The other day my friend Kully asked me what the biggest ships were. We had been watching a documentary called  “Carrier”, about life on board an aircraft carrier. I mentioned that the largest ships afloat are actually oil tankers, the largest ever being built in 1979 in Japan. Originally named the “Seawise Giant”, she was 1504 ft long and could carry over 500,000 tons! To put that in perspective the empire state building is 1454 ft tall. By comparison the US carrier Nimitz is only 1092 feet. Anyway, They are powered by diesel engines, unlike the carriers which are nuclear powered. Here is a pic of the bottom end of one of these massive engines. Bore and stroke can be as large as 3 feet by 9 feet. That is big enough for a couple of people to ride up and down inside!


One response to “Supertankers

  • Mark Simiola

    New Haven Connecticut’s port with its 36-40 foot of draft regularly sees tankers of the Panamex class which was stated to be a vessel that could traverse the Panama Canal with its draft, beam and length. Vessels of this class that I would see would range in the 600-700 ft in length. It was said that the Super Tanker Exxon Valdez one cargo hold that was breached when she was run a ground by a little too much Jack and Coke held more liquid than a full Panamex class vessel. This will give you some perspective of how large a multicompartment super tanker is.

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