What's with Container ships and docking?

Container feeder hit pier in Manila:

Why didn’t they drop the anchor(s)? That is depending on the situation of course. You could perhaps do more damage when the ship starts swinging uncontrollable in an unwanted direction once the anchor grips.

wrt the thread title, I used to get a lot of safety bulletins etc, as far as ship types and mooring related accidents I recall the PCC type vessels have an accident rate of about twice that of other types of ships. Accidents related to mooring so mostly relatively minor damage.

Reason being high sail area and short parallel body.


Most times an engine malfunction it seems. I guess engines don’t understand that coming into port is different from being underway at sea. Dumbass engines.


I don’t get whats the big deal. When ever possible I always prefer to use the reverse Mediterranean moor too. This aggressive and often misunderstood technique is great because nothing holds the bow in place better than a bespoke “V” notch in the dock made on demand.


Makes it hard for the cranes to reach the after bays though.

Looking at the damage the vessel had a lot of way on.

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Haven’t heard the term “Reverse Mediterranean moor”. Can someone enlighten me?

Short parallel side and very fine ends. Diabolical action in a seaway where the length matches the wavelength. One vessel of this type had an engine failure in the South China Sea, the crew abandoned in the free fall lifeboat and she rolled over and sank.

Yachts in the Med are often moored with the stern to the quay and an anchor out forward.I’m an Engineer but I think that is correct!

Med. moored (but not yachts):

Thx, I called it something else. Learn something everyday.

Yes, I learned that at about 1220 hrs on 10 March 2008 in 10+ meter seas Bay of Biscay. M/E tripped out on low oil pressure twice before I gave up trying to stay hove-to into it.


Isn’t that caused by the smugglers sneaking into the engine room and draining some fluid out of the prop pitch control so the ship will hit the dock and they can do some evil deed? I saw it in the movies, it has to be true.

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On occasion with prematurely minted captains coming into port I gently reminded them that there are limitations within engine control systems. Engines may be robust but the little bits and pieces between the bridge and the engines have their limits as I am sure you know. Please plan accordingly. Most did well. A few had unfortunate experiences. I love VDR. :slight_smile:


Shuttle valves come to mind down below. And regularly draining water from the throttles in the wheelhouse. Not many problems with Mathers, But with the “King” throttles for EMD 20’s had a designated Folgers coffee can for that purpose. I took my time while docking or sailing. You can always speed up a bit, but if you are in a hurry, can’t slow down as quickly, and doesn’t make for a nice meal with the engineers. Have two “King” controls that we replaced during first shipyard in my garage for hopes of using for a beer tap. They are gorgeous with all that chrome.

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I didn’t know how much of a PITA potentiometers could be until I ran a boat with an early version of electronic controls with a 6 to 8 second lag.

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My guys hated the early electronic controls. I backed them up when shortly after installed, they failed to meet expectations. Had a 8-10 second delay anyway, worse with them. I’m sure they are better now, looking at it from my couch.

Ain’t retired life grand?!