AGW in general > Policy and solutions

Ships and boats

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This morning I decided we needed a post on ships to go along with the ones on cars and planes.  Sort of in honor of Bruce so he does not think we forget him  ;)

Commercial Fleet

--- Quote ---Fleet statistics weave a fascinating pattern. By mid-2011 the world’s entire fleet of all types of commercial ships over one hundred tons had increased its gross tonnage to 1 billion. At the end of last year the total reached 1.09 billion GT, numbering 86,300 ships. This gigantic armada includes not only the vast fleets of bulk carriers, tankers and container ships, but also a wide range of other types. General cargo vessels, multi-purpose ships, car carriers, roll on-roll off vessels, gas carriers, reefer tonnage, cruise ships, offshore service vessels and others (such as tugs and dredgers) are represented. Many perform services which do not involve carrying cargo, of course.
According to figures compiled by shipping information providers Clarksons, another (nautical) milestone was attained recently. The world’s fleet of vessels actually carrying cargo – which had numbered 50,000 over seven years ago – reached 1 billion GT in September last year, and since then has grown to 1.01 billion, comprising 57,400 ships, today. It is especially significant that this achievement resulted from cumulative growth of an astounding 43 percent over the past five years, averaging 7.5 percent annually.
Looking at the fleet statistics in more detail reveals some impressive performances over the past few years. Expansion rates in the largest sectors have been rapid. Measured by deadweight volume, the tonnage measurement normally used in the bulk markets, the world fleet of bulk carriers has grown by 73 percent in the past five years. At the end of 2012 there were 9,500 bulk carriers totalling 679 million dwt. The tanker fleet’s growth was 29 percent during the same period, to a total of 515 million dwt (13,500 ships, including 7,700 small tankers below 10,000 dwt). In the container ship sector, where the standard measurement is TEUs (twenty-foot-equivalent units), the world fleet reached 5,100 ships totalling 16.2 million TEU at the end of 2012, after growing by 50 percent over a five-year period.
--- End quote ---

Fishing Fleet

--- Quote ---In 2002 the world fishing fleet numbered about four million vessels. About one-third were decked. The remaining undecked boats were generally less than 10 metres long, and 65 percent were not fitted with mechanical propulsion systems. The FAO estimates that Asia accounts for over 80 percent of them.

The average size of decked vessels is about 20 gross tons (10–15 metres). Only one percent of the world fishing fleet is larger than 100 gross tons (longer than 24 metres). China has half (25,600) of these larger vessels.
--- End quote ---

Recreational boating. US numbers

--- Quote ---There were 527,000 new boats sold in 2011, an increase of two percent compared to 2010, with a total retail value of $6.1 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent over 2010. (Table 5.2) (Edit:  both power and sail).
Boat registrations were down two percent in 2010, falling to a total of 12.4 million, compared to nearly 12.7 million the previous year.
--- End quote ---

I could not find global numbers for recreational boats just the US.  But if the US has almost 13 million one has to figure that the world total must have numbers near 50 million.

There are a LOT of ships and boats out there.  And I did not even bother about counting the military vessels as there are only 10,000 or so of them. 

If one spent some time looking up data they could get an estimate of the total fuel consumption of the above vessels but I was too lazy today.  But it is a lot.   And it tends to be very polluting as most of the big vessels are burning bunker fuel and have little to no emissions control.

Most of the rest of the data is from various wiki pages.

Bruce Steele:
Jim, nice to know that 65% of fishing boats do not have "mechanical propulsion ". The other 35%
( me included ) need to get real and go back to wind.  It is  one of the few industries that could
, if it wanted to , convert to wind .  In the long haul there will always be fishermen , and in the long haul more than 65% of the fishing fleet will be wind powered. There are some hard times between now and then. 

Here's a sort of what are they thinking story.

A 10 billion dollar floating city ship which is 4500 ft long, 350 ft tall, 750 ft wide that would have 50,000 residents, 10,000 crew, and up to 40,000 day guests, an airport, docks, casino, hospital,, etc,, etc.

It would be too big to ever dock anywhere.

The expansion of international shipping cannot be overstated, at least based on what I’ve seen.  My last transit of the Windward Passage toward the Western Caribbean was enlightening.  There were so many large commercial ships that I thought: There should be a traffic cop around here. I passed through the choke point at night, it was very difficult to plot a safe course through the maze of ships who often were on the vhf arguing about who has the right of way.

I, as a wind driven vessel had the responsibility under Maritime International Law, outlined in the Navigational Rules Of The Road, to be the “stand on vessel”, maintaining course and speed. Mechanically driven vessels are the “give way” vessel and are required to change course and speed to avoid collision.  All this is very convenient but outside of the influence of the US Coast Guard rules become fuzzy.

They just awarded the contracts to raise the Bayonne Bridge from 151 ft to 215ft some of this was done to accommodate the larger and more fuel-efficient vessels arriving here from the newly expanded Panama Canal.

It use be that once outside the shipping routes and at least 3 or 4 hundred miles off the coast, I could grab 6 or 8 hrs sleep.  Now I’ve been forced to change that to 20min ever three hrs. Risk assessments of the changing variables suggest that this is border line dangerous, however it’s a danger that every single-handed sailor faces.  International rules also state that every ship maintain a Able Body Sea-men to stand watch at all times,
an impossibility for the single-handed sailor.


--- Quote from: bligh8 on December 01, 2013, 06:42:50 PM ---
It use be that once outside the shipping routes and at least 3 or 4 hundred miles off the coast, I could grab 6 or 8 hrs sleep.  Now I’ve been forced to change that to 20min ever three hrs. .....  International rules also state that every ship maintain a Able Body Sea-men to stand watch at all times, an impossibility for the single-handed sailor.

--- End quote ---

In the spirit of keeping all our members here alive I volunteer to stand alternate watches next time you cross the Pacific or Atlantic (sailing across one or both of them was a big dream of mine when I was young).  I even have some deep water sailing experience to boot (Los Angeles to SF once). 


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