Steve's [primary level] maritime quiz answers























































1) What is a VLCC ?
Oil tankers come a range of sizes, from small coastal tankers (carrying small parcels of (usually refined) oil to smaller terminals and ports (often called "Handysize" tankers), grow in size up to enormous vessels that are dedicated to the carriage of huge quantities of crude oil across the world's oceans. One of the largest of the vessel types (between 180,000 DWT and 300,000 DWT is called the VLCC, or Very Large Crude Carrier. The first generation of VLCCs were built during the 8 year period that the Suez Canal was closed by Egypt, following the 1967 "Yom Kipur" war. In order to supply an oil-starved Europe, tankers had to sail round South Africa to get to Europe from the Middle East, adding weeks to the journey time. In order to get adequate supplies of oil to Europe, larger parcels of oil were therefore needed and the VLCC was born ! There are larger oil tankers than VLCCs, called Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCCs), and these colossal vessels are over 300,000 DWT. The largest ever tanker was the JAHRE VIKING (renamed KNOCK NEVIS) and she was over 528,000 DWT.

2) Which of these sizes of bulkcarrier might be a "panamax" vessel ?
Bulk carriers also come a variety of sizes that range from small coastal vessels, taking bulk cargoes (such as grain, ores and coal) along the coast to small, unsophisticated ports, through to the massive vessels that bring huge quantities of bulk cargoes (usually ores or coal) in one shipment, to large, dedicated terminals. The largest types are the "Capesize" and VLOC (Very Large Ore Carriers), but these vessels are too large to get through the (current) Panama Canal. If a voyage entails sailing between the two largest oceans (The Atlantic and Pacific oceans) and the vessel is too large to get through the Panama Canal, then it will have to go round the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa (hence the term "Capesize"), but if the vessel has a beam of less than 33.5 metres, it should be able to transit the narrowest of the locks in the Panama Canal (the Miaflores Locks). Knowing the width restrictions of the Panama Canal, vessels are built specifically to be able to just squeeze through that lock system, thus being the maximum size to use the Pamama Canal, hence the term "Panamax". Although this can vary according to dimensions, generally Panamax bulkcarriers are approximately 79,000 - 80,000 DWT. Currently a much wider lock system is being built in Panama, which will allow considerably larger vessels to transit the Canal, so the term "Panamax" will need to be revised, once the new lock system opens.

3) PRISMATIC and MOSS are two alternative designs of which type of vessel?
The marine carriage of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) has grown massively in the past 20 years, as alternative energy sources to oil have been sought. Transporting LNG presents many problems, not least the massively low temperature that LNG has to kept at to remain in a liquefied state. The appeal of liquefication, is that 600 times as much LNG can be carried in a liquefied state than in a gaseous state. At such low temperature (and perhaps more importantly, under such high pressures), normal steel structures, such as ship's tanks, would be weakest at the corners (where the pressure inside the tank would build up), so tanks carrying LNG try to avoid sharp corners, and are either built in a perfectly spherical shape (with no corners), or in a prismatic shape, reducing the sharpness of the corners. With both Prismatic and Mosstank designs, the tanks are fully independent of the ship's hull, sitting inside considerable packing, to reduce temperature loss from within the tanks. The earliest design type of LNG vessel (from the 1960's) has ironically re-emerged as the best design for the new generation, enormous LNG carriers, being the MEMBRANE type, where the tanks are physically part of the actual vessel, but again, with massive insulation around the tanks.

4) Compliance with the I.S.P.S. Code is an important recent requirement. What do the letters I.S.P.S. stand for and which international convention is the code a part of ?
The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. The ISPS Code is implemented through chapter XI-2 "Special measures to enhance maritime security", in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). In essence, the Code takes the approach that ensuring the security of ships and port facilities is a risk management activity and that, to determine what security measures are appropriate, an assessment of the risks must be made in each particular case. The purpose of the Code is to provide a standardised, consistent framework for evaluating risk, enabling Governments to offset changes in threat with changes in vulnerability for ships and port facilities through determination of appropriate security levels and corresponding security measures. To learn more about I.S.P.S. CLICK HERE

5) Theft or deliberate damage caused by the ship's crew when the vessel is on the high seas is termed ?
The terms for people who cause theft or deliberate damage to the vessel from OUTSIDE the vessel has numerous alternatives, including pirates, assailing thieves, rovers, rioters (if there are 12 or more of them !), burglars (if done during the hours of darkness !) and many others, all of which have different laws applying to their criminal punishment and status, but when the crew (and others ON BOARD the vessel) deprive the rightful owners of their property or deliberately damage it, that is called an act of BARRATRY.
A "subset" of barratry, when the crew of the vessel rebel against the lawful agent of the ship owner, (the "Master" or "Captain") is called MUTINY (as in "Mutiny on the Bounty"), but is still an act of BARRATRY. Until recently in English Law, this was still a crime punishable by death and in some countries... it still is !


6) The date on which nearly all mutual P&I insurances renew is ?
Protection & Indemnity protects shipowners from liabilities incurred by reason of their ownership of the vessel. For over 100 years, larger shipowners have sought to MUTALLY protect themselves against such liabilities (such as liabilities to crew, cargo and third parties) by creating mutual associations (affectionately called "P&I Clubs"), whereby all "members" protect each other on a mutual basis and contribute to each other's liability losses. It is an historical argument that the 20th February was the first date when vessels could trade into the Baltic Sea, after the winter ice had receded, so annual P&I cover was dated from that first day of the operating "season". The truth of that reason is open to debate, but nevertheless, 20th February remains the major P&I renewal date for most of the world's tonnage each year.

7) In marine insurance, the War risks Automatic Termination Clause would be immediately activated if any of 5 named countries were to declare war on another of the 5. Which flag one is missing ?
It is a common misconception that the named five countries are the "nuclear powers". In reality the "nuclear club" is much larger, including countries such as Israel, India and Pakistan. No, the Automatic Termination Clause is triggered when one of the FIVE PERMANENT MEMBERS OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL declares war on one of the other four. These five countries alone have the power of veto at the U.N. so if one of these five were to declare war on another, then the U.N. would effectively become impotent to intervene, as the veto, exercised by one or both of those countries would stop any international agreement to halt such a conflict. The five members of the U.N. Security Council are the United States, The United Kingdom, Russia, China and... FRANCE the flag of the latter being the one missing from the quiz.


8) Bills of Lading issued by vessel operators are commonly drawn up in accordance with which of the following rules ?
Both the carrier and and the shipper must have clearly agreed responsibilities when goods are being carried on board the vessel, otherwise hugely expensive law cases would always ensue if ever the vessel or the cargos become lost or damaged during the voyage. To ensure there is a fair balance of responsibilities and to set limits of liability for ship operators, there are internationally agreed sets of rules, setting down the respective responsibilities of both parties, the acceptable defences and the limit of liability that the ship operator can invoke. The HAGUE VISBY RULES (1968) are still the most widely used around the world whenever a marine contract of affreightment is signed between cargo owners and the ship operator. The HAMBURG RULES (1978) were an attempt to adjust those responsibilities (and to raise the limit of liability that carriers would be subject to), but these rules have been largely ignored by many shipowners, who prefer to stay with the Hague Visby rules. A new set of Rules (the Rotterdam Rules) were drawn up in 2009, but these are yet to be effected, currently facing strong opposition from the shipowning community, so for the time being, the Hague Visby Rules continue to dominate. The other answers in the quiz were either rules to deal with other matters (such as General Average, being the York Antwerp Rules) or were totally ficticious.The correct answer should have been both the Hague Visby Rules (1968) and the Hamburg Rules (1978)

9) The pulling strength of tugs is measured by which of the following ?
The answer to this question is that there are two alternative ways of measuring the pulling power of tugs, namely BRAKE HORSEPOWER (BHP) or BOLLARD PULL. More on this answer can be found on our page dedicated to tugs, which you can see by clicking on the tug picture beside this answer. The full correct answer to this question was name both Brake Horsepower and Bollard Pull.


10) In your own words and in one sentence, please state what constitutes a CONSTRUCTIVE Total Loss (C.T.L.) of a vessel.
Probably the most incorrectly answered question in the whole quiz, as people have tried to create (often quite inventively !!) definitions that miss the mark altogether. The term "Constructive Total Loss" (CTL) is a pure insurance term that is defined within the Marine Insurance Act (1906). Although the term has equal relevance to insured cargos, as far as the insured vessel is concerned, it relates to the INSURED Hull Value only (which may not be the full market value of the vessel) and is defined as follows in the Article 60 of the Act, where it states that:-

(1) Subject to any express provision in the policy, there is a constructive total loss where the subject-matter insured is reasonably abandoned on account of its actual total loss appearing to be unavoidable, or because it could not be preserved from actual total loss without an expenditure which would exceed its value when the expenditure had been incurred.
(2) In particular, there is a constructive total loss
(i) Where the assured is deprived of the possession of his ship or goods by a peril insured against, and
(a) it is unlikely that he can recover the ship or goods, as the case may be, or
(b) the cost of recovering the ship or goods, as the case may be, would exceed their value when recovered; or
(ii) In the case of damage to a ship, where she is so damaged by a peril insured against that the cost of repairing the damage would exceed the value of the ship when repaired. In estimating the cost of repairs, no deduction is to be made in respect of general average contributions to those repairs payable by other interests, but account is to be taken of the expense of future salvage operations and of any future general average contributions to which the ship would be liable if repaired; or
(iii) In the case of damage to goods, where the cost of repairing the damage and forwarding the goods to their destination would exceed their value on arrival.


... so now you know !

Anyone who has attended the marine insurance courses run by Steve should have been able to answer all 10 of the above questions correctly. If you wish to know more about such courses then contact us by .

If you feel you are ready to try the 2nd free quiz (which is slightly more demanding), then click on the button on the right to go straight to the 2nd quiz.



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