Ships shipping ships?
July 26, 2012 11:46 PM   Subscribe

This picture (of what looks like a pile of cargo ships in the water) is doing the email rounds as "a ship that ships ships". What is it?
posted by kreestar to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is called the MV Blue Marlin, I believe.
posted by DisreputableDog at 11:50 PM on July 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Here are some other ships that ship ships: one that piggybacked the USS Cole when it was hit by an al Qaeda attack in 2000; another heavy-lift ship. So these things do exist, but they look different than the one you linked to.
posted by not_on_display at 11:52 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are a lot more pictures at this post from the Metafilter front page. One class of these are called semi-submersible heavy cargo carriers, and they carry more than just other ships.
posted by OmieWise at 1:19 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw that picture and kind of assumed it was a 'shop. I'm delighted it is real!
posted by maryr at 7:07 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some other unusual ships along these lines, although not ship-shippers as such:

The US Navy's Research division built and owns the "Flip-Ship," operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which is a 350-foot (107m) ship, or buoy, depending on its mode. If you picture the bow as the business end of a spoon, and the rest of the ship as the handle, they fill the handle with seawater until the horizontal ship becomes a vertical buoy, a stable ocean-research platform sticking out of the water and subject to significantly reduced motion thanks to its massive undersea element.

The other oddball this reminded me of is Sea Launch, a full-service satellite launcher which includes the rocket, the floating, self-powered launchpad-ship, and a support ship for command and control. They can launch rockets directly on the equator, which gives them the greatest energy advantage for inserting into orbit. So, not a ship-ship, but a rocket-ship, if you will.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:45 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


The source image tells us they are inland dry cargo vessels at the Europort in Rotterdam. If you zoom in on the photo you can see each row is composed of three ships, each with a different designation like MD614 (middle ship, row three). In the bottom left two supports are visible. Here are examples of the style of ship. They are probably just stacked in drydock.

Not to rain on cool ships though. Check out the Dockwise Vanguard, and the Versabar VB10,000.
posted by jwells at 8:10 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, one more came to mind: USNS Glomar Explorer, which was built for the CIA with a large internal work area so that the bottom of the ship could open up, lower to the ocean bottom a kind of cradle or claw build to capture and recover K-129, a Soviet Ballistic Missile Submarine (Golf II) that was sunk by an accident aboard (explosion or hull rupture in deep water, I'm not sure). The cradle suffered a mechanical failure just as the sub was nearly back into the belly of the Explorer, the sub shifted, and everyone watched in horror as one of the boat's three nuclear missiles slid out of its silo and headed for the ocean floor. Following that, the boat broke in two and all but the bow section fell out of the claw, along with the 2 remaining nuclear-tipped missiles within.

The secret was leaked to the press before the Explorer returned to shore. In the mid-1980s, though, Explorer was the ship aboard which Dr. Bob Ballard located the wreck of the RMS Titantic.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:49 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


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