Modern Tanker Design - Double Hull etc

I always wonder why you change course at constant speed to avoid ice in a fairway. Isn’t it better to slow down? Anyway, the result of not slowing down but changing course and not changing course back was a grounding and oil spill.
Shit happens.
More shit happened afterwards when USCG, now DHS, announced that the oil spill would not have occurred if the tanker was double hull. So immediately US law OPA 90 was decided. All tankers in US waters had to be double hull. The rest of the world suggested that IMO should assist and IMO/Marpol adopted a rule 1991 about double hull and better designs. US at IMO/Marpol agreed but 1997 IMO approved a better design and US announced next day that tankers of that innovative design could not enter US ports. The matter was later discussed in the US Congress and I was invited to testify! And the US Congress decided that better tankers than double hull like mine could not enter US ports. I can tell you more about it, if your are interested. I cannot do in the US though, so I do it here. US arrests people and sends them to Gitmo for torture, if they don’t agree with US policies. Strange democracy.

Or maybe they just didn’t like the idea or were not convinced it was a workable concept.

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?? The US delegation at the IMO approved the concept 1997 - we had discussed the matter since 1991 - but the next day the head of USCG announced that tankers built according the concept approved 100% by the IMO could not enter US ports. The matter was later discussed in the US Congress where another USCG admiral suggested that the protection provided was less than double hull. It was decided to pursue the matter … but it was forgotten.
The secret of the Coulombi Egg oil tanker concept was/is the recognition that 80% of all tanker collision damages/spills take place above waterline so the protection should be located there … and not down at the bilge as required by double hull. I explain more at my website. USCG simply approved a sub-optimal protection (double hull) and refused to admit the mistake.

It wasn’t a mistake. The Coast Guard correctly noted that the majority of tanker breeches in the US were a result of low-impact collisions or groundings (like Exxon Valdez). Even you can’t argue that in these low-impact scenarios, double hull designs are superior at preventing release than the alternative design you are advocating.

Edit: I recognize I challenged you to “not argue” and I doubt you’ll take that challenge. Therefore, before you do argue, please read the NTSB report on Valdez and note the damage zones. Then explain which design would have prevented any release.

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?? Exxon Valdez was a stupid, high impact grounding due to ship owner’s fault… My Coulombi Egg tanker would not have spilled any oil like that. In addition, my Coulombi Egg tanker has much better collision protection than double hull for obvious reasons. Collision protection of tankers is better located in the waterline and not down a the bilge like OPA90 double hull tankers.
Only idiots believe in oil tanker collision protection at the bilge. But I agree that once a French VLCC outside Marseille had a strange incident. A submarine hit it at the bilge … and escaped. Everything happens at sea.

Below is directly from the report. Your design would presumably handle the starboard cargo tanks. But would offer no protection to center tanks.

The inspection revealed that the forepeak tank was severely holed and that center cargo tanks nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 were ripped open over almost their entire lengths. Although holed, center cargo tank no. 5 sustained the least damage. Starboard cargo tanks no. 1, 3, and 5 also were severely holed, as was starboard ballast tank no. 2.

That and the IG and PV systems on modern tankers would negate any effectiveness unless your empty ballast/damage tanks are held under vacuum I believe. (Not even going to claim I’m an engineer or naval architect but that’s the problem I see)

It is never the Master’s fault in your opinion.


With statements like that, maybe they just realized what an arrogant, insufferable prick you were and sent you packing with your “game changing” idea.


No. The Coulombi Egg tanker design was developed around 1991 and some features were patented which today are now freely available.
The grounding protection uses hydro-static loading principles - - to stop outflow from damaged tanks. USCG doesn’t like it
The collision protection is based on probabilistic findings - . USCG thinks that collision protection should be at the bilge!
I was pro-American at the time. After 911 2001 I have changed opinion. Skyscrapers do not become dust when collapsing from top down by gravity.

Naaahh… The company had policies in place that he clearly disregarded which played a big part in leading to this accident. The company should have made sure there was more training, and binders to hold all those training records, and signs every five feet to reinforce the training, and conference calls every week to discuss the training, and and and… :roll_eyes:

I learn a lot by reading accident investigations and this one sticks with me as a warning to not grow complacent and to definitely stick around a little longer on the bridge after departure. It is a clear lesson on the burden of command, the personal responsibility, and why being a Captain should carry so much weight. You are responsible for the safety of the ship and its crew. The company owns the ship, pays the bills, and hires the best person for the job; YOU. Or at least that is how it used to be before this accident. Now we have nonstop office scrutiny and are forever branded as drunks to a vast majority of the public if there is any such incident. To me, that is the lasting influence of Exxon Valdez.

We don’t miss you. Bye Felicia!

I bet he has some thoughts on the 1969 moon landing also. And Area 51, and …


Let’s not forget the grassy knoll!

Yeah, so you apply post-2001 sentiment and opinion to an experience you had in 1991? Sounds like you’re just butthurt.

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Butthurt or Butthead??

Exxon Valdez wasn’t “low impact”. My idea of low impact would be a low speed grounding on mud maybe or a hard landing from a bunker barge. The Valdez ran full speed onto a rocky reef. Penetration of the hull was greater than the depth of the double hulls that were later required as a result of that incident.

Some might say the barges that collided with the Eagle Otome in Sabine Pass/Port Arthur was a “low impact” incident. The tug pushing the barges that hit her was backing down hard and had reduced speed to around 4 knots. Even so, the barge penetrated 4 meters into the Otome’s hull.

"I always wonder why you change course at constant speed to avoid ice in a fairway. Isn’t it better to slow down? "

You seem to be suggesting that slowing down is a viable way to avoid colliding with ice in the ship’s path instead of changing course. I’m pretty sure you didn’t mean that seriously, but I can’t figure a different way to read it. Drifting ice is almost stationary. Slowing down to wait until it clears is a strange suggestion.

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So you’re on the SS Gonzo and see an iceberg, or several, in your path; you just stop and wait for them to drift out of your way rather than alter course to miss them? Who would do that?

Yes, I first went to sea in 1967 and worked there until 2016. Not sure what having been drunk or not in the past has to do with this discussion.

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Someone flagged that post? But There is SOOOOOO much to be learned with someone gloating about drinking with the Captain as the owner’s representative and then going up to the wheelhouse to take part in collision avoidance maneuvers.

Good times…

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