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About chengkp75

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About Me

  • Location
    Maine or at sea
  • Interests
    Former cruise ship Chief Engineer

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  1. chengkp75

    Reliability of ships

    For the most part, they work just like a circuit breaker in your house. It senses the current flowing across the breaker (from line (supply) to load (user)), and opens when the current exceeds the design amount. Unlike home breakers, these will have both short term trip levels (when the current is at the design trip level or above), and long term trip levels (when the current is slightly below the short term trip level for a long time). Large marine breakers like these would also probably have undervoltage trip circuits, and likely phase imbalance trips (the current between any of the three phases (power legs) is different by more than a set amount). Generally, these large breakers are serviced by the manufacturer's technicians at each dry docking, but simply age can affect the trip circuits, or there is dirt on the connections, or vibration has loosened the connections. A circuit breaker opening will always spark (even home ones, a little), when it is actively carrying load, and these large breakers have "arc chutes" to disperse the sparking, but if this breaker was carrying nearly its full rated load, in the 30+ Mw range, when it opened (probably a fault in its circuitry), there would have been an incredible arc flash, and it could have sheared the bolts holding the breaker into the bus bars and literally blown the breaker out of the switchboard. A failure of this type would likely have blacked the ship out for a time, until they could reset all the working systems, and isolate the failed breaker. Here's a photo of marine circuit breakers: And here's what a "main switchboard" looks like for a small application (each door houses a circuit breaker) Here's a bit of a blog on how marine air circuit breakers work: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.electrical4u.com%2Fimages03%2Fair-circuit-breaker.gif&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmarineexam.blogspot.com%2F2016%2F08%2Fair-circuit-breaker.html&docid=fqr7wZVYI_0yzM&tbnid=9VWOW2y0mRSPrM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwiR7v2l05XfAhVQvlkKHZcVBgkQMwi_ASgEMAQ..i&w=498&h=416&bih=945&biw=1920&q=marine air circuit breaker&ved=0ahUKEwiR7v2l05XfAhVQvlkKHZcVBgkQMwi_ASgEMAQ&iact=mrc&uact=8 It may well have been something else that caused the breaker to fail, for instance if one of the generators failed to earth, that could draw too much current, and this could then have caused an older "tie" breaker to fail when opening.
  2. chengkp75

    Reliability of ships

    Okay, that sounds like a failure of the "tie" circuit breaker that connects the two main switchboards (one switchboard takes the power of 3 generators, and the other takes the power of the other two generators). Breaker failure, especially one in the 35Mw size range, and at 10,000 volts will sound and act like an explosion (I've known much smaller breakers to blow themselves off the switchboard when failing), kind of like the sound of a pole transformer blowing on land. Sounds like they may have had a breaker available to use that was rated less than the original, hence not being able to use all generators.
  3. chengkp75

    Navigational Map?

    No, in fact they are easier to find in updated form, as chandlers can have large format printers that will print out the most recent version of the chart, relieving the navigator of doing hand updates. Even with electronic charts (ECDIS), you are required to have a backup system, of which a separate ECDIS system or paper charts are acceptable. Some countries like France and the Marshall Islands (flag of convenience) require paper charts as the backup means, and the USCG prefers paper charts as backup for US flag ships, and for foreign flag ships with regards to US waters.
  4. chengkp75

    Navigational Map?

    Any "navigational" chart that shows an entire cruise, pretty much regardless of where the cruise is, was not used for navigational purposes, and is only a prop for sale. Any given cruise will use a multitude of charts, and depending on the length of sea passages, most of them are blank charts with just the course line going across it. The charts used for navigation would be much larger scale (covers a smaller area) than one that would go from Seattle or Vancouver to Alaska. Plus, each port has its own even larger scale chart as well.
  5. chengkp75

    UK to South Africa

    Just understand what freighter cruising is all about. You will likely be the only passengers (they carry a max of 12, and not frequently), there is no "entertainment" other than some DVD's, the only "service" you will get is meals and cabin cleaning, the small crew (25-35) will be working all hours and not have much interaction with you, even at meals, access to open deck areas are limited by operation, maintenance, and company policy. There will be one public space, the officers' lounge, that you are allowed into, other than the officers' mess. So, if you don't mind days on end of self-entertainment, and isolation from the world in general, then freighter cruising may be for you, otherwise, stay far away. Freighters also steam at much slower speeds than cruise ships, so it takes longer to get there, they will stop at ports at all hours of the day and night, and sometimes for only a couple of hours, and passengers are very definitely a back seat priority to the cargo.
  6. chengkp75

    Crew eating in guest areas?

    The first line supervisors wore similar dress to the housekeeping staff, and the senior staff wore business suits or similar types of "uniforms".
  7. chengkp75

    Crew eating in guest areas?

    As Bob has said, it is rank dependent. On NCL, only 3 stripe officers and supervisors had "unlimited" access to guest areas, but their use of dining facilities was always subject to the maitre d's decision as to how busy the venue was at the time requested. Officers were shooed out of buffet if it got too crowded. 1 to 2.5 stripe officers and supervisors could visit guest areas a couple of times a month, with the permission of their department head. Crew, generally, were not allowed guest area privileges, unless it was an award for getting the most "hero" cards for the month. Spa, shop, art auction, and other concessionaire crew were not granted guest area access, but were treated as regular crew. A few, like the auctioner himself, the headliner acts, comedians, etc, were in guest cabins, and were awarded "guest status" and had free reign of guest areas. Officers congregating in bars and nightclubs was actively discouraged, especially given the alcohol limits and testing required onboard. An interesting historical note regarding uniforms is that in the "old days", NCL gave their officers (deck and engine, who were the only ones to wear a uniform) a stipend to encourage them to go out and mingle and buy drinks with the guests. Then the alcohol limits were in place after 1990, and the stipend stopped, so the officers stopped going into guest areas. Guests complained about "never seeing officers", so NCL put all the hotel supervisors in uniform to make them "visible officers".
  8. chengkp75

    Problem with Infinite Veranda, on the New Edge

    Absolutely. This is the same as anyone who leaves the balcony door open at night, it completely unbalances the AC system. It's one of the flaws I saw in the original design sketches, as that is exactly what they depicted.
  9. This is a civil liability case, and the report of the NZ Maritime Authority, according to the article, has found the company to be negligent in their training and operational safety procedures. What is not clear is whether this failure is a judgement by the Maritime Authority, based on NZ law, and the practices enforced on NZ flag ships, or whether the ISM (International Safety Management) code, as required by the IMO to document all company practices, procedures, safety and risk mitigation procedures and documents, as written by Princess, and approved by the flag state, and the classification society, and audited by the class society on an annual basis, meets the IMO requirements (meaning it is the lawfully governing document on a foreign ship in a NZ port), and whether it was followed by shipboard management and by the workers involved. If the company is found to have not followed their own ISM procedures, whether in training, risk management procedures, or supervision and providing the workers with the proper safety equipment, then they would be found negligent, and the plaintiff would be awarded damages. If it was found that the workers themselves (a fairly common occurrence in the maritime industry) did not follow the ISM code, then there would be no negligence on the part of the company. A further knot in all of this, is that the flag state approves the employment contract of the crew, which stipulates that payments for disability, injury, or death be covered by arbitration, not by lawsuit. This is acceptable to the flag state of the Princess ship, and the home country of the injured seaman (Philippines), so the NZ suit is attempting to enforce jurisdiction of NZ laws, which I guess don't recognize limitations on injury awards to arbitration, on a foreign flag ship. Since NZ is governed by English Common Law, which uses primarily prior court decisions as the basis for law, and since there are precedents in NZ law, that limit the applicability of NZ jurisdiction to foreign vessels, I don't believe this case will even get heard, at least on the merits of the liability of the company. It will most likely be debated solely on the basis of jurisdiction.
  10. Yes, the requirements of ship markings require the ship's name to be on the bow and stern, visible from both sides. Governmental vessels, like Naval vessels, do not adhere to SOLAS or IMO regulations.
  11. I haven't read the NZ Maritime Authority report of the incident, but the article mentions training and risk assessment. That may well be a judgement call by the Maritime Authority, based on NZ law, but if the ISM procedures as written for Princess, and approved by both the flag state and the classification society, meets SOLAS and ISM requirements, and were followed in this instance, then there would be very little to no liability on the part of Princess. It would also need to be determined whether the workers themselves disregarded the ISM requirements, or whether it was a management failure.
  12. Yes, the fault here is with the Philippine government, both in their maritime organization, which sets these compensation levels, and in their representatives to the IMO. And, as the article states, this applies to all Filipino mariners, and cruise ship crew make up a small minority of those.
  13. He's an equal opportunity hater, he goes after all the lines. Case law in New Zealand, particularly "Sellers v. New Zealand", tends to adhere to the UNCLOS definition of the limits of port state control over flag state control, so I would be surprised if this did result in a decision overruling the arbitration clause of the shipboard contract, or if it did, it would go to the New Zealand Supreme Court or International Court (and one of the senior jurists on the International Court is a jurist that was involved in "Sellers".
  14. Just to pick nits, the proper term is "stern", which is a noun referring to the back of a vessel. "Aft" is an adjective (use the aft elevator), or adverb (I am walking aft). And, to the best of my knowledge, you can't have a different name on the bow and stern of a vessel.
  15. chengkp75

    Fresh Fish at Rudi's Sel De Mer?

    While I've never heard of, nor seen, frozen molluscs before, I did find that they are sold that way. The major thing is that before freezing they are partially steamed, and only need a very light steaming, and too much will result in the mushy ones you had. But, molluscs are allowed to be brought onboard live, and can be kept alive for 24 hours or so.