Knock Nevis was the largest ship ever built and had enthralled the sea-hobbyists for decades and even now.
There are many different types of ships in the world which are used for different purposes. For example, there are container ships used for shipping cargo; there are cruise ships used for luxury holidays, there are battleships used by the navy, there are fishing boats and so on.
All these different types of boats also come in different sizes. One might wonder what the biggest ship ever built by man is. This article provides the answer to this question. The largest ship ever built by humankind had many names but was most popularly known as Knock Nevis. It is interesting to know that this ship was longer than some of the tallest building in the world.
Following are some interesting facts about the ship and the journey of the vessel throughout its lifetime from being built to being scrapped.
What was Knock Nevis?
Knock Nevis was a supertanker ship. It was the longest ship ever built in the history of the marine industry. It was made by Sumitomo Heavy Industries based in Yokosuka, Kanagawa in Japan. The ship had the greatest deadweight tonnage ever recorded in history. When it was fully loaded the displacement of the ship was 657,000 tonnes. This made it the heaviest shape of any kind. It has a laden draught of 24.6 meters. Till today it is considered as the largest ship ever built. The following article talks about the vessel and its life.
The Knock Nevis had several other names such as Sea wise Giant, Happy Giant, Jahre Viking, Obama, and Mont.
The vastness of the ship
There are a lot of descriptions in history about how large the ship was. The Knock Nevis was nearly twice the size of Titanic. It was so large that four soccer fields or football fields could be laid end to end on the deck of the ship. Knock Nevis took 5.5 miles to stop. It also had a turning circle of more than 2 miles. The giant vessel measured more than 1500 feet in length.
It was so large that it could not navigate through the English Channel or the canals at Suez and Panama. From tip to tip the ship was 458.45 m in length. This is more than the height of the Empire State building in New York and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
The Empire State building is 443 m tall while the Petronas towers have a height of 424 meters. The ship weighed more than 564,000 tonnes.
The story of the ship
A Greek owner placed an order to Sumitomo Heavy Industries in 1974 to build a large tanker ship. It took a total of 5 years to build. The order was delivered in 1979 by the same industries. Unfortunately, at the time of the delivery, the Greek man who placed the order went bankrupt and refused to accept the ship. The makers of the vessel named it as Oppama.
The ship was then put on sale and was finally bought by a Hong Kong-based company called the Hong Kong Orient Overseas Container Line or the OOCL. The company increased the length of the ship by many more meters. This process took nearly 2 years to be completed.
Finally, in 1981, the ship was launched with the name of the Sea wise Giant. As mentioned before, the Sea wise Giant had a capacity of more than 564,000 metric tonnes and a length of 458.45 meters. It also had a beam of 69 meters and a draft of nearly 25 meters. Knock Nevis had more than 31,451 square meters of deck space and a total of 46 tanks.
It was a part of the war between Iran and Iraq. In 1986, it was hit by an Exocet missile in the shallow waters of Iran’s Kharg island. It sank in those waters. It was carrying Iranian oil when Iraqi parachute bombs targeted it. The ship caught fire and lit up and eventually sank.
But this is not the end of the story of the largest ship ever built by mankind.
In 1989 after nearly a year after it sank the ship was shifted from the seabed by a Norwegian conglomerate called Norman International who bought the wreckage.
This wreckage of the ship was transported to Singapore to be repaired extensively. It took a very long time to repair the ship as it was very severely damaged.
The ship was later repaired in Singapore. In Singapore, it got renamed as Happy Giant.
In 1991 the ship was again sold to a Norwegian ship owner named Jorgen Jahre. He renamed the ship as Jahre Viking.
In 2004 the ship was yet again sold. This time it was bought by the First Olsen Tankers. They renamed the ship as Knock Nevis, which became the most popular name of the ship. This is the same name with which it is referred to as today.
After this the ship was used many times as a mobile offshore platform or floating storage and offloading unit.
In January 2010 Amber Development Corporation repurchased the ship and renamed it as the M/V Mont. They brought the ship only for one single last voyage. This voyage ended in Alang, India. It was, at last, scraped at its final destination.
This was the end of the life journey of the largest ship ever built by mankind. No other ship has been made yet that can match the capacity and the massiveness of the Knock Nevis. The ship was bought and sold many times over in its lifetime. Following is the summarized timeline of the life of the Knock Nevis.
1974: Ordered by a Greek owner with Sumitomo Heavy Industries
1979: Order completed: Greek owner refused to accept as he went bankrupt
1981: Launched as Sea wise Giant by a Hong Kong based corporation;
1986: Hit by a missile during the Iran-Iraq War at the Kharg Island in Iran and sank
1988: Bought by a Norwegian ship owner and sent to Singapore for repair
1989: Renamed Happy Giant in Singapore
1991: ship love again and renamed as Jahre Viking;
2004: bought by Singapore based First Olsen Tankers and used as an FSO – a Floating Storage and Offloading unit; renamed as Knock Nevis.
Dec 2009: Sold to Indian scrapers and sent to Alang, India; renamed Mont for the final journey