Building a ship- Discover the process!

Today’s article is a brief explanation of the process of building a new ship.

It all starts with a customer who has the desire to have a new ship! He looks for several shipyards and asks for their building plans and budgets.

To build a new ship several naval architects, engineers, designers and other shipyard workers are needed.

In the process of building a ship there are several phases:

Ship design:

This is the first phase, where naval architects draw the ship according to the client’s will.

The design of the ship has to satisfy the purpose it will have, which varies depending on its future function (eg a passenger ship has nothing to do with a chemist).

You can check the article abut this at Types of merchant Vessels!

An assembly plan is also made detailing how the ship will be built.


After the drawing is finished and approved by the customer, the cutting phase follows.

At this stage, several metal plates are cut according to the assembly plane.

This is a dangerous operation, because gas is used to cut and melt the metal. It also involves the transport of large and heavy metals. For this reason workers must be well equipped with safety equipment such as appropriate clothing, helmet and protective shoes.

Putting the pieces together: read more

Visiting the ship Empire State VI!

This week, on Monday (july 3rd 2017), me and about 40 colleagues from my school ENIDH, we paid a visit to the ship Empire State VI, of the SUNY maritime school that is in NY (you can check out the website here).

It was initially built for States Steam in Newport News in Virginia to serve as a general cargo ship. It was completed and delivered in 1962 under the name of Oregon, a name it held until it was purchased in 1977 by Moore McCormack Lines. This company gave it the name Mormactide. After all this, the ship entered the service of the American state in 1986.

Now the ship Empire State is a school ship, that has the purpose of the training of the students of the merchant navy.

As soon as we arrived we were greeted with immense sympathy and separated by groups so as to facilitate the visit.

At first I was very excited, because I had never visited a ship of that size.

We started by seeing the deck, then passed through ship’s classrooms, the mess, saw the kitchen from the outside, visited a control room to be used in case of emergency and some facilities that unfortunately we could not photograph because they were restricted areas.


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The cadet who gave us the guided tour informed us that The ship takes about 600 people on board and some of them share a big cabin with about 100 people.

The part that made me sad and disappointed was that they did not let me visit the bridge or the engine room. Even so I enjoyed the initiative and I hope there will be more like it, but with the detail of visiting the bridge and the machine house, which for pilots and engineers is essential! ☺

General information:

IMO number: 5264510
Flag: EUA
Type: Passangers
Gross tonnage: 14557t
Overall length: 172,2m
Boca: 23,2m
Construction year: 1962

In Portugal there are also school ships, which belong to the Portuguese navy, as is the case of the emblematic Sagres.

The Creola is also a school ship, and twin brother, of the ship Santa Maria Manuela. I’ll make a training trip this summer there! 😀

You can read the articles about the tall Ship Santa Maria Manuela and

my experience in it during the tall ships races read more

Bulbous Bow

I always wondered what would be the use of that bump (bulbous bow) that is seen in the bow of some ships, but I never took the initiative to go investigate their function until this year. When i was given the possibility to develop and research this theme in Structural resistance and dynamic structure of the ship class.

It is thought to have been invented in the XIX century (19th century) to be used in war. However the idea was recorded as being of David W. Taylor, who was naval architect during the first world war.

What is the use of the bulbous bow? read more

Types of merchant vessels

This post is a little different from what I usually post about. I decided to write it since people that are not involved with the merchant navy often ask me about the differences between all the ships they see. So I’ll talk about those I think are more relevant.
There are several types of ships according to their function:

Container ships:
This type of ships appeared with the generalization of containers, where the cargo is placed inside containers, which are placed on the decks of this ships. This technique allows companies to save time and space on board, and therefore save money, since the port’s container crane only needs to lift the containers from the trucks and load them on the ship, instead of workers having to load everything by hand. This idea came from a truck driver, Malcom P. McLean, who was tired of waiting for his cargo to be unloaded off of his truck, and thought it would be amazing if they could just load the entire back of his truck onto the ship.

Dry Bulk Carriers:
This ships transport their cargo in bulk, in their cargo holds. To make this profitable, the cargo is transported in large quantities and consists mainly of corn, cereal, grains, minerals, etc… Right now there are at least three ships experimenting with kite-like sails as auxiliary propulsion in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This method allows for a reduction up to 30% of said emissions.


Tankers, which include: read more

Santa Maria Manuela

Since my first ever sea voyage was in this sail ship, I decided to research more deeply about It’s history. ????

Santa Maria Manuela (SMM) was built in 1937 by order of Vasco Albuquerque d’Orey and was named after his wife Maria Manuela de Sampaio d’Orey. It’s construction only took 60 days, which is very impressive, and it was built in Lisbon’s shipyard, same as it’s twin Creoula. Up until 1963 it was used by the company “Pesca de viana” to fish codfish in terra nova and labrador. That year, the company was sold to the fishing company Ribau, from Aveiro and kept its original functions.

For many years the ship kept being renovated so it could stay up to date with all the new technology advances in cod fishing but, despite all that effort, in 1993 it was considered obsolete and it was demolished and removed from the fishing boat registration, although it’s hull was preserved. In 1994, the founders of what is now the Santa Maria Manuela Foundation, decides to buy all the scrap metal from the original ship and begin it’s recovery. The entire restauration was made with the ship’s original project from 1937.

The project was in standby for many years and it was only resumed in 2007, after the company Pascoal e Filhos, S.A. became owner of the hull, which was transported to the Navalria shipyard, in Gafanha da Nazaré, so the recovery could finally start. In the end of 2008, the hull was towed to the Factoria Naval Marín shipyard, in Galiza to install equipment and systems and returned to Aveiro in 2010.
Nowadays the ship is used as a learning tool and for tourism, like in the case of the Tall Ships 2016 regatta which I was a part of.

The SMM is a four mast sail ship/ tal ship, with a reinforced hull aft, specially above sea level, due to its original purpose, of ice water fishing. The entire interior’s wood coated.

  • Ship’s length (with bowsprit): 68,64 meters
  • Hull length: 62,64 meters
  • Length (between perpendiculars): 52,68 meters
  • Beam: 9,90 meters
  • Deptht: 5,94 meters
  • Draft: 4,51 meters
  • Propulsion (by engine): 746 kW
  • Crew (maximum): 22
  • Participants/guests (maximum): 50
  • Guest cabins: for 2 people: 12; for 4 people: 5; for 6 people: 1
  • read more