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  #1  
Old September 4th, 2008, 04:52 PM
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BrianTom BrianTom is offline
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Default Ship's fuel consumption per mile

Hi,

I was reading the "real story about Mr. Bergermeister" thread and a question was raised regarding how much it would have cost in fuel for the ship to turn around and go "back" for Mr. Bergermeister. The thread is closed so I could not respond. The original thread mentioned that it cost $55,000 in fuel to turn around and a few members were questioning the cost. The post also stated that they turned the ship around for about 20 minutes and then turned back on their way after locating Mr. Bergermeister on board.

Anyway, I asked my trusty friend who works in the industry and knows this stuff and he told me that a large ship, with say a shopping mall in the middle, traveling at 19.3 knots would burn approximately 108 gallons of fuel per mile. A ship weighing less tonnage would burn some less, but if we use that figure we could conclude the following:

A ship cruising at 19.3 knots traveling for 20 minutes would travel approximately 7.39 miles (one knot is = to 1.15 statute miles) doubled for the return to original position for a total of 14.78 miles. 14.78 miles at 108 gallons per mile would total to 1596.24 gallons.

How much cruise ship companies pay for fuel is any ones guess but I would believe it is not the same price that we pay at the pump. But for arguments sake let say they pay $2.00 per gallon (I doubt it is even that much). At $2.00 it would have cost$3192.00 to have turned the ship around for 20 minutes and return to the original position. Pretty cheap compared to the cost of a life, IMHO. Better safe than sorry.

Also, those large ships do not measure fuel by the gallon. They measure it by the ton.
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  #2  
Old September 4th, 2008, 04:57 PM
Jade13 Jade13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTom View Post
Hi,

I was reading the "real story about Mr. Bergermeister" thread and a question was raised regarding how much it would have cost in fuel for the ship to turn around and go "back" for Mr. Bergermeister. The thread is closed so I could not respond. The original thread mentioned that it cost $55,000 in fuel to turn around and a few members were questioning the cost. The post also stated that they turned the ship around for about 20 minutes and then turned back on their way after locating Mr. Bergermeister on board.

Anyway, I asked my trusty friend who works in the industry and knows this stuff and he told me that a large ship, with say a shopping mall in the middle, traveling at 19.3 knots would burn approximately 108 gallons of fuel per mile. A ship weighing less tonnage would burn some less, but if we use that figure we could conclude the following:

A ship cruising at 19.3 knots traveling for 20 minutes would travel approximately 7.39 miles (one knot is = to 1.15 statute miles) doubled for the return to original position for a total of 14.78 miles. 14.78 miles at 108 gallons per mile would total to 1596.24 gallons.

How much cruise ship companies pay for fuel is any ones guess but I would believe it is not the same price that we pay at the pump. But for arguments sake let say they pay $2.00 per gallon (I doubt it is even that much). At $2.00 it would have cost$3192.00 to have turned the ship around for 20 minutes and return to the original position. Pretty cheap compared to the cost of a life, IMHO. Better safe than sorry.

Also, those large ships do not measure fuel by the gallon. They measure it by the ton.
Eurodam gave us this info in the ships log. I have it at home.
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  #3  
Old September 28th, 2008, 01:17 AM
ideastoday ideastoday is offline
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Default fuel

My cruise log from the MS Amsterdam shows fuel comsumption of 140 tons (39,500 gallons) of fuel per day at 21 knots speed.

Cunard lists the consumption of the QE2 at 433 tons per day.
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  #4  
Old September 28th, 2008, 01:33 AM
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I've been told by someone who would know that an S-class ship uses about 60 gallons per nautical mile in relatively calm seas with no headwind. Rough seas burn more fuel not only because of bucking the waves, but also causing the deployment of the stabilizers, increasing drag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ideastoday
My cruise log from the MS Amsterdam shows fuel comsumption of 140 tons (39,500 gallons) of fuel per day at 21 knots speed.
I've seen those numbers in the cruise logs and wondered about them. I think they're an average for an entire cruise, including port days and at-sea days, so it doesn't really tell you how much is being used while the ship is actually moving.
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Last edited by jtl513; September 28th, 2008 at 01:38 AM.
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  #5  
Old September 28th, 2008, 02:53 AM
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One dull afternoon, while sitting in the Lido, I figured the ships get 21mpg. Let me explain that. If you take each person on board driving their own car from, let's say, Bar Harbor to Halifax --crew included-- and factor in how much fuel the ship uses to move itself, you come out with a figure of about 21mpg for each person onboard.

So the fact that the ship uses a lot of fuel to move so many feet per gallon really should be seen in the light of how many people are on that ship and how much gas they would be using to cover the same distance.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tomc View Post
One dull afternoon, while sitting in the Lido, I figured the ships get 21mpg. Let me explain that. If you take each person on board driving their own car from, let's say, Bar Harbor to Halifax --crew included-- and factor in how much fuel the ship uses to move itself, you come out with a figure of about 21mpg for each person onboard.

So the fact that the ship uses a lot of fuel to move so many feet per gallon really should be seen in the light of how many people are on that ship and how much gas they would be using to cover the same distance.
So if my car gets 20 MPG with just me driving, and I add four passengers, it now gets 100 MPG?
The cost to move the ship X miles is about the same if it's full or empty. (Not counting the additional weight of the passengers.)
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by HamOp View Post
So if my car gets 20 MPG with just me driving, and I add four passengers, it now gets 100 MPG?
The cost to move the ship X miles is about the same if it's full or empty. (Not counting the additional weight of the passengers.)
A good selling feature for mass transit.

To really want to see the affect of weight/mass on fuel burn look at the airplane you ride in to get to your cruise. The weight of cargo (passengers, luggage, freight & fuel) can be a huge percentage of the total weight for an aircraft. We will be riding in 737s to get to our next cruise. The empty weight of the aircraft will be about 91'000 pounds but fully loaded (and we will be fully loaded with our luggage!) it will be close to 174'000 pounds.

Last edited by pilotdane; September 28th, 2008 at 09:19 AM.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Ham Op --

I was more or less idly thinking of mileage if we were all driving, one per car. Idle Lido thinking while gazing out the window. If 1266 pax + crew are going from Point A to Point B, in a ship that uses X gallons of fuel per fortnight, what is the captain's name?

--tomc, K1PZU
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Old September 28th, 2008, 02:07 PM
Taxguy7 Taxguy7 is offline
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Originally Posted by tomc View Post
Ham Op --

I was more or less idly thinking of mileage if we were all driving, one per car. Idle Lido thinking while gazing out the window. If 1266 pax + crew are going from Point A to Point B, in a ship that uses X gallons of fuel per fortnight, what is the captain's name?

--tomc, K1PZU
Neils
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Old September 28th, 2008, 02:15 PM
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ger_77 ger_77 is offline
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Originally Posted by tomc View Post
If 1266 pax + crew are going from Point A to Point B, in a ship that uses X gallons of fuel per fortnight, what is the captain's name?tomc, K1PZU
I Don't Know . . . no, wait, he's on third - hmmm.

All I know is I'm glad I don't have to pay for the gas, but I sure wouldn't mind the airmiles for each fill!

Smooth Sailing!
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Old September 28th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Default Fuel Consumption QE2

Fuel Consumption: 18.05 tons per hour, or 433 tons per day.
  • This is equal to six of the ship's swimming pools.
  • The ship's fuel oil tank capacity of 4,381.4 tonnes is sufficient for 10 days' sailing at 32.5 knots, equalling 7,800 miles.
  • One gallon of fuel will move the ship 49.5 feet; with the previous steam turbine engines, one gallon of fuel moved the ship 36 feet
Nautical Mile = 6080 feet

6080 / 49.5 feet = 122.8 gallons / nautical mile

Bon Voyage & Good Health!
Bob
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Old September 28th, 2008, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomc View Post
Ham Op --

I was more or less idly thinking of mileage if we were all driving, one per car. Idle Lido thinking while gazing out the window. If 1266 pax + crew are going from Point A to Point B, in a ship that uses X gallons of fuel per fortnight, what is the captain's name?

--tomc, K1PZU
Well I've never had a port call in point A. But I have been to point B twice. Even worked a two meter repeater once in point B when the band was open!

So that would make the Captain's name Skip, right?

73
Tom - W1TDP

Last edited by HamOp; September 28th, 2008 at 02:43 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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So that would make the Captain's name Skip, right?
Folks, that's a ham radio operator's joke. You don't have to get it.

I'm originally from Stratford and Lordship CT.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tomc View Post
Folks, that's a ham radio operator's joke. You don't have to get it.

I'm originally from Stratford and Lordship CT.
And I was hoping to keep'em guessing....
Just down the road from Stratford, could do simplex from here!
Seems like this conversation would be better off on QRZ....

73
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Old September 28th, 2008, 04:37 PM
BruceMuzz BruceMuzz is online now
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Since ships do measure fuel by the ton, rather than the gallon, it is rather difficult to come up with an accurate mpg number.

There are also many additional factors (speed, distance between ports, wind, current, swells, ocean temperature, amount of fuel and water carried) that can have a profound effect on mileage.

My ship burns an average of about 150 tons of fuel every 24 hours. My Chief Engineer tells me that he calculates we move an average of about 35 feet for every gallon of fuel consumed.

We are still paying nearly $600 per ton for fuel.
Last year we paid $325 per ton.

You also must consider that when a ship has to turn around to pick up someone, they stand to lose precious time to the next port. In order to minimize the loss of time, the Captain must make full speed for a number of hours. Just as with your car, fuel efficiency drops dramatically when you rev the engine(s) at full speed for extended periods. On many of today's modern ships, some engines are offline at any given time. To make additional speed, all engines must be running at top speed.

The fuel consumption on my ship doubles when we increase speed from 18 knots to 24 knots.

Last edited by BruceMuzz; September 28th, 2008 at 04:40 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomc View Post
Folks, that's a ham radio operator's joke. You don't have to get it.
I believe I 'got it' - DH used to be in radio eons ago and one night somebody all the way in New Zealand caught his program on skip. The fellow sent him a postcard up here in the "frozen tundra" - it was the talk of the radio station for quite a while.

Smooth Sailing!
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Old September 28th, 2008, 06:56 PM
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Default Skip! Ha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HamOp View Post
And I was hoping to keep'em guessing....
Just down the road from Stratford, could do simplex from here!
Seems like this conversation would be better off on QRZ....

73
Just more QRM
Cheers
Mark
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Old September 28th, 2008, 08:41 PM
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Now that we have beaten fuel consumption around a bit. How does ship size affect fuel burn? Does this explain the trend to ever larger ships? Or are ships built larger to save on crew costs? Or does your average passenger want to vacation in a floating small midwestern town?

Last edited by pilotdane; September 28th, 2008 at 08:43 PM.
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