How are ships able to withstand such high waves?

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I see those videos of ships in the middle of the ocean getting hit by waves that are much, much taller than them. How are these intense waves able to crash into the boats and not sink it or break the glass?

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2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

the boats are made strong enough to withstand it. They basically kept making the boats stronger until they stopped breaking.

Also, the ship’s bow break apart the base of the wave, and the top part of the wave has less water than the base, and that water can spread over the length of the ship, or go over it. So it’s not like a belly flop when you hit an endless wall of water.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A few different reasons:

Captains try to drive their boats straight into oncoming waves. That way, the waves crash straight into the bow with little to no side force. A boat won’t flip from front to back; it’s the side to side action that’s dangerous.

Boats are built to be heavier on the bottom and lighter on top. The largest ocean-going vessels tend to have deeper drafts (their maximum “height” underwater) to be even more bottom-heavy. That way, they stabilize themselves whenever they’re getting pounded with waves. The same goes for cargo: heavier on bottom, lighter on top, and properly secured. If cargo is unsecured, or if a boat is too top-heavy, the boat could lose its balance and destabilize itself.

Also, boats are made to take waves on the bow. A lot of fishing boats have a U shape to them, where the front and back are higher. That shape allows them to go over waves a bit like a rocking horse, and it also means the waves are crashing into the bottom of the boat rather than the front.

Putting all of that together, my nightmare wave-runner would be a flat barge with a small draft. The cargo is a bunch of rolly logs on the upper deck, not strapped in, so the barge rolls a lot from side to side. It’s the end of a long voyage, so there’s almost no other cargo or fuel onboard. In the middle of a storm, the engines fail (or run out of fuel). The barge can only drift helplessly, and within a few seconds the waves have already pushed it sideways. It’ll capsize in a matter of minutes.