Keeping It In Trim
A presentation by Matthew Daley, Grand Valley State University and Jeffrey Ram, Wayne State University, was held at the National Museum of Great Lakes.
Since ancient times, sailors have known that keeping a ship up-right requires a heavy bottom and not too much unbalanced weight above water. Modern principles of ballast system designs developed with the advent of steel hulls, steam power, powerful pumps, and water ballast in the nineteenth century, but engineers now have to design new ballast management systems to prevent the transport of invasive organisms. The presentation traces the history of ballast technologies from stone ballasts of antiquity, through the Eastland disaster that caused the loss of over 800 lives, to the newest “salties” with ballast treatment systems.