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New Mooring Concept

      11/15/1999

Massive suction pads have been used successfully in New Zealand's ferry docks to replace mooring rope that normally ties ships to bollards on the quayside. The pads automatically reach out and attach themselves to the side of the vessel, dramatically reducing the time it takes for ships to dock.

pads.jpg (13183 bytes)

SUCTION pads that dramatically reduce the time it takes for ships to dock have been tested successfully on the ferry that runs between New Zealand's two islands. The pads replace the mooring rope that normally ties ships to bollards on the quayside. The massive pads are mounted on rails in a box on the side of the quay, enabling them to move up and down with the tide and any swell. These boxes in turn are mounted on horizontal rails so the vessel can be moved along the quayside.

The main savings are in time and efficiency, says John Hadcroft, who set up Mooring International in Christchurch to develop the idea with co-inventor Peter Montgomery. It takes only 4 seconds to "tie up" and 2 seconds to cast off. This is a vast improvement over the 15 minutes and the 12 crew needed for mooring the traditional way, says Hadcroft. Saving time is very important for ferry companies, which are constantly trying to speed up turnaround.

Full article : New Scientists by Duncan Graham-Rowe


 


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