This is the "before" shot, peep the "after" in the video below
Photo by John Pickard
Once upon a time, sawmills were located exclusively on rivers. Being next to water had multiple advantages: Trees felled upstream were simply floated down the river to the mill, easing transport; a backlog (pardon the pun) of logs could be left floating in the water as temporary storage; a waterwheel in the river could power the actual sawblade; and boats could easily access the sawmill to take the finished lumber away.
It's been a long time since lumberjacks routinely floated logs down a river, but waterborne vessels are of course still used to transport lumber. This week an amazing video surfaced of the Seaspan Harvester, a timber barge designed to unload its cargo in a crazy way—by tilting sideways to dump it into the water:So how does that work? By gaming the ballast tanks, the ship can be made to tilt 30 degrees to the side, then gravity takes care of the rest.
Longtime Core77 readers may remember our post on the similar maritime method of side-launching; particularly dedicated folks may recall that way back in '07, we took a quick look at ships designed to pull tricks like these. They're called semi-submersibles and can be used to transport enormous cargo, like other ships and even oil-drilling rigs. Check out the Blue Marlin, the largest cargo transport ship in the world:
Here's a CG video of how the Blue Marlin does its thing:
Of course, for the most part a semi-submersible's submersion process is less dramatic than the Seaspan Harvester's. Here's a realtime video of the Kang Sheng Kou discharging its load in the Arabian Sea:
Via Vitaly Petrukhin