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Author Topic: Multipurpose vessels  (Read 1078 times)
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davidships
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« on: July 23, 2019, 11:48:50 am »

Member simonwp raised this important point today in a photo comment, but has wider relevance, so moved here:
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This discussion opens up the issue we've had before, and which I have commented on a few time. Many of the site photograph categories do not take into account the multi-purpose roles of many modern vessels, particularly offshore vessels and tankers. Offshore vessels in particular can be modified for many different roles very quickly by loading or removing different modules. Many tankers can now carry both crude oil and products, and often do so on consecutive voyages. As a result there will always be disputes about what category some vessels should be in. Do you use the category as at the time of photograph, or the category that has been used previously when the ship may have been in a different role?Huh? The question is often asked, but never answered.

Just a comment or two to start off:

Tankers: See note at http://www.shipspotting.com/support/faq.php?category=Tankers.  Also a restructuring of the Tanker subcategories is under consideration by Admin.
Offshore: There is no specific category guidance page (perhaps there should be). Most subcategories are specialised, with others already covering some degree of multipurpose activity (eg "Supply Ships/Tug Supplies/AHTS")

There is a difference between a vessel which is designed/constructed/rebuilt as multipurpose, and those which are flexible platforms with temporary/periodic addition of kit for specific tasks.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 07:47:44 pm by davidships » Report to moderator   Logged
pieter melissen
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2019, 12:33:05 pm »

This is tantamount to opening Pandora's box. Take for instance bulk and ore carriers, which are two separate categories. Do we then put ore carrying bulk carriers under ore carriers? And put them back again under bulk carriers as soon as we see them carrying soybeans or coal?
Then there is the so called con-bulker, which became popular in the eigthies and are still muddling on?  What about the open-hatch bulkers that are now more considered to be general cargo ships, but can take full loads of bulk (probably not ore strengthened though) and containers.

I really have no clear cut answers to this, except that we may end up with one category : Dry Cargo, with three subcategories Fully Cellular container ships, Bulk and ore carriers (anything over 10,000 DWT in there, anything below 10,000 into other drycargo, being the third category.

 
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2019, 02:55:57 pm »

It is easy to find examples of ships that might fit into more than one category simultanuously. I see for example squareriggged sailing ships (my personal hobbyhorse) categorized as auxiliaries, as passenger or cruiseships, as traditional sailing ships, too, of course, and what not else. (Incidently in some of these particular cases IMO numbers may not help to find them, either.)
Now, would it cause havoc if the concept of multiple categories for these were to be accepted?
I think not. The ship would still be unique (meaning uniquely identifiable), the category does not need to be exclusive.
Also, ships that change type and purpose in their career can already be found in one or the other category accordingly. That's as it should be. But only personal knowledge of the details can point you to "the other category". Showing relevant categories side by side might give much better information without any cost in functionality or clarity, I believe.
Just a thought.
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simonwp
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2019, 06:50:22 pm »

This is tantamount to opening Pandora's box. Take for instance bulk and ore carriers, which are two separate categories. Do we then put ore carrying bulk carriers under ore carriers? And put them back again under bulk carriers as soon as we see them carrying soybeans or coal?
Then there is the so called con-bulker, which became popular in the eigthies and are still muddling on?  What about the open-hatch bulkers that are now more considered to be general cargo ships, but can take full loads of bulk (probably not ore strengthened though) and containers.

I really have no clear cut answers to this, except that we may end up with one category : Dry Cargo, with three subcategories Fully Cellular container ships, Bulk and ore carriers (anything over 10,000 DWT in there, anything below 10,000 into other drycargo, being the third category.

 

Totally agree with this, most of the problems come from the fact that there are too many categories, and they are too narrowly defined. What's wrong with a simple category such as bulk carriers, offshore / windfarm  support vessels, tankers etc. Then decide what category such as obo's, con-bulk, come into, or have a separate simple category for combination / multipurpose vessels. It works for Miramar. Or use Lloyds categories, so that we follow industry descriptions. As long as it's simple, and easily followed it doesn't matter. The problem is major changes are now difficult with so many photographs on the site.

There's no category for con-ro's, which is a major vessel type.

There will always be some vessels over which there is debate, but simplification should eliminate most of the problems. And if the whole system is simple, it's easier to add a new category if needed.
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pieter melissen
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2019, 07:48:06 pm »

If you are striving for not simplicity, not Lloyds, please, as far as I remember there was a five digits main type code, to be followed by five groups of three digit subcodes....
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