Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Clia for action!

Posted on | November 19, 2012 | No Comments

As someone whose seagoing was done in rather downmarket ships in which stout lashing points were affixed to the furniture, so that we could remain secure in heavy weather, the passenger trades have always seemed a trifle blasé about the elements.

Perhaps it is because the people of taste who fit out top of the range cruise ships would be appalled should some shipwright wish to drill holes in a priceless carpet or fasten lugs onto the Louis XV dining chairs so that they can be bolted to the deck in the event of a storm.

The proprietors try hard to produce the ambience of a five star hotel, not a ship!

And one can imagine the angst when some burly fitter approaches the Bechstein to screw a couple of enormous brass ringbolts to its flanks, lest it go walkabout, if the efforts of the master to avoid some meteorological occurrence have come to nought.

There is a sort of  general belief that cruise ships never roll and pitch, like other, lesser breeds. Nothing new about this – look at old pictures of the first class accommodation in the four-funnelled Mauritania.

But bully for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council which have produced a new policy on Securing Heavy Objects.

There were some amazing pictures a couple of years ago which showed rows of fruit machines thrown all over the place and priceless pictures hanging at an angle of thirty degrees to the vertical as a large cruise ship rolled.

This was probably useful evidence. Anyway, the partners have spoken and pianos, TVs, treadmills and laundry equipment along with other heavy equipment and objects are to be henceforth lashed down.

They have also produced sensible policies on having lifejackets stowed in close proximity to embarkation or muster stations, and bridge procedures are also to be harmonised. It will be good to see the first Steinway with lashing points.

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