Sea Giants

08 febrero 2007

Semi-submersible ships are the only vessels in the world which provide the capability to load, transport and offload extremely heavy cargo, such as oil drilling rigs, gas refineries or even warships.

Their large, free and open deck makes them the largest heavy transports in the world. They are capable of loading lifts from approximately 50 to as much as 45,000 tons.

1. How they work

According to Wikipedia, a semi-submersible heavy-lift ship, or also known as a "flo/flo" (for float-on/float-off), has a long and low well deck between a forward pilot house and an after machinery space.

Its ballast tanks can be flooded to lower the well deck below the water's surface, allowing oil platforms, other vessels, or other floating cargo to be moved into position for loading.

The tanks are then pumped out, and the well deck rises to shoulder the load. After the vessel is full afloat, the cargo is secured for transport.

2. Blue Marvin, King of Sea

Many of the larger ships of this class are owned by the company Dockwise, including the Mighty Servant 1, the Blue Marlin, and the Black Marlin. In 2004, Dockwise increased the deck width of Blue Marlin, to make it the largest heavy transport carrier in the world. These are some of its more important facts:

"Thunder Horse"

In January 2004, the Blue Marlin delivered the oil platform “Thunder Horse”, weighing 60,000 tons, to Corpus Christi, Texas for completion.

A year later, Thunder Horse was badly damaged by Hurricane Dennis. The images were shown all around the world.

"Snow White"

In July 2005 Blue Marlin moved the gas refinery Snøhvit (Snow White) from its construction site in Cádiz (Spain) to Hammerfest (Norway), an 11 day trip.

Sea based radar

In November 2005, Blue Marlin left Corpus Christi, Texas, to move the massive Sea-based X-band Radar to Adak, Alaska, having traveled 15,000 miles.


The U.S. Navy has used such ships to bring two damaged warships back to the United States for repair. MV Blue Marlin transported the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Cole from Aden, Yemen to USA after the warship was damaged in a bombing attack on October 12, 2000.

3. The Mighty Servant

4. Other companies: Kang Sheng Kou vessel

Apart from Dockwise, there are other important companies with some similar vessels sailing around the world. NMA company constructed the chinese supervessel "Kang Sheng Kou" in August 2003. The vessel, with a 18,000 tons lift capability, was bought by China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company for handling large-scaled engineering equipment projects. So far, there are only two such super ocean-going cargo vessels located within Asia:

5. Sinkings

Two of the Dockwise vessels have been lost in recent years. The Mighty Servant 2 capsized after hitting an uncharted underwater obstacle off Indonesia in November 1999:

Recently (December 2006), The Mighty Servant 3 foundered after unloading the drilling unit Aleutian Key offshore Angola:

More pictures an info at y NMA (

More: 1, 2, 3, 4 y 5

See also:

- Giant airplanes

How to build an offshore wind farm

Microsiervos: Giant sea cranes

30 Respuestas ( Deja un comentario )

  1. xenmate dijo...
  2. Un 10 como siempre aberron!

    Bueno... un 9.5 ;)

    Para "Capsized" no se utiliz el "was".

    "The boat capsized..."

    Un abrazo pedante,


  3. Antonio Martínez Ron dijo...
  4. Mil gracias, xen. No sabes cuánto te lo agradezco, ya ves que mi inglés es un poco rudimentario. Si ves otra cagada de esas no dudes en decírmelo, sin compromiso ;-) Por cierto, gracias también por lo de reddit, menudos subidones. Te debo una, bueno, varias. Saludos!

  5. Anónimo dijo...
  6. "They are capable of loading lifts from approximately 50 to as much as 45,000 tons"

    --- So if it's less than 50 tons, what happens? Does the ship float up above the water? :P

  7. Antonio Martínez Ron dijo...
  8. hahahahhahahahaa! Great!

  9. Avi Abrams dijo...
  10. that post totally made my day!...
    thank you

  11. Antonio Martínez Ron dijo...
  12. Well, that's a honor, coming from you, Avi!

  13. Anónimo dijo...
  14. Where's the obligatory "fat chick in a bikini" at the bottom of the list?

  15. Anónimo dijo...
  16. Wow those are amazing, they're so huge and you'd never come across them on an ordinary day.

  17. Anónimo dijo...
  18. Wow! That is so absolutely incredible!

  19. 24 Hour Web Cash dijo...
  20. Fantastico!!! Belissimo

    Looks unreal.

    More pictures available?

  21. Anónimo dijo...
  22. Wow! Just fucking WOW!
    That we've come this far, makes me think Star Trek like spaceships aren't that far fetched.

  23. review dijo...
  24. Great

  25. Anónimo dijo...
  26. This ship is so huge! It's a great transport, it is very stable and has big volume to load.

  27. Anónimo dijo...
  28. And moreover they can be used for so many purposes. When I see them, it seems like I watch some fantastic movie.

  29. Anónimo dijo...
  30. I think this ship will not float up above the water if it has less weight . It seems this ship is so elaborated and perfect and this problem won't bother it.

  31. Anónimo dijo...
  32. Thanks for the nice post!

  33. Anónimo dijo...
  34. Thanks for the post but just to inform you, besides Dockwise and NMA/Cosco there is Fairmount Marine. They operate the semi submersible barge Gavea Lifter and the vessels Fjord and Fjell. The last two are currently being converted from barges into self propelled ships in Malta.

  35. Anónimo dijo...
  36. Wow amazing, so huge ships and oil refinery and i have watched it making on discover Chanel..keep posting

  37. Anónimo dijo...
  38. Absolutely amazing I never realized ships could carry such huge loads great.

  39. Anónimo dijo...
  40. That is one big ship, I thought that when these rigs were taken out to sea or moved it was done in parts I did not realise that the whole rig was taken out in one go absolutely amazing.

  41. Anónimo dijo...
  42. These thigs are absolutely huge the insurance alone must be massive especially when you think how much it must cost just to move something as big as a rig or ship.

  43. Anónimo dijo...
  44. My uncle worked on a ship like this they cost so much that they do not call them in until the very last minute, they are equipped with everything from a gym to entertainment for the crews, they are the work horse of the sea.

  45. Anónimo dijo...
  46. The idea isn't new; these are basically just whomping big floating drydocks with some engines and rudders added.

    But once you start MOVING something that big out at sea, the whole picture changes. Couldn't see the draft marks or loadline or Plimsoll on any of the photos, so I've just got to guess what the unsubmerged draft on those big bastards must be. Gotta be deeper than 15 meters....

    Just thinking about the metacentric height makes my asshole pucker, and I'd purely HATE to have one of those things get crosswise in a big seaway.

    Captain Thad, USMM (ret.)

  47. Anónimo dijo...
  48. Wow great post for ship and refinery... keep posting

  49. Anónimo dijo...
  50. good info

  51. Anónimo dijo...
  52. really nice info

  53. Anónimo dijo...
  54. nice pictures..gread images

  55. Anónimo dijo...
  56. what a huuuuge ship!!!!!!

  57. Anónimo dijo...
  58. Please be informed that the Mighty Servant 3 is back in operation

  59. giraffe print dijo...
  60. this man made machine is really a sea giant. humans are very creative that they can make machines bigger and more powerful than them.

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