Stanley Yacht Services: What is a Plimsoll line?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What is a Plimsoll line?

Photo | NOAA
Here's an interesting "factoid" ... Ever wonder what those odd markings on the hull of a commercial ship mean? It's the Plimsoll line. But what does it tell you? It tells you whether the ship's cargo is loaded properly for any given water.
Samuel Plimsoll (1824–1898) was a member of the British Parliament who was concerned with the loss of ships and crews due to vessel overloading. In 1876, he persuaded Parliament to pass the Unseaworthy Ships Bill, which mandated marking a ship’s sides with a line that would disappear below the waterline if the ship was overloaded. The line, also known as the Plimsoll mark, is found midship on both the port and starboard hulls of cargo vessels and is still used worldwide by the shipping industry.
And now you know! Read more about it here.

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