Sunday, January 28, 2024

Two months to the day

 It has been two months to the day since the container ship BF Fortaleza made its last last call in Halifax for Melfi Lines. On November 28, 2023 I was unable to get an underway photo and annoyingly that was the case again today January 28, 2024. 

However the photo I was able to get today as it was working at PSA Atlantic Gateway Pier 42 showed an important feature of the ship in slightly more detail.

The ship was built by the now regrettably defunct J.J.Sietas Schiffswerft in Nuenfeld, Germany in 1996. It was launched as Partnership but renamed Yvette on delivery. It became Partnership again from 2003 to 2004 then City of Lisbon until 2005, Carla until 2009 and WEC Rubens until 2011.  The 6362 gt, 7202 dwt ship has a capacity of 700 TEU, including 100 reefers and it is gearless.

The ship's most interesting feature however is that most of the cargo space is open, without hatchcovers. The forward part of the ship, which would be number one hold, has operable hinged covers. There is then a large breakwater with the open hold extending aft as far as the engine room bulkhead, with a high coaming along its length. There is a solid cargo carrying deck over the engine space, of about one 40 foot container length immediately forward of the accommodation block. 

The hatchless hold space is equipped with cellular guides for container stowage. The guides project above the level of the coaming which would allow containers to be stowed to the height of the top of the breakwater or possibly higher.

The J.J.Seitas yard perfected the hatchless configuration and built several ships of the type including the much larger 14,639 gt 1004 TEU Oceanex Avalon which operates between St.John's, and Montreal.

Since freight containers are relatively weather proof and are often stowed on the open deck, it makes very little difference if they are stowed in hatchless holds. Containers that require special treatment can be stowed in nunber one hold where they are protected from the elements. The main concern is the amount of water than can be allowed to accumulate in the hold either from weather or from seas. Presumably the latter is minimized by the breakwater and high coaming, and what does accumulate can be pumped out long before it effects the cargo or the stability of the ship.

The BF Fortaleza sailed late in the afternoon (in failing light and snow) for the warmer climes of Mariel, Cuba on Melfi's regular MEDCAN service from the Mediterranean. 


No comments:

Post a Comment