Friday, January 28, 2011

Is the Oasis of the Seas Cruise Ship safe for the marine environment?

The Oasis of the Seas and many other cruise ships have often been accused by environmentalists of polluting the ocean. It is understandable that the sea and the beautiful coral reef is a fragile marine environment. Organic and inorganic wastes can cause harmful impact to fish and animals that live in the coral reef areas.
Passengers traveling on Oasis of the Seas and other cruise ships should be well informed that they must not throw plastic wastes into the sea. Naval architects who designed ships know that they need to add sewage water processing plant inside the shipboard systems so that the sewage water can easily be decomposed by tiny marine animals that do the job.
As a matter of fact, cruise industries and other merchant ship operators are not the only ones that should be accused of polluting the environment. Most of the plastic wastes that are now drifting on the open seas come from coastal cities and towns in all continents of the earth. To stop marine pollution is to teach city and town dwellers to stop throwing their garbage to the sea.

Everyday millions of tons of domestic and industrial wastes are flowing to the sea from coastal cities around the globe. If these wastes can be recycled into other useful products then the marine environment especially the coral reefs will be in better condition.
Naval architects, marine engineers and operators of cruise ships have done their best to preserve the coral reef and marine environment. We earn money from exploiting the sea, so we know we must not destroy it.
It is also the responsibility of authorities of coastal cities and towns to stop wastes from flowing into the sea. They have to build recycling plants to process the wastes so that the burden which tiny marine animals have to do to neutralize the pollutants will be lighter.  by Charles Roring

Can Archicad be used in ship design?

Can I use Archicad to design marine structure such as cruise ship the Oasis of the Seas? Archicad is a BIM software that is usually used by architects for designing houses, and buildings. The latest version is Archicad 14. I personally used to try the software to design simple floor plan for a small house. What I really like about this cad software is that we can create 2D drawings simultaneously with the 3D drawings of the house that we are designing. To visualize our concept house from 2D to 3D, we only need to click view in 3D and within a few seconds we can see how the house will look like. Archicad also has a lot of items in its library from furniture items such as tables, chairs and beds to home construction components such as windows, doors and stairs. Another software that is the competitor of Archicad is Revit Architecture. Revit is developed by Autodesk a giant CAD software company whereas Archicad is by Graphisoft.
After studying the Archicad tutorials for a few months, I conclude that this BIM software can only be used for visualising the interior of ship. It is not suitable for designing hull form due to various technical aspects such as resistance and propulsion, hydrostatic and stability calculation that Archicad does not have. Archicad can calculate how much material that will be needed, for example, for building a wooden house in cubic meter. But it cannot calculate that center of gravity of the ship and center of buoyancy of the submerged hull of a vessel. Although Archicad can create very beautiful interior design of a suite room of a cruise ship such as the Oasis of the Seas or the Allure of the Seas, it is lack of features that are vital in ship design.
So, if you are asked to design the interior part of a cruise ship, then it is ok to use Archicad. But if you are asked to do the basic design of a hull form including her hydrostatic and resitance as well as propulsion properties, then I must recommend other software that can do the job for you. They are Maxsurf, Delfship or CATIA. If you don't want to spend money on buying the license of the software, an alternative solution is Freeship. Delftship and Freeship have similar interface. The professional version of Delftship has more complicated features for calculating damaged stability of a ship. I personally have used Delftship and written some tutorials or explanation in this blog. You can find them in this blog. I like Delfship because although its size is small it can be used to create hull form complete with the hydrostatic feature of the ship.  by Charles Roring
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Catamaran Yachts

Catamaran is a type of high speed marine vehicle that is designed to have two identical hulls. The slender hulls of a catamaran make the speed of the boat faster compared to a mono hull boat with similar displacement. Because the boat has bigger width, its deck area is larger and suitable for placing passengers rooms, or equipment for research or defense. In recent years, the design of sailing yachts uses catamaran form for the hull type. The following Youtube video shows how a catamaran yachts powered with engines on both sides of the hull move on the surface of the water.

Catamaran yachts are now designed and built by naval architecture firms to meet the demand of pleasure boats that have higher speed with greater stability and at the same time larger deck area for passengers or guests accommodation. Because of the wider deck area a big catamaran can have rooms as spacious and as luxurious as the Oasis of the Seas rooms. Oasis of the Seas have rooms in the superstructure are stacked on port and starboard sides of the cruise ship. Typical catamaran accommodation rooms are concentrated in the superstructure that is constructed on the "bridge" between the two hulls of the boat. Catamaran also has smaller draft which makes it capable of moving in high speed in shallow water. Boats with smaller draft are not installed with controllable pitch propellers but jet foil. With jet foil, water from the bow area under the hull is sucked into a tunnel where there is a propeller there. The propeller will accelerate and propel the water out of the hull creating a reaction thrust from the water that pushes the boat to move forward.
Catamaran with small draft is a very important capability that a pleasure boat must have in order to bring its passengers to lagoon or white sandy beaches whose water depth is sometimes less than five meters. The boat can be powered with large sail as catamaran sailboat or with internal combustion engine or both. The materials for building a small size catamaran range from wood to fiberglass. Sometimes aluminum is also used. All these materials are suitable for boats. For larger boats, steel is usually used.
Naval architects can use such software as Delftship or Maxsurf to develop hull forms of catamaran. The lastest Defltship free provides hull design features but only limited to symmetrical form. Designers who plan to design catamaran or other hull whose forms are not symmetrical must buy the professional edition. BIM software such as Archicad or Revit architecture can only be used for the interior design of the ship. Archicad does not have features where naval architect can use for calculating hydrostatic as well as resistance and propulsion properties of a ship.
Also read:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Hanging Stern Structure

In the official website of Royal Caribbean International, it is said that there are 2,700 spacious staterooms in the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship. How naval architects who designed the ship arranged the rooms in the superstructure is really amazing. They created a superstructure with a dug out or hollow space in the middle of the superstructure to allow the sun to provide natural lighting to the rooms of the cruise ship optimally - really a smart way of utilizing solar energy without the need of photovoltaic panels.   This efficient natural lighting arrangement makes the rooms of the cruise ship looks brighter without consuming a lot of fossil fuel to run electrical generator. At the stern area of the cruise ship, there is a hanging structure. I take the liberty to call it "stern bridge" because it is located at the stern of the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship. We may think that this hanging structure is a bridge that connects the port and starboard superstructures so that people can cross through it. This might be a good guess. I think yes, one of the functions of the hanging stern structure is to allow people walk through it to the other side of the superstructure. 
Oasis of the Seas Cruise Ship
Cruise Ship Oasis of the Seas

As a matter of fact, in my opinion, from the ship's strength point of view, the addition of the stern bridge is to give more rigidity to the port and starboard superstructures so that they will be more stable. Stable superstructures will not vibrate easily. Vibration is mostly created by the vibrating forces of reciprocal engines inside a ship especially the main engine. Bad designed propellers may also cause vibrations. With the stern bridge constructed behind the ship, the Oasis of the Seas rooms in the superstructure will be more comfortable to the passengers. by Charles Roring

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Bulbous Bow

Oasis of the Seas is currently the largest cruise ship in the world. With a cruising speed of 22.6 knots, this ship needs large propulsion power. In this short article, I want to discuss a little bit about her bulbous bow.
Bulbous bow of the Oasis of the Seas is a bulb located at the front of the cruise ship just below the waterline. This bulbous bow is an integral part of the ship's hull. People cannot easily see it from above the surface of the water. If the cruise ship is at a harbor or being repaired at a dry dock, we can walk to the front area of the ship and then see the bulbous bow. The material of the bulb is the same as the material for the ship's hull which is steel. Its form is not like a soccer ball but streamlined oval. This kind of form helps the sea water to flow around the hull without creating big waves that are part of the sea water resistance of the ship. When I was still in junior high school, I thought that the bulb was made to break ice. After studying Naval Architecture at Pattimura University in the Moluccan islands of Indonesia, I finally know that the bulbous bow is made not to break ice layers in the polar seas but to minimize the wave resistance of a ship. Today most large displacement ships have bulbous bow installed at their front part of their hulls.
Stem of Oasis of the Seas
Bulbous bow
Theoretically the effective power that is needed to propel a ship at certain speed is determined by the total resistance that it has to overcome. For the simplicity of explanation, the total resistance of a ship consists of frictional resistance and wave making resistance. In the form of formula, we can write it as Rt = Rf + Rw. If the size and form of bulbous bow has been carefully calculated and tested before it is constructed at the bow (or front) part of the ship, it will significantly reduce the component of wave making resistance of the ship.
Bulbous bow at the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas is not a new invention. Most of large merchant vessels have bulbous bows installed at the front area of their hulls including the Thomson Celebration Cruise Ship from the Bahamas. With bulbous bow installation, the naval architects and marine engineers who design the ship can improve the ship's overall propulsive efficiency meaning that she can have better fuel efficiency. The purpose of this writing is to help customers of cruise ships understand the technical aspects of the ships without having to understand complicated formulas that are usually studied by students of naval architecture before they do more complicated tasks which are designing and constructing their dreamed ships.
I write this article to make introduce the study of naval architecture to anybody who is interested in cruise ships and other marine vehicles in general. If you come to this blog to find information related to Oasis of the Seas cruise deals and tickets, you have arrived on a wrong place. Please go to the official website of the Royal Caribbean International to get the required info.
 Oasis of the Seas motor vessel
From the aerial view of this cruise ship, we cannot see the bulbous bow structure that is located at the front area of the cruise ship below the waterline
Also read:
Oasis of the Seas engine room
Oasis of the Seas propeller

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Damaged Stability Test

On the following Youtube video, we can see how a model of the Oasis of the Seas was being tested in a towing tank. This cruise ship would be expected to carry 6,296 guests (source: Oasis of the Seas Fast Facts). This is a huge number of passengers that has ever been carried by a man-made floating structure. To ensure that the ship is safe at sea, naval architects had to perform a number of model tests that are related to her resistance and propulsion as well as her stability particularly when one or more of her compartments are flooded with water.

In the Youtube video, we can see how a damage stability was conducted to assess how the cruise ship would react if one of her compartments was filled with sea water. The inclination of the hull would not endanger the safety of the cruise ship and her passengers on board. Although cruise ships with wider hulls have better stability performance, their damaged stability performance has to be calculated and tested to avoid catastrophic accident at sea.
Naval architects always have to prepare theoretical stability calculations to assess the metacentric height relative to the positions of the center of gravity and the center of buoyancy of the ship. The ship has to be able to restore herself to upright position when it is hit by big waves from the port or starboard side.
I believe that before she was launched, naval architects who designed the ship had fulfilled the stability requirements stipulated by SOLAS and the classification society which the ship is classed. Theoretically, the hull of a ship is divided into several compartments using transverse and longitudinal watertight bulkheads. When one of the compartments was damaged due to collision, ship crews have to close the effected compartment to prevent water from entering the other compartments. So, it is understandable to see hydraulic powered doors installed in certain rooms of Oasis of the Seas or other ships below their main decks. Usually when a hydraulic door is operated, it will close slowly and most often with an alarming sound and lamp to warn passengers or crews that it is closing. Because the hydraulic powered doors are made of steel and are driven by machines, they cannot easily be penetrated with sea water.
In very rare cases, when a compartment has been filled with water and the degree of inclination is too big thus endangering the ship, another compartment has to be flooded to balance or to make the ship returns to her upright position again. As long as the minimum freeboard, to ensure that she will not sink, can be maintained the flooding of the undamaged compartment is allowed given that the decision to fill the compartment (with full consent from the captain) has been carefully studied based on the available hydrostatic tables particularly the flooding table of the ship. by Charles Roring

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Cruise Ship's Superstructure and Central Park

As the largest and the most innovative cruise ship in the world, Oasis of the Seas attracts the attention of thousands of naval architects and marine engineers. The superstructure of the ship that has a middle hollow area for central park is really seen as totally new approach in ship design. Most of the cruise ships tend to have superstructures whose cabins and other rooms were layered to a form similar to a pyramid. The higher the structure the smaller and the closer it will be to the center line of the ship.
The central park of the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship has been designed with green trees that make the deck really look like a park on land. With translucent roof installed in the middle of the park, naval architects who designed the ship have provided smart solution for the day lighting of the lower deck. The space at the lower deck will look brighter but consumes less electrical energy. Layers of cabins on both sides (port and starboard) of the central park receive more light during the day when the ship is cruising in the middle of the sea. This approach makes this wide ship becomes more stable but without any dark rooms in the middle of the superstructure. We all know that wider ships are more stable but most often they have rooms in the middle closer to the centerline of the ship that do not receive direct sunlight.
Many traditional passenger ships whose width are bigger than 20 meters will have rooms in the middle of the superstructure and below the main deck that need more electrical energy for lighting. Personally, I see that Oasis of the Seas ship has better stability due to her wider hull but has better and cheap lighting power that comes from the Sun. Sunlight penetrates the translucent roofs and gives light to lower deck and at the same time gives light via hollow area to Oasis of the Seas rooms on both sides of the ship on port and starboard sides of the ship - such a brilliant design! This is a simple way of using solar energy without the need of installing photovoltaic panels.
Perhaps this is the  most popular cruise ship which the Royal Caribbean International has ever had. Her innovative design, her luxury and her stability properties will continue to be the focus of attention among naval architects who are now dreaming of their own ship or boat designs in the future. The conventional monohull ship with pyramid superstructure will not be as conservative as it was when Oasis of the Seas had not been constructed. We can expect to see the future cruise or passenger or even ferry ship has various new on board elements that are inspired by the design of the Oasis of the Seas. by Charles Roring

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mountain bike for girl

I rode a mountain bike this afternoon. It's a Celine 3.0 manufactured by Polygon cycle - a bike manufacturer in Indonesia. The bicycle is made for girls or ladies actually. It has 27 speed quite fast for cycling on a flat road along the Brawijaya street to Abassi beach the usual route that I go through every afternoon. While riding this human powered vehicle, I could feel that the bicycle was very easy to be controlled. It's frame was made of light metal Alx 6061. I didn't see any differences between riding a male and female bikes. Perhaps, the bike maker wants to attract female riders by releasing Celine 3.0 coated with red color. I really enjoyed riding this mountain bike very much.
Compared to my Dirt jump mountain bike Cozmic DX 2, also made by Polygon cycle, this Celine 3.0 has much better cycling performance both for flat road and steep slope. I think it is because of its 27 speed gears. My dirt jump Cozmic DX 2 has only got 18 speed (two for the front gears and 8 for rear gears. Because my bike has been specifically designed for dir jump, its performance will be better in unfavorable terrain such as unpaved route in the mountains.
I hardly ever see girls cycling in the streets every time I ride my bicycle. Fortunately, I saw one this afternoon. She was riding a mid-size BMX bicycle holding a baby in her hands. She was only playing around her house.
Beauty and the Bike
Last week I read a book entitled: Beauty and the Bike. It was written by Beatrix Wupperman and Richard Grassick. The book is about the author's (Beatrix Wupperman) cycling stories from childhood to the adult period. On page 4 she told the readers how she got her first bike at the age of 5. Actually she inherited it from her mother. The bike was very big for her. At the age of 9 she finally got her own bicycle which she used to go to school. She was now at secondary school. It was in 1960s and people saw cars as the future means of transport. Motorways and trunk roads were being built throughout Europe. She witnessed how public transportation systems for trams and local rails; and lanes for bicycles were replaced by wider roads for cars. In 1980s she studied and then worked in a university in Berlin. She complained that there were only few cycling paths. In her book, she said that British girls stop cycling when they become teenagers. She wrote Beauty and the Bike as an inquiry into why British teenage girls stop cycling. Later it became a project to attract girls to cycling again. I recommend this book to anybody who is interested in developing or promoting cycling culture in his or her town/ city. There are a lot of obstacles and challenges that she and her friends face when promoting cycling culture to British girls.
The phenomenon of girls giving up cycling does not only occur in the UK. It is a world wide phenomenon which needs to be tackled by every concerned citizen who sees walking and cycling has to be placed at the top hierarchy of transport mode instead of cars and other motorized vehicles. We still have a long way to go to realize this dream. But the dream of streets and roads fully filled with cyclists again is not her own dream. It's my dream too and perhaps yours. Together with all the cycling lovers around the globe, we can press our governments to change their policies to be more pro-cycling friendly so that our cities will have cleaner air, more quiet. And because our money will not be "burnt for imported fossil fuel", our economy will be better.
Also read: Mountain Bike For Ladies

Are bicycles children toys?

Every time I ride my bicycle around the town of Manokwari, I can see that most of the cyclists or bikers are elementary school children and teenagers. I seldom see adults riding their bicycles. We all know that riding bicycle is good for our health but we don't do it regularly or we never do it. The pro-car or pro motorized vehicles policy from the government is the main causal factor which makes cycling not a popular lifestyle in this country anymore. In one week, I could only see one or two adults riding their bikes. Because cycling around the town center is not favorable due to the traffic condition, I prefer to paddle my bike to Pasir Putih beach area. Cycling was introduced in Manokwari town and the whole West Papua region by the Dutch. This environmentally friendly lifestyle has been replaced by the use of motorized vehicles particularly motorcycles and cars in the last 40 years of the city's development. Yet, I still see a small number of people who ride bicycles in this town.
Back to the discussion of the above question whether bicycles are toys for children and teenagers? I see that most of us who live in Indonesia do not realize how important bicycles are for our health, environment and economy. We all are used to living in a country whose fuel is subsidized (even now!). When Indonesia entered its worst economic crisis in 1998, the subsidy was gradually reduced. People began to protest the government for this unpopular policy. We did not realize that the price of fuel oil is expensive in the international market. We did not invest enough money in renewable energy either. We have enjoyed cheap fuel for years and reluctant to teach our children how to ride their bicycles to school. The government also did not give enough pro-cycling policy in its national development strategy. Now most children in Indonesia do not go to school buy riding bicycles. They depend on ojek (motorcycle taxi), bus, or their parents to pick them up from schools. Only in rural areas children walk to school. When children in Indonesian cities go to school by ojek, children in the Netherlands and Denmark ride bicycles.
People in Indonesia might think that riding bicycles is only a kind of training before somebody rides a motorcycle. They think that bicycles are slow, and only old fashioned means of transport. Because there is no serious pro-cycling policy from the government, the promotion of cycling as a lifestyle or culture in Indonesia had not been aggressive enough until after the fuel crisis some two or three years ago when university students began demanding the democratically president of Indonesia to step down.
In the efforts of living an efficient life, maintaining good health, and fighting global warming, some people in Jakarta begin to revive the cycling lifestyle again. Bike to work community was established and now has branches in several cities and towns in Indonesia. In Manokwari city alone, as the newly established capital of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia, some people began to ride their bicycles to work. But this spirit is not fully supported by the government especially the department for transport and town planning agency through the creation of facilities and lanes that support bike to work campaign. As a result I can see that cycling or mountain biking in Manokwari is still considered as sport only.
To change people's paradigm of bicycles as children toys, a lot of efforts have to be done. Some of them are through the writing of articles both on the internet and on printed media about the importance of riding bicycles as ways to save money, maintain good health and preserve the environment. National TV stations haven't created special programs for promoting cycling culture.  There are a lot of benefits that we can get from cycling. Bicycle manufacturers in Indonesia have to respond to this new movement by producing bikes that are suitable for working class society. The prices of bicycles have to be reduced to levels where they are more affordable to the whole population of this country.
In the eco-tourism sector, I personally am planning to provide cycling tour in Manokwari as a strategy to raise awareness among the local people that cycling is a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle. I also have planned to establish a special web-portal for promoting cycling in two languages, i.e. Indonesian and English. The content will consist of stories from cyclist in the streets, study or discourse materials about cycling, bicycle reviews, technical or manual articles and other contents that are related to cycling, sustainable development and environment. I am sure that this human powered vehicle will one day be seen as an important means of transport in Indonesia again, someday in the future. by Charles Roring
Also read:
Dirt jump mountain bike
Mountain biking in the Table Mountain

Friday, January 14, 2011

How to Promote Bike to Work Culture in Indonesia

Two days ago I wrote an article entitled: How to promote cycling culture in your town to create awareness among town dwellers to see cycling as an alternative means of short distance transportation.The percentage of people cycling to work in Indonesia especially in big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan still is still very small. Yet the number of people who ride bicycles to work is growing steadily following the rise in fuel price several year ago as a result of the central government's reduction on fuel subsidy. In Facebook and blogs, bike to work communities have been formed to attract more people ride bicycles.

In order for this campaign to be effectively materialized, the Indonesian government especially the Department for Transport must allocate significant amount of budget for the construction of cycling park and lanes. The urban planning authorities and consultants must include bicycle lanes in the grand design of city streets and roads.
In addition to pro-cycling policy from the government, and bike to work awareness from the cycling clubs, employers should also be included in the campaign. Some incentives from the companies where the cyclists work should be given to encourage other employees to choose bicycles as their means of transport for instance by giving special bonus for them where they can use the money to buy bicycle parts from specialized bicycle stores. We can learn from the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark whose bike to work programs have been very successful. If bike to work program is seriously promoted and implemented, the problem of traffic congestion can easily be eliminated from Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan.
I should point out here that cycling was a culture in Indonesia before the introduction of mass produced motorcycles and cars. The Dutch were the ones who introduced cycling in this country during the colonial period. So, it is not impossible to revive this culture again. I strongly believe that we can see more bicycles on the streets of towns and cities in Indonesia again. When more people ride their bicycles to work, the atmosphere of our towns and cities will be cleaner again.
In European countries, bike to work has long been seen as the most popular solution to reduce traffic congestion. According to, on its 30 Nov 2010 news, the Netherlands goverment, provincial and local councils would allocate 80 million Euros this year to extend the cycle tracks in Amsterdam, Haarlem The Hague and around Utrecht to another 15 km long.
Central and local governments in Indonesia have to be brave in allocating more money from their annual budgets for implementing pro-cycling policies.   by Charles Roring
Also read:

Benefits of riding bicycles
Riding bicycle is good for our health and environment

Mountain Biking to Cape Bakaro in Manokwari City

Last week I rode my mountain bike to Cape Bakaro of Manokwari city. It was in the afternoon of 4.30 p.m. that I and my friend Peddy Tanguni were cycling. He is a computer teacher at a high vocational school in this city. The beautiful white sandy beach with blue sea water of the Dorey bay was on our side. The road from Kampung Ambon to Pasir Putih beach was not quite, in fact, it was quite busy with beach goers who drove their cars and motorcycles. Sometimes I had to ride my bike along the edge of the road to make way for the cars to pass by us because from the opposite direction there were also vehicles moving back to the city.
The weather was still bright when I and Peddy arrived at the fish calling station near the Bakaro village. city dwellers like to come here to watch a man calling sea fish to the shore using his whistle and termites (as the food to attract the fish). At that time we did not ask the fish caller to do his usual performance. We only sat on the bench facing the raging sea of the tip of Cape Bakaro. Actually it should be a perfect spot for surfers but with all of big rocks scattered around the shallow waters area, surfing will be a dangerous thing to do here.
Peddy brought a can of soft-drink which he bought from a kiosk. It was a can of Sprite. He bought one for me too. Taking a rest and drinking the softdrink, we sat on the bench enjoying the breeze from the tropical sea of New Guinea island (also called West Papua). I and Peddy were talking about the price of a good mountain bike made of carbon fiber shown at Polygon cycle website - an Indonesian bike manufacturer.
Peddy's mountain bike was made by United - also an Indonesian bike manufacturer. Its front and rear gears were Shimano tourney. My bike was a Dirt Jump mountain bike with gears supplied by Shimano Alivio. Its seems that most of the gears for mountain bikes in Indonesia were supplied by Shimano - a Japanese company that specializes its business in producing bicycle parts and sport fishing gears.
Around 30 minutes later, we returned to our bicycle and began riding back to Manokwari city again. I asked him to ride his bicycle a head of me because I did not wear my glasses.
When we were approaching Pasir Putih beach I saw a young Papuan boy who was riding his BMX. I used to have one like what he had when I was in junior high school. I asked him to stop to strike up a conversation with him. I asked him if he was interested in joining a race and how much his bicycle was when he bought the bicycle. Unfortunately, he could not answer my question because it was not his bike. He borrowed it from his friend. I was sad to hear from him that the price of a new bicycle was too expensive for him (around 1.6 to 2.5 million rupiahs for a low quality ones with no gears). It's my main concern when trying to promote cycling among teenagers and young adults in Manokwari city. I hope that one day, a large bike shop will be opened in this city to sell bicycles in more affordable prices. When the price of bicycle in Manokwari is still expensive, it will be very difficult for us to promote cycling culture in West Papua). by Charles Roring

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Suite

The Royal Suite on the Oasis of the Seas is really luxurious. This cruise ship offers one of the most comfortable sea voyage in the world. With large queen bed and jacuzzi as well as dining room with dry bar, this suite can be considered even better than the suite rooms of many on land 5 star hotels. When I visited the official website of STX Europe, the company that constructed the cruise ship, I read that the cabins were manufactured and supplied in modular forms. This really accelerated the completion of the vessel and at the same time maintain the standard quality of each room in the ship on the same level. Please, see the following picture of the Royal Suite room:

Oasis of the seas rooms had been made on land workshops before they were installed on the ship. This enabled the construction works to be executed at the same time with the interior works. STX Europe claims that the Oasis of the Seas was the largest export of the country at that time because it was the product whose components or parts were built and supplied by a lot of companies that were operating around the shipyard.
The master bedroom of the Oasis of the Seas suite with sitting area and Queen bed provides enough space for the passengers and their guests to enjoy the sea voyage from the comfortable room. With entertainment center, and piano, the Oasis of the Seas interior offers on board components that are really luxurious for her guests.
I don't know how much a passenger has to pay for each of these royal suites but the price must be worth thousands of US dollars for a complete round trip to the Caribbean islands. Because I personally haven't tried one of them, I could only give a little comment about the Royal Suite rooms based on the pictures and videos that I see on the internet :-) Happy cruising.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oasis of the Seas

I personally do not know the consideration behind the naming of the current largest and most luxurious cruise ship in the world Oasis of the Seas. By definition, Oasis is an area with water and trees, etc. in a desert or a pleasant place or period of time in the middle of something unpleasant, dull, etc. That's the meaning of the terminology that I read in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

Cruise ship Oasis of the Seas
So, because the cruise ship was constructed to be an oasis in the middle of the sea or say the ocean, it would become a meeting point for people from around the world. Similar to an oasis in a dessert in the Middle East where people and animals gather to drink and trade before continuing their trips, the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas can be temporary places where people refresh their mind and body from the stressful and hectic lifestyle that they have experienced in the city so that they can go back to their real world "psychologically with new spirit".
One week vacation tour on board the ship should not be seen as a spiritual pilgrimage because if tourists want to experience such journey, the holy land should be the recommended destination to go.
The journey around the tropical islands with this cruise ship is created as an affordable recreational choice for everybody who wants to see the marine environment not from a confined city aquarium but directly at an open sea. That's why the cruise ship itself has been made as one of the destinations for tourists who buy tickets for a cruising tour in the tropical islands of the Caribbean or Alaska. It seems that Oasis of the Seas rooms are still not enough to accommodate the growing number of tourists who want to experience the tropical beauty of the Caribbean islands, that's why the Royal Caribbean International ordered the construction of another new sister ship called the Allure of the Seas.  
According to the official website of STX Europe, the builder of the ship, 3,000 drawings were needed for the basic design of the ship. Five hundred naval architects, marine engineers and other engineers worked together to realize the design of the largest and the most luxurious man-made floating structure in the world. For the construction of the cruise ship, 30,000 workshop drawings were produced. As an experienced shipbuilding company, STX Europe has presented various on board elements that have never been in other conventional cruise ships. One of them is the board walk platform where passengers can experience walking around a park.
Environmental Concerns
I fully realize that marine environmentalists often express their concerns over the environmental impact of the operation of large cruise ships. As someone who used to study naval architecture, I am aware that ships, in general, produce wastes that pollute the sea. BUT cruise ships are not the only sea polluters. People living in coastal cities and towns are the largest polluters of the seas. So, the responsibility of fighting sea pollution is the responsibility of the whole earth's population and not the people who work in shipping, shipbuilding or cruising industries alone.
Naval architects and marine engineers who have been working in the shipbuilding industry need to find solution to this problem. On board sewage processing plants have to be improved so that harmful and toxic materials can be prevented from entering the sea. In addition, ship crews have to be trained to handle plastic wastes properly so that they will not be thrown into the sea. Rubbish collection trucks should be provided at every port to make sure that these wastes will not end up at sea.

Oasis of Life
I personally am a nature lover, I like being in an open nature watching all the things that God has created for us. If we love God, we must respect the nature. I has become our concern that our nature is now suffering from destruction, pollution. We need to stop them in order to make our natural environment as oasis of life again. Our love can be reflected through our lifestyle when we go to the beach, travel by ship or just standing on a river bank gazing swimming around on the surface of the water.
When we are in an outdoor environment, we must not throw plastic, metal or chemical wastes. If necessary, we can take sometime picking up some rubbish other people had thrown. By doing that we have helped restore nature to become the real oasis of our life. When nature is clean again, it will reward us with pure air, clean water and beautiful sounds of birds in the trees or colorful flowers.
How to restore nature as Oasis of Life
Our natural environment has been an oasis of life for all of us from generation to generation. Yet, the quality of our nature is getting worst. Industrial and domestic wastes continue to pollute our environment. Tropical rainforest are being cut at a rate of fifty football field per day and our air is filled with smokes and CO2 gases emitted by our car. Year 2011 should become a new moment from us to commit ourselves to the restoration of our natural environment. Simple things that we do everyday such as going to work by riding bicycle, picking up plastic and toxic wastes along the beach are our good contribution in restoring our nature to be a good living environment for all of us. Living in harmony with nature is not expensive. It is even good for our economy where millions of people are now trapped in debt. For example by consuming less energy through cycling, we can save daily fuel consumption where the money can go to finance our health care needs or pay off our debts. You don't need to request huge amount of consumer loan from a bank to buy a bicycle, don't you? So, if living in harmony with nature has not been part of your new year 2011 resolution, I suggest that you add it into your personal list. When you try to fulfill it, even a small thing that you do, nature will reward you with good things that you might not expect. by Charles Roring
Also read: Oasis of the Seas Interior

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Engine Room

I have just found a video in Youtube which shows the engine room of the Oasis of the Seas. As we have known before that this largest cruise ship in the world is not propelled by a conventional marine diesel engine - shaft - propeller arrangement. If we see the propellers at the stern area of the ship, we will not see shaft coming out of the back part of the hull. What we see is that the ship is propelled by 3 Azipod propellers that are able to be rotated 360 degrees eliminating the need for controllable pitch propeller. These are actually electric propellers which are able to give high maneuver capability to the cruise ship. CPP or Controllable Pitch Propellers are usually installed on ships that need higher maneuvering capability without jeopardizing much of her propulsion efficiency. Fixed pitch propeller has long been considered to have high propulsion efficiency. From the picture of this ship's stern and her hanging propellers, we can easily conclude that there are not shaft tunnels in the Oasis of the Seas' engine room.
From the video the engine room is quite noisy. I think the video was taken when the ship is moving. From wikipedia, I read that Oasis of the Seas propellers are powered by 3 x 20 MW ABB Azipod, all azimuthing and 4 x 5.5 MW Wartsila CT 3500 bow thrusters. These diesel engines must be very noisy.
In the past, ship designers were reluctant to choose diesel engine as the prime mover of passenger or cruise ships. They knew that diesel engines create noisy sounds that would be bad for the passengers and also the fumes they release had bad smell. In addition, diesel engines create vibrations that were harmful to the whole steel construction of the ship and also to the passengers. The prime mover of old cruise ships was steam turbine. It did not create noisy sound. And it did not create significant vibration. The problem is that steam turbine is not efficient because it needs a number of reduction gears to reduce the revolution of the turbine to a level where marine propellers will be able to work without structural failure or cavitation.

The passenger rooms of Oasis of the Seas have to be free from the negative diesel engines characteristics. Marine engineers who were working on the design and construction of this ship must have worked hard isolating the vibration and sound from these marine diesel engines. I think they would not put passenger cabins near the engine room. Instead, the area close to the engine room might have been given to other purposes where passengers will not sleep there. Or they might allocate the rooms near the area only for ship crews. The Oasis of the Seas Interior in the area near the engine room has also been covered with certain anti-vibration material that can significantly reduce the sounds and vibration created by the diesel engines. I believe that the naval architects and marine engineers had dampened the vibration from these diesel engines perhaps by installing certain rubber between the bolts and nuts; and the engine foundation. by Charles Roring

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Inside Tour Video

Still a little story about Oasis of the Seas Interior - the largest cruise ship in the world, I've just found a video in Youtube that can guide us into the inside parts of the cruise ship where we can see the Oasis of the Seas rooms and everything about the ship. The tour into the Oasis of the Seas starts from the harbor where it was berthing. There were a lot of people (probably visitors) walking towards the ship. The superstructure of the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship was painted with white color with rows of life boats were positioned hanging below the sides the main deck. The roofs that covers the boats were painted with yellow. There were also rows of cranes standing along the harbor. Perhaps they are used for the loading and unloading of cargoes. Before entering the hull of the ship, the cameraman aimed his camera to the hanging life boats. I can see that the submerged hulls of the boats look like catamaran. This hull form is ideal to increase the speed of the boat although its hull is wide. Catamaran hull form significantly improves the propulsion performance of the boats.
Inside the Oasis of the Seas, we can see rows of seats arranged in semi circular forms. Perhaps it is a theater. It is interesting to see that the naval architects who designed the ship created skylight that enables sunlight to penetrates the main deck and brighten the interior of the Oasis of the Seas. Such arrangement greatly reduced the electrical consumption of the ship for lighting during the days but is not a common feature that we usually saw in old cruise ships. Skylight is usually found above the engine rooms of small cargo ships.
I am amazed to see that the inside hull of the cruise ship is more spacious with a lot of public spaces for passengers to socialize or interact one another while traveling around the Caribbean islands. Big window glasses secured in triangular frames several decks high above the main deck are really a brilliant design concept done by the naval architects. Triangular frames are more stable to be implemented to the ship because they are more resistant to shocks and vibrations that the Oasis of the Seas will experience during the whole life of her sea voyages. The conventional approach of putting the cabins as close as possible to the center line of the ship is not seen in this cruise ship. Passenger cabins are positioned on both sides of the ship leaving a hollow open space in the middle of the ship for the skylight and park. Such placement of the cabins enables the sunlight to enter the rooms from both sides.

Well, that's some of my comments concerning the interior of the oasis of the seas that are more dominated by curve lines. It's really a wonderful and amazing man-made floating structure. This video is really a nice tour for anybody who has not been traveling with this beautiful ship. After watching the video, you might be interested in finding cruise deals for your next summer vacation on board the Oasis of the Seas. One thing that you need to keep in mind, during the current economic crisis, that you should not buy tickets if your financial condition is not really good. Don't try to charge the cost of your holiday vacation on your credit card if you are not able to pay off your debt. Taking a cruise holiday can be good if you have enough money to do it and you will not be burdened by more debt after returning home from your holiday in tropical islands. by Charles Roring