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Superyacht design in the age of 10-story rogue waves...

Discussion in 'Yacht Designers Discussion' started by airship, Aug 1, 2007.

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  1. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    Starting off with the hypothesis that I am the sole winner of the EuroMillions jackpot of Euros 38 million this coming Friday and I decide to build myself a motor yacht capable of confronting all hitherto known sea conditions...

    ...and I've done some research on the subject:

    Monster waves revealed by ESA satellite study

    Scientists investigate freak waves (BBC)

    29.8m high rogue wave detected by the ESA satellite

    What would a yacht capable of surviving intact "a vertical wall of water 100ft high exerting forces approaching 100 tons per square metre" (say roughly 22,270 pounds per square ft.) actually look like?!

    PS. I never understood why the owner of the 55m I worked on back in the 80s declined to join the vessel on the Atlantic crossing (November) but was quite happy to be aboard for the Pacific crossing (January) from Panama to the Marquesas...?!

    PPS. Do you wonder sometimes whether the likes of people who own Octopus etc. realise that if ever confronted by one of those 10 storey high rogue waves, the yacht would very probably succomb immediately and never ever be seen again (if it's the ugly Rising Sun, one might say "Hurray")...?! :confused:
  2. CODOG

    CODOG Senior Member

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  3. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    CODOG, unless I'm mistaken, what you recommend is that any superyacht owner (but especially Paul Allen) should consider vacating his owner's suite and sleeping in the on-board submarine whenever the actual sea conditions require it...?! One question though: whilst the submarine carried aboard would probably be well-protected from any rogue-wave impact, would it actually survive such a hit, more precisely, would it be able to escape the mother-ship before (she) drove down too deep...?!

    (I have this "blue screen" image of Paul Allen simply wondering if a reboot will suffice in this instance...?) :)
  4. CODOG

    CODOG Senior Member

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    :) No, not carried aboard a mother-ship...Taking your original question literaly, I thought an actual supersub would fit the bill. Avoidance rather than survivability sort of thing.
  5. KCook

    KCook Senior Member

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    Err, think "minimum windows" and "self righting". A sailing yacht would likely lose its mast to a monster wave. However, I suspect the typical SY would have better odds of survival than the typical MY.

    Kelly
  6. CODOG

    CODOG Senior Member

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    Yes, large windows are out. Open deck spaces bounded by bulwarks / superstructure walls would be a killer too. Cant make my mind up if its better to wave-pierce through the monster (deck chairs and external upholstery are relatively disposable after all) or stay bouyant and attempt to climb the face...in which case control is everything. I've a mental picture of 30 knots, in reverse, down a 60 degree slope. Perhaps two pointy ends would help.
  7. KCook

    KCook Senior Member

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    Just imagine the moves the auto-stabilizers would be going through! :D :D
  8. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    Supposing that I win the €38 million Euromillions lotto jackpot tomorrow and get around to setting up a company called "100T/m² Yacht Inc" to design and build yachts that will survive rogue waves intact. I'd be the launch customer obviously.

    Here are the guidelines:

    1) The ESA (European Space Agency) undertook a 3 week-long satellite radar survey of the oceans during which it identified at least 10 major "rogue waves" upto about 30m (100ft) high in various parts of the oceans for the 3 week period.

    2) The satellite used was not a geo-stationary one (ie) it was in a regular orbit around the planet so it could not watch all of the planet, all of the time. One supposes therefore that the true number of rogue waves is very probably far superior to the mere 10 or so discovered over 3 weeks...?!

    3) In the most recent instances where credible reports of rogue waves hitting vessels exist, (ie) the passenger vessels Bremen and Caledonian Star, both of whom were in the south Atlantic at the time, it would appear that the rogue waves were literally "vertical walls of water". The wheelhouses of both passenger vessels were severely flooded due to imploding bridge windows leading to a complete "loss of command" scenario. In the case of the Bremen, this was compounded by the loss of main propulsion engines also.

    4) Rogue waves may appear literally anywhere sea conditions are already severe, and without warning. However, none so far have been reported to exceed the 30m (100ft) height threshold.

    5) Large ships are designed to be able to survive 15T/m² wave impacts intact, and perhaps survive even greater impacts with consequences. A rogue wave of 30m (100ft) has been calculated to exert a force of 100T/m² (hence the new company name).

    6) Whilst it may not be economically feasable to design or build commercial shipping to the 100T/m² standard, private individuals are in a position to pay the extra costs involved and increasingly wish to safely cruise areas which hitherto were only accessible to much larger and specialised vessels.

    7) If the market exists, who, if anyone, is endeavouring to satisfy the demand? Surely even yachts like the Octopus or any other big modern-day "explorer" yacht would fail to meet requirements?

    8) What sort of features should the 100T/m² yacht possess? I could suggest as others have already pointed out: a secondary "bridge" because even with the thickest windows, the main wheelhouse would probably be inoperable after a "hit". Military vessels used to have such an arrangement if I remember correctly...?! A self-righting capability obviously. No more sliding doors to the main salon. But could some form of storm-shutter in conjunction with very thick glass offer a suitable compromise in the guest areas of the yacht?

    9) Is there any point at all trying to design or build say a 40m (120ft) 100Y/m² yacht? After all, it's one thing talking about how a large commercial or passenger ship of 100m+ behaves when faced with a 30m rogue wave. How would a 30m (100ft) yacht handle a 30m (100ft) rogue wave? The design of the bow (wave-pieircing or otherwise) would appear superflous in my opinion. Unless I'm mistaken, these rogue waves have quite a long wave-length. So a small 40m yacht compared to a solid 150-200m commercial vessel would find itself completely submerged for perhaps half a minute or more...before re-emerging finally, unless the water pressure resulted in an implosion of the hull / superstructure etc.?!

    10) If you can't see the rogue wave approaching (at night or in poor visibility) then you can't very well take any precautions of say, heading directly into the wave or reducing / increasing (?) speed (rogue waves may typically appear upto 30° left or right of the predominant wave direction...?! But heck, if a satellite-based radar can locate them, surely there's a tweak for your standard ship-board radar available...?

    With the wealth of experience here represented by all the seafarers, yacht designers etc. here at Yacht Forums, I'm sure that we could help "100T/m² Yacht Inc" get up on its feet...?! Apply yerselves - I know it's summertime, everyone's busy or maybe too lethargic because of the heat. But we can do it...! :)
  9. CODOG

    CODOG Senior Member

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    I'm sat here at home, with a mobile phone as a calculator, so apologies if my conversions are out...
    100 Tonnes / m2 is around 9.7 atmospheres ?. This is roughly equivalent to being at a depth of 318 feet below the surface...as a reference point, Google tells me this was close to the dive limit for WW1 submarines:)
  10. curiouspeter

    curiouspeter Member

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    I thought some navy vessels were designed to withstand nuke blasts from a distance. Perhaps heavy armor-plating will find its way into the realm of megayachts?

    BTW, there are no 400ft+ megayachts lost to freak waves yet. :)
  11. alloyed2sea

    alloyed2sea Moderator

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  12. Leveller

    Leveller Senior Member

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    Curiouspeter: Sure but lets park Octopus and LE 120 aside, how many of the other Aegean Island hoppers are leaving the med? Have you heared about a 30 m rogue in the med? It has always irretated me why to build 400'+ and then park it in Monaco for 355 days and then have some daytrips to St. Tropez.

    Seriously in a case of a rogue I would wish to be on a Fassmer or Lürssen built german SAR ship (ie HERMAN MARWEDE http://www.fassmer.de/english/produkte/schiffbau/spezialschiff_seenotkreuzer.html). I am pretty sure that they can built although a yacht with the same features.

    Martin
  13. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    BBC report on the cruise liner VOYAGER which was hit by a "freak" wave in 2005, breaking bridge windows and resulting in the liner losing all propulsion engines...

    Watch a video of the Voyager in the heavy seas purported to be in the region of 10-15m - I think in these images, the Voyager had restored propulsion and can you imagine what it must have been like when she was powerless and beam-to the waves...?!



    That's true, but I'm not sure we're talking about the same type of forces here.

    CODOG raises some valid and interesting points. That the 100T/m² yacht design may indeed have to draw heavily on submarine-design characteristics. It appears that even WW1-era submarine-designs were just about capable of surviving 100T/m² (100,000kgf/m² = 9.807bar / atmospheres = 142PSI = 20,480lbs/ft²). With the advent of the various alloy-steels and titanium since those days, I'm encouraged that it should be possible to engineer something which would both look good and weather your average 30m rogue wave by now. Or at least, some serious consideration could be given to purchasing surplus ex; Soviet titanium submarines and then adding a beautiful superyacht-like "outer-hull/superstructure" onto them.

    In heavy-weather where the risk of rogue waves is highest, all passengers and crew would literally "batten down the hatches" within the indestructible titanium inner-hull. Navigating personnel could use the CCTV...?! :)
  14. Leveller

    Leveller Senior Member

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    hupsy....I didn't know that.

    Let me ask some questions:
    1. If I remember right the Bremen was hit in the southern ocean and was powerless for more than just a few hours. During this she was like a ball in the waves. So am I right to say that one main idea in constructing a vessel for rogues should be to avoid the loss of power at any situation?

    2. Loosing power means no steering, no speed, no stabilizers, no light. Why have these vessels lost their power? Is this due to water in the electric system which caused a cut off after the bridge windows where smashed?

    3. Organisations like MCA and Lloyds have set up rules for how to built a ship to be capable all possible situations might appear in the world oceans. All ship owners standing in competition against each other, maybe except for the yacht owners, so they try to built after these rules but not more. Cause a more of technik will cost more money. Are the rules existing not in order of this newly discovered "frequency" of rogues?

    4. When I understand it right these rogues exist since there is water on our planet. How many yachts have been effected by them in the past 50 years? How many have been sunk by a rogue?

    5. Do all rogues appear in heavy wheather?

    6. Do you remember the yacht Disco Volante in the 007 Thunderball? So why not built a yacht around the sub and then in emergency just dive away?

    Martin
  15. revdcs

    revdcs Senior Member

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    QUOTE - 6. Do you remember the yacht Disco Volante in the 007 Thunderball? So why not built a yacht around the sub and then in emergency just dive away?

    This may be feasible in the imagination of James Bond's scrptwriters - but practically impossible in rough seas or with the yacht sinking around you.
  16. curiouspeter

    curiouspeter Member

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    Will there be enough time (for passengers to calmly proceed to the yellow submarine with the violinists playing and all :D )?

    I think a non-submersible "submarine" design may work, at least for the very paranoid multi-billionaires. The Feadship X-Stream concept does look like one, although it has a bit too much glass to qualify.
  17. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    Surely you mean it has "too much class" to qualify...?! :D Did a Feadship ever go down to Antarctica...?! :confused:
  18. karldiesen

    karldiesen New Member

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    For all you rogue wave "enthusiasts" :



  19. karldiesen

    karldiesen New Member

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  20. karldiesen

    karldiesen New Member

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    Hope someone enjoys ;)