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Container deflector


Well-known member
15 Jan 2007
One end of the A1
Hi All

Jake, I'm intrigued by the stainless steel" container deflector" you mention in another thread.

Any chance of any photos ?

And, how much wieght are you stacking on that Corri ?

And, what is the truth about containers, how many are thought to be floating around out there ? What is the evidence to support these figures ?

Tight lines



Well-known member
16 Dec 2003
Medway, Gillingham Reach
I've just been over to Newport and back over 8000 nm ranging from 50degN down to 36 degN. Didn't hit a single container. And the only ones I saw were on teh decks of ships. Did hit lots of buoys though. Two I saw while I was on deck but couldn't get to my steering fast enough. The rest were just bumps against the sides of the hull in the night or the day. Of course it might have been dolphins hitting me who'se sonar had packed it in.
Interestingly enough some of the waves that are well broken hit you with the force of a double decker bus. Enough to throw you off your berth. When I had my GPS going and a wave hit me on one occassion it recorded a ground speed of 8 knots sideways.
I think containers are one of these many myths that abound in the sea, probably rarer that shark or crocodile attacks, but something we are all slightly paranoid about. I wonder which has sunk more boats osmosis or containers?



I think containers are one of these many myths that abound in the sea, probably rarer that shark or crocodile attacks, but something we are all slightly paranoid about. I wonder which has sunk more boats osmosis or containers?

[/ QUOTE ]

It's estimated that as many as 10,000 containers are washed overboard each year
(amrie.org/docs/Gross_tonnage_Container_Safety.pdf), although the shipping industry is understandably unwilling to publish the exact figures. Most sink, but some don't. For proof of this - Greenpeace have displayed a photo of an orange container riding very high in the water at:
They comment that it appeared to have been in the water for a long time (!).



New member
15 Mar 2007
Paris France

A few days ago, One of the competitor of the minitransat experienced his life raft after seing his boat sinking. She had bang in an OFNI.(Objet flottant Non Identifié). Normally a Mini should not sink but that's an other story.

like John I've never seen a container in the sea . Most of the time, when they don't sink immediatly they stay for a while half sink and they can't be seen. Tree timbers fallen from desks are equivalent and they float.

Containers are landing on Ouessant island and maintaining the "naufrageur" spirit.
20 Jul 2001
Southampton, UK
Hi Ocklepoint

Sorry for the delay in my reply - been away sailing in the Med, and reminding myself why we go to sea!

My 'container deflector' is a grand name for a long strip of rounded stainless steel which stretches from just under the foredeck almost to the start of the keel. Behind this is a curved laminate of multiple layers of plywood, all epoxied into place to form a very solid stem. The corri has quite an unprotected bow, so behind the newly strengthened stem is a maze of watertight compartments, and extra rovings to beef up the hull thickness, especially at the waterline.

Yes, she's getting heavy, and that's before the keel blister made of lead- impregnated GRP goes on! She'll be the tougest submarine out there, I think.

Containers are a menace, mainly because - as Eric says - they tend to float semi submerged, largely thanks to electronic goods packed in polystyrene. Big baulks of timber deck cargo are also a problem, and we hit a telegraph pole end on in a powerboat one dark night. It sprang a plank ( she was a timber built Osborne) but we made it safely home with the pumps going.

I've hit several UFO's (unidentified floating objects) in my career, but nearly all have simply bounced off, or been deflected by the bow wave. At 4.5knots, you're unlikey to do anything terminal, but that thin stemhead was a worry. Now I feel I can T bone the edge of a container, and my bow should remain intact.

Hope I never have to test it, though....