Interesting tech info


Robert Hauser

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Aug 18, 2005
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They other day I was reading a library book, the name of which, amazingly enough, I forgot to write down, but it mentioned a place called Port Revel in Dauphine near Grenoble France. Apparently, its a pond at the foot of the Alps dug from potter's clay by Trappist monks in the sixteenth century. Anyway, its home to some kind of ship handling school where industry pros from all over the world are sent by their companies for a 5 day training course where they use scale model "mini-ships" in which a student can practice driving a 40 foot exact scale model of say, a 1000 foot tanker, or container ship, or whatever. (The author joked about how the Mallard duck on the pond would be 30 feet tall at that scale.) Has anyone heard of this? Supposedly its a place where they train harbor pilots, docking pilots, canal pilots, and large ship handling. The book mentioned some interesting facts that made me think about the Olympic/Hawke collision and the Titanic/New York near collision. Here are some of them: The proximity of the hull to the bottom effects how the ship handles if the depth of the water is less than 6X the draft of the ship. Turning circles can be twice as great in shallow water because water can't pass freely under the ship, making it sluggish. Ships seem heavier in shallow water and are harder to stop because of the water that follows them increases virtual mass. When a ship moves through water, it creates a bow wave, a stern wave, and a "trough" in the middle. "Squat" refers to a ship settling lower in the water proportional to the square of the ship's speed. The parapatetic pivot point (spelling?) on ship moving forward is one third the length from the bow (makes you think about Titanic's iceberg avoidance attempt) A ship's influence on other ships extends to 5X's its beam. Passing in the same direction in restricted water is dangerous (Olympic/Hawke?) especially as the overtaker pulls away its stern suction pulls the bow of the other ship in, while the other ship's own propellers tend to suck its own stern toward the bank causing a "corkscrew". I was thinking about how the Hawke was about to overtake the Oympic, until Olympic sped up. Was any of this physics really understood in 1910-1912?

Rob H
 
Aug 10, 2002
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Robert:
All that you say is true. The British have one at Southampton, the US Navy had one at Little Creek, VA. Mass. Maritime Academy has one in Buzzard's Bay MA. Also there are a number of electronic bridge simulators that do much the same thing. I forget the exact cost of a week at Port Revel, but I know it isn't cheap.
Regards, Charlie Weeks
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>Has anyone heard of this?<<

I think you'll find that just about every industry professional is aware of this. I read of a similar school in Popular Mechanics almost 40 years ago. I don't know if it's the same school but the idea has been around and in practice for quite a while.

>>I was thinking about how the Hawke was about to overtake the Oympic, until Olympic sped up. Was any of this physics really understood in 1910-1912?<<

To a point I think it was, but it not to the point where the information was being used to avoid accidents. The lessons had to be learned somewhere and the people back then were on the lower end of the learning curve.
 

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