Bulk Carrier Construction

Construction Details
• These ships have large clear holds with no ’tween decks.
This facilitates fast loading & discharging.
• Hatches are capable of being covered with weather tight
• Engines are usually placed aft.
• Topside tanks (Upper Hoppers) are provided as shown in
sketch, to enable water ballast to be carried high up &
reduce GM.
• This may be required when carrying heavy cargoes, such
as ore in the holds.
• A deep tank is usually not fitted, although one of the
middle cargo holds may be usable for taking in ballast
(Heavy Ballast Condition).
• In the type shown in the sketch, the sloping side tanks at
the bilge form a ‘hopper’(Lower Hopper) which assists
in handling of bulk cargo.
• The sloping upper & lower hoppers make the bulk
carrier holds self trimming for carriage of cargoes such
as grain.
• The height of Hatch coamings on freeboard deck, raised
quarter deck, or within one-quarter of the ship’s length
from the stem on superstructure decks is to be 600 mm,
where they are exposed to the weather. Abaft one-quarter
of the length from the stem, the height is to be 450mm.
• Framing except in Large Bulk Carriers is composite
• Framing under deck is Longitudinal type.
• The side plating where longitudinal stresses are less, is
Transversely framed.
• Framing in Double bottom is longitudinal type.
• The longitudinals are supported by Plate floors not more
than 3.7 metres apart
The structural arrangement of a conventional bulk carrier and
problem areas

• Why is bulk carrier listed in Chapter XII of SOLAS?
• The need to establish proper guidance and interpretation
regarding bulk carriers and in doing so to enhance safety.
• To ensure that bulk carriers to which SOLAS chapter XII
applies are clearly identified as such ,either on the Safety
Management Certificate issued under the provisions of
SOLAS chapter IX, or in the booklet required under the
provisions of SOLAS regulation XII/8;
• In order to enhance safety of bulk carriers Chapter
provides detailed regulations and compliance requirements
• Damage stability giving guidance on cargo density and be
able to withstand flooding incase flooding in any one cargo
• The chapter also covers the requirement related to
structural strength for the Bulk carriers. The transverse
watertight bulkhead between the two foremost cargo holds
and the double bottom of the foremost cargo hold shall
have sufficient strength to withstand flooding of the
foremost cargo hold, taking also into account dynamic
effects resulting from the presence of water in the hold, in
compliance with the bulk carrier bulkhead and double
bottom strength standards.
• It also covers the survey of the cargo hold structure of bulk
• A bulk carrier of 150 m in length and upwards of single
side skin construction, of 10 years of age and over, shall
not carry solid bulk cargoes having a density of 1,780
kg/m3 and above unless it has satisfactorily undergone the
• The regulation also covers requirement for bulk carrier to
have a loading instrument for enhancing safety.
• The regulation to detect accidental flooding cover the
provisions regarding dry space water level detectors