I was curious how quickly the terms VLCC and soon afterwards ULCC became part of the marine lexicon. The USCG using the term in official paperwork, to me, made it an officially designated term that should be used often at every SNAME meeting that would definitely increase your cool factor and no one would ever ask,
"Just what is a ULCC?"
To me, these two terms got to wander around with no boundaries or accountability and they did seem to have legs. I called the USCG R&D in DC. I wanted to know what the difference between a tanker a VLCC and a ULCC actually was. Talk about poor luck, the one guy that knew, was at a GPS satellite conference. I knew I was in a strong headwind. If everyone knew the definition, well there goes the cool factor.
Restricted by draft, was a term that appeared at the same time. It's place in the hierarchy of privilege, had to be determined. I had more faith in government in those days. Instead of giving vessels restricted by draft a black and white solution when he's coming your way in a harbor it used a term that,
"You shall not hamper the passage of"
Thanks guys. I really wanted to know now. Time to call the deck plate coasties. Back in the days when we wrote answers to USCG questions I spent 10 days with a CWO Boatswain from Savannah who was pulling my questions from thousands of index cards in the MIO. This guy was sharp. I called him, he hadn't retired.
"VLCCs and ULCCs aren't ships. They don't act like ships, drive like ships and they are full of humans. Their dangers are singular. There are holding strength, sail face, maneuvering characteristics, etc. that work for ships that don't work for these giant barges. They aren't ships, we're not going to kid ourselves."
Sanko Lines was the largest container fleet in the world at that time and they were all Panamax so the sharing of terms weren't necessary. My feeling is that insuring a ULCC for a load isn't the same as insuring a container ship. Lloyds and other insurers have to have a different term to address the policy.
A town of 1000 folks in MA, a place like Port Huaneme, in CA, that has pot luck suppers planning smoking stack hits, Europe, Scandinavia, off Patagonia, anywhere where a quorum can be raised will shut down $Bs in R&D over a bean supper. My quess is Rolls Royce was in a "make work" grant from the government that may have changed with prime ministers. As a third beer discussion it's as good as 100 uses for duct tape or if they only knew what nice shirts marijuana makes.
Happy New Year!