Today's cutting-edge tankers are the product of a commitment to safety combined with the power of computer-assisted design. As a result, the new ships traveling the seas are stronger, more maneuverable, and more durable than their predecessors.
Double Hulls - By 2015, all tankers operating in U.S. waters will be double-hulled vessels. This hull-within-a-hull configuration provides an extra measure of security: In the unlikely event of a collision or grounding, the outer hull will bear the brunt of the impact while the interior hull keeps the cargo secure and prevents oil from entering the marine environment.
Redundant Systems - In an effort to build ships capable of withstanding even the most extreme circumstances, many tankers are now equipped with redundant, or duplicate, systems. If the original system is compromised for whatever reason, a second, fully functional backup is on hand. This concept is put to use in navigation -- with back-up GPS systems, for example -- and down below in redundant engine rooms. Duplicate rudders and propellers have the added benefit of improved maneuverability, enabling the ship to rotate 360° in a fixed position.
Single-Operator Capability - A highly trained bridge crew is the key to effective decision-making on the seas. Once a decision is made, however, modern tankers allow a single deck officer to make all the appropriate adjustments to the ship's speed and heading from a central command station. This allows for faster response in critical situations.»next