New merchant ship to travel at 40 knots

Plans are underway by a Philadelphia company called FastShip to build a fleet of high-speed containerships that will cross the Atlantic in three and a half days. The 860-foot futuristic vessels of FastShip, Inc., powered by five gas turbines driving Kamewa water jets, operating between Philadelphia and Cherbourg, France, will produce 335,000 hp. They will have a top speed of 40 knots. The first four vessels, soon to be under construction by NASSCO in San Diego, are expected to be in operation by 2002. Voyaging sailors will need to keep an eye peeled for these potentially deadly behemoths. Given a height of eye of 12 feet, a sailor would have a visible horizon of about four miles. One of these fast ships could cover that distance in roughly six minutesthat doesn’t leave much time to get out of the way.

Categories: Offshore Sailing