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Old April 1st, 2009, 04:18 AM
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Default Ship Tonnage

Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo capacity of a ship. The term derives from the taxation paid on tuns of wine, and was later used in reference to the weight of a ship's cargo; however, in modern maritime usage, "tonnage" specifically refers to a calculation of the volume or cargo volume of a ship. The term is still sometimes incorrectly used to refer to the weight of a loaded or empty vessel.

Measurement of tonnage can be less than straightforward, not least because it is used to assess fees on commercial shipping.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 07:27 AM
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Okie/Tex,

I'm sure a lot of Cruisemates have always wondered about how they arrived at the "tonnage" of a vessel and you should be commended for offering your explanation. Oh, and welcome aboard Cruisemates!

If one wishes to get even deeper into the subject, the tonnage of vessels is measured in "Long tons" of 2,240 pounds per ton (as opposed to our regular ton of 2,000 pounds). Actually there were/are five different ways to measure vessel tonnage.

There is an excellent article (albeit written in 1932) on the Gjenvick Archives site, that explains the difference in: Deadweight tonnage, Cargo tonnage, Gross tonnage.

The difference among them (to use as an example a small cargo vessel) are:

Deadweight: 4,000 tons
Cargo: 6,000 tons
Gross: 10,000
Displacement (loaded): 13,350

I may well be wrong, but I believe the universal measurement today is the one for Gross tonnage which again if I am correct, is reflected as "Gross Registered Tons" or "GRT."

Nothing like making things more complex!


Todd
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Old April 1st, 2009, 03:52 PM
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Okie is in fact referring to Gross Registered Tonnage. (I believe) it refers to an area 3 feet cubed (3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet) of -importantly- enclosed cargo space, or the ability to transport dry goods securely. The cruise lines use GRT in their brochures to indicate the size of their vessels, which has nothing to do whatsoever with what the ship actually weighs. The amount of water the ship is displacing -Displacement in Tons (or inches) - is what the ship TRULY weighs. This can be measured by the meterings on every ship's bow. The famous trivia question "How much does the ship weigh?" has many answers, however the one usually accepted is WRONG.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 04:27 PM
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Captain,

I didn't have time to explain the differences among what the definitions meant but they are also explained in detail on the Gjenvick web site.

Todd
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Old April 1st, 2009, 04:56 PM
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And GRT, on a cruise ship, only accounts for space that is usable by passengers. It does not account for crew areas, galley, engine room, bridge or any space that is not accessible to passengers. That leaves about 1/5 of the ship's "GT" (Gross Tonnage) unaccounted.

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Mike
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Old April 1st, 2009, 04:59 PM
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Default Ship Tonnage

To me, it doesn't matter what the tonnage is, no matter what it's called. What matters is how many passengers a cruise ship holds. The passenger capacity indicates to potential cruise passengers not only how big the ship is physically, but also what kinds of amenities there are on board and how many and what types of activities can be held while on a cruise. Those are the things that interest most people.

Judy
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Old April 1st, 2009, 05:35 PM
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Judy,

How right you are!

Todd
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Old April 1st, 2009, 08:55 PM
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So I've always wondered about how large a modern cruise ship is compared to other large ships. How does a Freedom Class RCI ship or the new Oasis OTS from RCI compare in size to a US aircraft carrier or a super oil tanker? Which is larger?
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Old April 1st, 2009, 09:08 PM
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The tonnage of a cruise ship includes all the space within the ship.
This includes crew space ,storage( fuel ,water etc) cabins and all public/private areas.
This was set by the Panama Canal authority for charging transit
fees.
1 ton = 100 cu ft
therefore
100,000 Ton ship = 10,000,000 cu ft.

They chose this calculation because the canal found that
they where not being for the volume of of the containers

1 Container 10 ft x 10 ft x 20ft = 1 TU = 2000 cu ft.

2000 cu ft is equal to 20 tons no matter what is in the
container .

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Old April 2nd, 2009, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueliner
So I've always wondered about how large a modern cruise ship is compared to other large ships. How does a Freedom Class RCI ship or the new Oasis OTS from RCI compare in size to a US aircraft carrier or a super oil tanker? Which is larger?
Scott,

Assuming you already know the displacement of these cruise ships, here are the standard displacements of a few United States Navy warships:

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier: 90,000 ton displacement

Iowa-class battleship: 45,000 ton displacement

Northampton-class heavy cruiser: 10,000 ton displacement
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 01:00 AM
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Splendour of the Seas (From Wikipedia)
Tonnage: 70,000 gross tons
Displacement: 35,396 metric tons
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 02:12 AM
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Blueliner,

What follows are the approximate GRT's for three classes of cruise ships.

RCL's Voyager Class ships (Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas) are 138,000 tons.

The Freedom Class ships of RCL are approximately 160,000 tons.

The soon to be completed Oasis Class of ships for RCL are a mind boggling 220,000 tons!!

Some of the largest super tankers are even larger except possibly for the Oasis when she is christened.

Todd
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 07:16 AM
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Default Ship's Tonnage

During one Captain's reception, a passenger asked the tonnage of the ship (I think it was Radiance OTS). When told the tonnage, the passenger asked where they found a scale that large......
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 10:40 PM
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Does anyone know the tonnage of Dave the Wave's " Minnow of the Seas "?
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Old April 14th, 2009, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Ship Tonnage

Okie/Tex,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo capacity of a ship. The term derives from the taxation paid on tuns of wine, and was later used in reference to the weight of a ship's cargo; however, in modern maritime usage, "tonnage" specifically refers to a calculation of the volume or cargo volume of a ship. The term is still sometimes incorrectly used to refer to the weight of a loaded or empty vessel.
Actually, the term "tonnage" is not quite correct, but a ship's displacement (weight) is still measured in tons -- and you can be sure that the ship's Chief Engineer keeps very close tabs on it since an unexpected increase in displacement is often the first indication of a problem with the hull. From an engineering standpoint, every ship has a "light" displacement, measured with the ship completely empty, and a "maximum" (or "gross") displacement that represents the maximum safe loading of the ship. Merchant ships that have less than minimum loads fill ballast tanks with sea water to bring their displacement up to the safe minimum before heading out to sea.

Historically, ships were taxed based upon their gross displacement. In modern times, many countries have changed the method of calculating the tax to a method based on interior revenue volume for passenger vessels. Of course, there is a very strong correlation between revenue volume and gross displacement since gross displacement is just the volume of the hull of a fully loaded vessel that is below the waterline. Thus, the nations that made the change set a ratio based on the correlation and assigned units of "gross registered tons" (GRT) to the quantity obtained by multiplying the revenue volume by the ratio.

The bottom line here is that the quantity employed in registry, although not precisely the "gross" (maximum safe) displacement, is pretty close.

Incidentally, the U. S. Navy continues to characterize the size of our nation's ships by their gross displacement. I think that most foreign navies do likewise. The U. S. Coast Guard, OTOH, seems to prefer to characterize the size of its vessels by their length.

Norm.
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