Feb 12, 2010

MV Blue Marlin - World’s Largest Transport Ship

MV Blue Marlin and her sister ship MV Black Marlin comprise the Marlin class of semi-submersible heavy lift ship. They were owned by Offshore Heavy Transport of Oslo, Norway from their construction, in April 2000 and November 1999 respectively, until 6 July 2001, when they were purchased by Dockwise Shipping of the Netherlands. They were designed to transport very large semi-submersible drilling rigs, which can weigh 30,000 tons and have a center of gravity around 30 meters (100 ft) above the transport ship's deck. The Marlins are equipped with 38 cabins to accommodate 60 people, a workout room, sauna, and swimming facilities.


The U.S. Navy hired the Blue Marlin from Offshore Heavy Transport to move the destroyer USS Cole back to the United States after the warship was crippled in Aden, Yemen, by suicide bombers. During the latter part of 2003, work done on the Blue Marlin boosted its capacity and added two retractable propulsors to improve maneuverability. The ship re-entered service in January 2004. Following these improvements, the Blue Marlin delivered the oil platform Thunder Horse, weighing 60,000 tons, to Corpus Christi, Texas for completion.

In July 2005 Blue Marlin moved the gas refinery Snøhvit from its construction site in Cádiz to Hammerfest, an 11 day trip. This transport was filmed for the TV show Extreme Engineering on the Discovery Channel, and also the TV show Mega Movers on the History Channel. In November 2005, Blue Marlin left Corpus Christi, Texas, to move the massive Sea-based X-band Radar to Adak, Alaska, via the southern tip of South America and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It arrived at Pearl Harbor on 9 January 2006, having travelled 15,000 miles. In January 2007, the Blue Marlin was employed to move two jack-up rigs, the Rowan Gorilla VI and the GlobalSantaFe Galaxy II, from Halifax Harbour to the North Sea.

Original specifications:

  • Length Overall: 217 m (712 ft)
  • Length PP: 206.5 m (677 ft)
  • Breadth Moulded: 42 m (138 ft)
  • Depth Moulded: 13.3 m (44 ft)
  • Summer Draft: 10 m (33 ft)
  • Deadweight: 56,000 metric tons (USS Cole weighed much less than 8,000 metric tons)
  • Submerged Depth above Deck: 10 m (33 ft)
  • Free Deck Length: 178.2 m or 157.2 m (585 ft or 516 ft)
  • Free Deck Area: More than 7215 m² (77,672 ft²)
  • Main Engine Output: 12,640 kW (17,160 BHP)
  • Bow Thruster: 2,000 kW (2,712 BHP)
  • Cruise Speed: 14.5 knots
  • Cruise Range: 25,000 nm
  • Accommodation: 55 people
  • Building Yard: CSBC, Kaohsiung

Post-2004 specifications:
  • Length Overall: 224.5 m (736 ft)
  • Breadth: 63 m (207 ft)
  • Depth: 13.3 m (44 ft)
  • Max sailing draft: 10. m (33 ft)
  • Max draft submerged: 29.3 m (96 ft)
  • Water above deck submerged
              - aft 16 m (53 ft)
              - forward 12 m (39 ft)
  • Deadweight: 76,060 metric tons
  • Deck space: 63 x 178.2 m (207 x 585 ft)
  • Deck area: 11,227 m² (120,850 ft²)
  • Propulsor output: 4500 kW (6,035 hp) each
  • Conversion yard: Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, Ulsan, South Korea



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