Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Hansa Brandenburg fire highlights design flaws

This week’s containership fire was located once again in the Indian Ocean, with the Hansa Brandenburg abandoned by her crew, after the container deck stacks ignited and blazed in an exceedingly alarming manner.

One can hardly blame them for evacuating the vessel, with the container stowage immediately forward of the accommodation aboard what might be better described as a geared, multi-purpose vessel, which just happened to be so unlucky as to be carrying containers on deck.

In one of these ships designed by naval architects who had probably never been to sea, the crew of the HB lived in a narrow, multidecked steel tower, perched on the after part of the ship abaft the sternframe.

They had nowhere else to go other than over the side… Continue reading

Cargo care – a ticking time bomb?

I may have been taken to task for blaming the cargo (weights) for breaking the MOL Comfort in half, but I am probably on a safer wicket if I suggest that it was the cargo which saw off the forepart of the ship, along with 2672 containers. Continue reading

SS Great Britain: A lesson for modern-day ship design?

A few days holiday last week, one of which was spent in and around the Great Britain, the ship built by Brunel in 1843, and which miraculously has been restored in the very dock where she was built in the port of Bristol. Far bigger than any ship that had been ever constructed, she provoked arguments about “gigantism” in the contemporary maritime community that might resonate rather well today. Continue reading