Ever Forward aground near Baltimore

I’m aware of that. But the terminal knew what the pilots requirements were. So did the agent.

Professionals should be able to exercise judgements around guidelines. In this particular case we are talking about an inch on an 820 ft LOA. And in the real world, as opposed to the paper world, no one actually knows the actual LOA of that particular ship on that particular day down to the level of 1 inch.

However, again, it is not the particular issue why I brought this up. I brought it up to highlight that there was no recourse for a stakeholder in the port operations to address, what i considered a reasonable question on one of them.

They did. If their limit is 820, it’s 820.

You’re right. Nobody could tell the difference, but then you learned a lesson for next time.

Understand - and that is where the issue arouse in the screening process for that particular ship, on that particular voyage. Neither the terminal or the agents are involved in the chartering of the vessel. Once on subjects it is nominated into these folks for screening - where this limit prevented that ship from doing the voyage. Costing that owner the business - and was replaced at a higher rate with another vessel.

Did they actually measure the length? Maybe waiting until the cool of the evening would have reduced the LOA by more than an inch. Or, how about an OS with a grinder.


Then blame the charterer for not doing their due diligence. Don’t be mad at the pilots for following their own rules.

You are correct - and of course not exercising professional judgement, and rigidly following the limit is easier on the pilots. However - easier does not mean better.

that end up on an even number ?? With no margin of error ?? Applied without a safety factor??


It would appear so.

In our case we had a zero accident rate with an annual throughput of 180 million tonnes. Our shiphandling rules worked.

congratulations and well done - truly

However, your point that you can “scientifically” evaluate what an inch of LOA can mean in a ship handling simulation is quite frankly - absurd.

Your studies and simulations provide data, that some humans evaluate, exercise judgement, and turn into rules or guidelines.

However - that is not the issue I was raising. The issue is decision power in the ports. Pilot groups, as the acknowledged experts, and rightfully so, have exceedingly large power in the ports when it comes to issues regarding safe navigation. And my assumption is in the vast majority of the time they do this exceedingly well.

It is also true, that given this position it is in their best interest to establish operating conditions with large margins of safety. If there are other stake holders in the port with reasonable concerns that the margins are excessive and costly, there are limited avenues for them to challenge them.

Now, in the real world, pilot associations are headed by intelligent and reasonable folks, who will listen to port stakeholders with intelligent and reasonable points - and both will come to some reasonable answer.

But the pilot groups hold the “unsafe” trump card, and on occasion I have seen it played, and it ends all discussions.

All that said - I am not advocating for any kind of change. Again in almost all situations I am aware of the process works great. But I have see exceptions and this commercial/safety tension does exist in the stakeholders in a port.

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Some creative work with a sledgehammer could take an inch off :wink:

Or paint a white line 1" aft of the stem with a sign reading “Material forward of this point is not part of the hull.”




Just getting back to the subject at hand does anyone know what speeds the Ever Forward listed for Dead Slow Ahead, Slow Ahead and Half Ahead?


Your points are correct and might I say that within my Pilot group we had some very conservative and risk averse individuals. This invariably led to fairly dynamic discussions at our monthly navigation meetings.

Back to your original point……the old saying of “give an inch and take a mile” is probably appropriate in this instance.



No, but you might want to also want to know the position and details of the critical rev range. If it is positioned between DSA and SA with a relatively large range then there will be a significant increase in speed between the two settings.

Spowiednick has done a fair bit of research on this and may have the answer.

From my own experience the critical revs occurred between SA and HA but your own experience would be much more extensive than mine. Were you a Melbourne pilot?

They varied.

The smaller units had ranges between HA and FA, the higher percentage (as you quite rightly stated) between SA and HA and then there were the big Korean units between DSA and SA. It was necessary to derate the DSA revolutions for these vessels in order to provide a minimum and manageable manoeuvring speed. This was referred to as DDSA.

No to Melbourne although I have a few mates there.

Addendum to the suction suggestion:

Recently in Houston a large deep draft gas ship got stuck in the mud at a good angle to the channel. The ship backed full for 12 hours and the above suction from passing ships was tried several times without success. The pilot then decided to change tactics. He went ahead on the engine and cycled the rudder hard over to hard over. When they detected some movement they put her full astern and she slid off. It might be the wiggle alone broke the suction or it was a combination of that and the astern bell washing some of the mud out from under.

Some years ago i had a case where a ship lied about their draft. They were 2’ over the max allowed. It was a moonlit night and we did fine sliding along in the mud but eventually we got to a place that was harder than the rest and she slid to a stop so gently that I didn’t notice (before the personal nav kit days). I only snapped to it when I saw our wake passing us in the moonlight. I told the mate to drop from full to dead slow and we did the rudder cycle thing for a few minutes to wiggle free then went back to full ahead. I found out the actual draft from a passing harbor tug.

Now you have another trick to try before lightering.

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But that would eliminate the potential profits from declaring general average.