Lumber

Lumber Carriers. The aim of the designer of a lumber (or timber) carrier is to create sufficient space in holds and on deck and hatchcovers for the maximum amount of this high-stowing cargo to be carried. Once again stanchions are essential and the same remarks above under ‘loggers’ applies to ‘lumber carriers’. With the latter vessels, however, the chains and tackle are of a lighter construction so as not to damage the cargo. Shifting of lumber cargoes at sea is a risk that all those engaged on this trade dread, and it is essential that no short-cuts are taken when stowing and securing the cargo, which must always be to the Master’s absolute satisfaction. Timber carriers have clear, unobstructed and squarish holds and wide/long hatchways, sometimes fitted with longitudinal and/or transverse supports as a constructional safety feature.Because of the nature of this commodity, when a full cargo of lumber is carried, special regulations regarding loadlines are applied, which means that an alternative ‘lumber loadline‘ can be used, permitting deeper loading. This is on the basis that with a full and secure lumber deck cargo, vessel buoyancy and inherent safety has increased, and the effective ‘freeboard‘ (the distance from the waterline to a prominent position on the vessel – usually the top of the weatherdeck – which governs the position of a vessel’s loadline) can in fact be adjusted to increase cargo intake of this particular commodity.¬†These vessels can be as large as 40/50,000 tonnes deadweight and are specially designed for the carriage of high-stowing wood-chip products destined for use in pulp mills. They are usually of light construction and unsuitable for the carriage of heavy, dense cargoes such as ores. Nevertheless, where they can be employed on a regular run – e.g. from the West Coast of the United States and Canada to the Far East – they have in the past been adapted for the profitable carriage of motor cars on the otherwise valueless ballast leg (return journey), thus obtaining freight-earning ability on both passages.