When it came to the largest ships ever built, there was one that stands out from the crowd. It’s the sea-wise giant, and it had a rather unusual story to tell.
The ship, a supertanker designed by Japanese company Sumitomo Heavy Industries in 1974-1979, changed hands five times and was renamed several times. Eventually, it was sold to Chinese shipping kingpin C.Y. Tung, who refitted and lengthened the tanker to make it the biggest vessel ever.
The Seawise Giant is an oil tanker that measures 1,504 feet (458 meters) long and 225 feet (69 m) wide. It can carry up to 1.2 billion pounds (550 million kilograms) of oil.
It was built in 1979 and commissioned by a Greek shipping magnate, but she never got off the ground. She was eventually sold to Chinese shipping kingpin C. Y. Tung, who ordered a refitting of her. He named the ship the Seawise Giant, a pun on his initials.
In 1988, the Seawise Giant was a casualty of the Iran-Iraq War when she was damaged by parachute bombs during a naval battle in the Strait of Hormuz. Her owners declared her a total loss, but she was eventually refloated by Norman International, which had her repaired in Singapore and renamed Happy Giant.
While the Seawise Giant was the world’s largest ship, she still can’t compete with modern ships like the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, the Vale Brasil, and the Euronov Oceania. These giant cargo vessels can transport up to 18,270 containers.
When she was first launched, the Seawise Giant was 418,611 tons in gross tonnage and 275,276 in deadweight tonnage. That’s a whopping 93% more than the Symphony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world.
She was also the longest ship in history at the time of her construction, measuring 458 meters. However, she lost this title to the Prelude FLNG launched in 2013.
The biggest tanker ships are used to haul large amounts of crude oil, petroleum products, and other liquids. They’re extremely difficult to maneuver, especially if they need to turn or stop suddenly.
This is why it’s common for them to be equipped with a crane to assist in loading and unloading the cargo on board. They can also carry heavy machinery as well.
Another large vessel is the LNG carrier, which is a special type of shipping vessel that is designed to transport liquified natural gas. It has a dome on top of the ship that allows it to transport this fuel without the need for any refrigeration.
When built in Japan, the sea-wise giant was the largest tanker ever to be made. Its design was unique in that it was built as a Very Large Crude Carrier (ULCC), which is a type of oil tanker designed to transport very large amounts of crude oil from its source to refineries or distribution centers.
The ULCC was introduced in the late 1970s and quickly became one of the most popular ways to transport large volumes of oil across the globe. These tankers were known for their ability to navigate the oceans and were particularly well suited to carrying tar, which is a byproduct of oil refining and can be used in the manufacture of asphalt and road surfaces.
However, the ULCC’s size and weight meant that it was also difficult to maneuver in certain waters, especially the English Channel. Additionally, because of the sheer mass of the ship, it was difficult to stop the tanker from slamming into other ships or running aground.
Sumitomo Heavy Industries
To combat this, the ship was enlarged by Sumitomo Heavy Industries in Japan. This process, called jubilation, added another section to the ship, bringing its length to 458.5 meters. It increased the vessel’s capacity by 140,000 tonnes.
In 1981, the vessel was purchased by Chinese shipping magnate C.Y. Tung, who ordered a refit of the vessel to increase her capacity even further. The result was that the jumboized Seawise Giant was now the largest tanker in the world, with a total cargo capacity of 564,763 tonnes.
After her refit, the Seawise Giant was renamed Jahre Viking by her new owners. Her new name reflected the Norwegian heritage of her original owners.
During the Iran-Iraq War, the Seawise Giant was damaged by a missile attack and almost sank. It was later salvaged by a company and sent for repairs in Singapore, where it was repaired and then re-launched as a floater.
The ship was not put out of service in 2004 but was converted into a floating storage and offloading unit to carry Qatari oil. She is now moored off the coast of Qatar in the Persian Gulf at the Al Shaheen Oil Field.
The seas giant is one of the largest ships to ever be built. She was 458 meters long and 69 m wide and weighed more than 564,763 tonnes.
The ship was built in Japan by Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. It was delivered in 1979 and is regarded as the biggest oil tanker of all time.
With its massive cargo area, this ship could comfortably swallow up India’s largest aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, in her holds. However, its size meant it was unable to navigate common natural or manmade waterways such as the Panama Canal, Suez Canal, or the English Channel.
While traveling through the Hormus Straits during the Iran – Iraq war, the vessel was attacked by Exocet missiles and sank in 1986. It was later repaired and refloated by Norman International and renamed Happy Giant.
During her voyages, she was a frequent guest on the BBC series Jeremy Clarkson’s Extreme Machines. Her captain, S. K. Mohan, claimed that she could reach up to 16.5 knots, or 30.6 km/h in good weather, but it took nine km (or five and a half miles) to stop from that speed and her turning circle was about 3 km (2 miles).
She was also featured on the BBC’s “David Attenborough” documentary Earth – A Day In The Life of Our Planet which showed her hauling tons of coal out of the Australian bush. She was also featured in the film “Seawise Giant” which shows the ship undergoing a number of maintenance tasks and how she works with the help of an automated system.
Today, the oil industry is increasingly being influenced by new economic powerhouses such as China, South Korea, and India. As a result, companies are now more concerned with energy efficiency and safety rather than sheer size.
There are two types of supertankers – Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC) and Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC). The former has the capacity to transport up to 500,000 tonnes of petroleum, while the latter only transport up to 280,000 tonnes of oil.
The difference between the two types is that ULCCs have double hulls, which make them safer and more efficient than VLCCs. They also have more space for storage, which is important because they carry oil from many different locations across the world.
Read more: Carnival Cruise Ship Catches Fire in Turks and Caicos Islands
The Seawise Giant was the largest ship ever built, and it was also one of the most impressive. This 1,500 ft long, 225 ft wide vessel was designed and built by Sumitomo Heavy Industries in Japan in 1979 and served as a crude oil carrier for the first five years before becoming a containership. The aptly named sea-wise giant made her maiden voyage in 1981 and was a fixture of the trans-Atlantic trade routes until she was sunk by Iraqi planes in the Iran-Iraq war.
The vessel was actually a hoot to behold and was the subject of many a nautically-themed movie. She had a number of names throughout her long career, including the world’s largest floating hotel, a floatable aircraft carrier, and the biggest ship in the world.
She was a marvel of modern technology, as she weighed in at around 650,000 tons in her glory days and could displace tens of thousands of people over the course of her journeys. But she was hardly the most efficient, and her enormous size made her unpopular with cargo owners wishing to avoid hauling oil in such a large, cumbersome machine.
She had to go, though, as the giant of the sea was dismantled in the year’s most ambitious effort by 500 workers at India’s Alang Ship Breaking Yard, a scrapyard that claims to be the world’s biggest and is often called the graveyard of ships. The aforementioned millimeters of luck must have been in the eye of the beholder, for Mont took more than a year to rip her apart, and it was not without its share of shady dealings along the way.