Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Untippable Floating Saucers

Resists Rogue Waves
  [vote for,

I just saw at the CNN site (linked) that a cruise ship was damaged in a storm by a 70-foot (21m) "rogue wave". Most such damage happens when the wave hits the side of the ship and causes it to tilt significantly (anyone remember "The Poseiden Adventure"?). It occurred to me that if the ship was shaped like a stereotypical flying saucer, then it would have no distinct front, rear, or side, then no matter what direction the wave came from, the shape of the vessel would knife into it with minimal damage.

The problem is, of course, that a saucer would have a LOT of frictional contact area with the water, and so this ship would waste a lot of fuel overcoming resistance to its motion across the water. That's why ordinary ships are comparatively long and thin.

On the other hand, a twin-hulled ship could support a saucer-shaped superstructure that straddles the two hulls, and gain most of the benefits of both designs. Especially if the hulls could deliberately be flooded to sink the saucer to wave-level (and flushed when storm was over). Sure, the word "untippable" might be an exaggeration -- but not by much.

Vernon, Apr 18 2005

Cruise Ship Damaged http://www.cnn.com/...erted.ap/index.html
news item; link may not be valid indefinitely. [Vernon, Apr 18 2005, last modified Dec 12 2013]


       [UnaBubba], the superstructures on cruise liners these days LOOK kind of top-heavy. One that bridged two hulls would also constitute a connection that was physically as tall or nearly as tall as the hull itself. Torsion should not be a large factor in that situation.
Vernon, Apr 19 2005

       this is worryingly short [vernon].
jonthegeologist, Apr 19 2005

       [jtg] Many of [Vernon]'s recent postings have been less prolix than usual. I think he's been...possessed.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 19 2005

       Maybe the interweb is running short of ink.
skinflaps, Apr 19 2005

       I put it to you that tankers and cruise ships are built for profitability, and that two hulls will cost more than one twice the size. The choice of monohull over catamaran is probably for no more complex reason than payback period.
david_scothern, Apr 19 2005


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