The “widest” ship in the world has absurd proportions and a mission in the deep

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Seen from afar, in the middle of the ocean, the Ramform Titan It looks more like the remains of a severed ship than a well-kept and leading ship in its class. And it is logical. Anyone unfamiliar with her design might well think that she is the prow of a ship. split in half in full shipwreck.

If the photo above is not enough to keep that impression, maybe they will help its measures: The Ramform Titan is 104 m long and has a beam of 70 m at the back. The length of the mirror, the end of the stern, is therefore equivalent to 67% of its total length. If you’re lucky enough to see it from above —if not, that’s what photos are for— you’d see that it looks like a triangle.

With such proportions, it has earned the fame of being “the boat widest in the world”. This is how it was presented in fact in 2021 when it docked in the port of La Luz, in Las Palmas, to prepare a campaign in Canadian waters, where its peculiar silhouette attracted the curious.

“The city has enjoyed this morning the entrance of the imposing Ramform Titan, the ship with the largest beam (widest) in the world: 70 m at its stern. The length is 104 m, which gives it a unique hang gliding line”, highlighted from the Port Authority in a statement.

on the hunt for data

The big question is… Why does it have such an unorthodox shape?

The answer has little to do with the whim of designers or an attempt to break with conventional parameters in search of greater efficiency, as happened back in Russia in the 1870s, with the famous – and ill-fated — circular “popovka”.

Ramform Titan is a seismic research vessel and its objective is located meters deep, on the ocean floor: it studies the geology of the seabed, its faults and also the best locations to drill for oil and gas. Hence, it has such a distinctive shape: its wide mirror, the closure of the back, the one that seems severed, gives it stability and it also allows the instruments used by technicians to be deployed.

The Ramform Titan is capable of handling with 24 streamer reels which, once deployed, form a sounding mesh with hydrophones. Thanks to them, seismic search engines capture and measure the waves they launch as “sonar”. The mechanics are more or less simple: for example, the boat’s technicians emit high-pressure air and then capture how it returns from the seabed, appreciating differences that help them understand its geological structure.

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Rear view of the Ramform Titan.


View of the Ramform Atlas.

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High-angle view of the Ramform Atlas.

The vessel is operated by Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS), which recalls that it has been designed to “make the most of our GeoStreamer technology”. “Three variable pitch propellers provide 1.8 megawatts of power, more than enough to tow their massive array of multi-sensor logging equipment. Two work boats launched from the stern allow the maintenance of the streamers”, specifies the company, which clarifies that although the boat can tow 24, the most common is that it only operates with 16. As for draft, around 6.4 meters.

The Norwegian company commissioned the ship in Japan a little over a decade ago, in 2011, and received it about two years later, in the spring of 2013. Its ample interior space allows it, in addition to accommodating equipment and a crew of up to 80 people —precise Va de Barcos— amenities such as a sports track, gym, movie theater, and several recreation rooms.

The ship that landed in April 2021 in Las Palmas, yes, It’s not the only one from his class.

PGS has other ships of the same class, named Ramform Titan, brothers of the ship that landed in Las Palmas in April of last year: the Hyperionreleased in 2017; the Tethysfrom 2016; Atlas, from 2014; Y the titan himself launched in 2013. They all share the same unusual dimensions, with a length of 104.2 meters and a width of up to 70 m. The firm has other boats, such as the sovereignclass S, 102.2 m in length and a much more discreet beam, 40 meters.

Although its silhouette is amazing, especially its stern, is the Ramform Titan the widest ship that crosses the oceans in absolute terms? No. Not at least if we stick to the size of the mirror.

If only the beam is taken into account, leaving aside its proportion —or disproportion— with respect to the length, there are other ships that are much larger. Good example leaves it the pioneering spirita gigantic construction vessel designed to lay large pipelines or oil rigs which was assembled in South Korea and began operating offshore in 2016.

The ship is no less than 124 meters wide, considerably more than the Ramform Titan, although, yes, with a length that gives it a much more conventional appearance: 382 meters.

His story is already the subject of another report.

Images: PGS

Seen from afar, in the middle of the ocean, the Ramform Titan It looks more like the remains of a…

Seen from afar, in the middle of the ocean, the Ramform Titan It looks more like the remains of a…

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