Weatherdeck

Two measurements will be provided by shipbuilders for dry cargo vessels. These are the grain and bale capacities which are used for measuring cargo space availability for bulk or for general (non bulk) cargo. The measurements can be expressed in either cubic feet or in cubic metres; reference books such as ships’ registers (e.g. Lloyd’s Register) frequently nowadays use the metric system. However, a large proportion of dry cargo market practitioners still utilise cubic feet when describing the stowage properties of cargo, and so it is important for all involved in this aspect of the industry to know that: – 1 cubic metre = 35.3158 cubic feet, as conversion calculations from one measurement system to the other will frequently be required. Grain capacity is the capacity of cargo spaces measured laterally to the outside of frames, and vertically from the tank tops to the top of the under weatherdeck beams, including the area contained within a vessel’s hatchway coamings. Grain capacity is therefore an indication of space available for any bulk cargo – not just for bulk grain. Bale capacity is the capacity of cargo spaces measured laterally to the inside of frames or of cargo battens (where fitted), and vertically from the tank tops to the underside (or bottom) of the under weatherdeck beams, but again including the area contained within a vessel’s hatchway coamings. Bale capacity is therefore an indication of space available for other than a bulk commodity – e.g. bagged or baled goods. In trading, dry cargo ships are frequently described in different ways. RO/RO tonnage might be referred to in terms of available ‘lane-metres’, for example, or a containership by the number of “teu’s” or “feu’s” it is capable of handling. Depending upon the cargo, however, general cargo ships and bulkcarriers might be described in terms of summer deadweight or grain capacity or, more probably in the case of general cargo ships, in terms of bale capacity.