers and have no concern or responsibility for what might happen afterwards, and simply consider it an insignificant insurance cost, rather irks me.

What could be done:

1. Make an implied liability for any container lost, apply it as a fine for losing them. Make the fine high enough that shipping companies take more care.
2. Put lights, beacons, or AIS transmitters on containers, water activated. They might cost $200 per container, hardly excessive it seems to me.
3. Require more record keeping and make it, and the losses, public, so mariners could be aware of them and their locations, increasing the possibility of avoiding them.
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Old 07-08-2013, 15:19   #71
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

How about requiring zincs at the corners, so they would sink over time?
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Old 07-08-2013, 15:39   #72
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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How about requiring zincs at the corners, so they would sink over time?
Ann
I think that's a terrific idea!
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Old 07-08-2013, 16:13   #73
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How about requiring zincs at the corners, so they would sink over time?
Ann
The issue of UFOs has been debated several times on CF. I asked a similar question and it was explained that containers are not air tight and can sink.

BUT if the cargo is buoyant.... i.e. a load of tennis balls.... The buoyancy of the cargo will hold the container awash.
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Old 07-08-2013, 16:26   #74
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

We already have carnival's bumper cars that take serious beating, at almost the same speed of a cruising sail boat; very little damage. How about a nice thick rubber bumper below the water line, attached to your hull?; like a car's fender. It might even give you additional positive flotation!

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Old 07-08-2013, 16:45   #75
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

You could add zinc corners to the new built shipping containers, but there are thousands of shipping containers already out in the world. Also would the container have the structural integrity needed using zinc? Zinc is eaten by galvanic corrosion, not a whole lot of stray current running through a container. I have never seen a floater offshore darn it! I think the odds of running into one is so astronomically low I would not consider it much of a risk, I've been aboard 2 different vessels that have been struck by lightening more than once, far greater chance.
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