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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:14 PM
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NY 1 News ran an article today regarding the recent wave that hit the Dawn. The point of the article is that ocean liners like the QM2 and the QE2 have hulls that are 50 percent thicker than a normal cruise ship with a slimmer design and sharper bow to better handle the unpredictability of the North Atlantic. Further, the 9th and 10th deck suites that were hit by the wave are located in the most vulnerable area on a cruise ship. However, it was the balcony glass rather than glass that was part of the superstructure itself. In addition, the article goes on to say that there have been instances on smaller ships where large waves have swept down the sides and taken out the partitions between the balconies and if you can take away partitions, maybe some of those cabin glass doors will be broken.

The number of bacony cabins on cruise ships are increasing and you need to be concerned with more than just your view.

Just thought someone might be interested in this.

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Old April 26th, 2005, 04:43 PM
Capt Matt
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Very true indeed. While modern cruise ships are safe and can handle rough water they are a far cry from ships designed for primary transatlantic duty. Ships like QM2, QE2, and the Norway (ex-France) are stronger, have deeper drafts, two sets of stabilizers, and less use of "cosmetic" glass on their upper decks. Transatlantic liners quite frequently encounter seas that average 20 to 40 feet but because they handle it so well it's just another day in the life and therefore no big deal. The biggest asset that a transatlantic liner has is a breakwater on the bow. This giant "wave-deflector" if you will is an integral part of the ship's foredeck superstructure and designed to dump any type of boarding sea away and off the bulwark and navigational bridge. In 1995 while trying to avoid an approaching hurricane, the QE2 encountered a wave estimated by her officers at roughly 90 feet and even though it came over the bow and tore away the bow mast the breakwater took care of the rest and the ship had no significant damage to report. Modern cruise ships have no breakwater and the superstructure is usually no more than maybe 100+ feet from the tip of the bow. If a large wave boards it's coming up and right over the front of the ship. Luckily for Norwegian Dawn she came out of the ordeal pretty well.
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