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I’d never gotten a photo of CMA CGM Marco Polo, although I know she looked very much like CMA CGM Alexander von Humboldt, seen below and here in a photo from about a year ago. 

I was intrigued when I learned that Marco had gotten a nose job, had a “windshield” added to streamline the vessel and thereby reduce fuel consumption.   That intrigue was boosted when I saw the speed she was making between Halifax and the sixth boro this past weekend.   I even checked my friend Mac MacKay’s site, which sometimes features vessels either before or after they appear in the our watery boro. No nothing.  

Behold, westbound on the ConHook Range . . .  CMA CGM Marco Polo, 2.0.  I had thought maybe a modern iteration of a whaleback like here

This was all of that, but with wings as well.  I’m thinking of inspiration from a winged snow plow, the real utilitarian deal or the Mark di Suvero glorification.

The curved metal work had hints of Richard Serra or Alexander Calder

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems the concept here really is the same as an air dam incorporated into semi-truck design.  I recall how odd I thought this looked when they were first introduced.   Now they are standard for long haul trucks. 


It will be interesting to see if and how this design change takes hold.

Marco is over a decade at work, in case you’re wondering, and even if the “windshield” (or maybe “air plow” might be a better name) provides a 2% fuel cost savings, in the course of a year sailing, that would be a big sum.  Anyone know average daily fuel consumption of a vessel this size under way?

All photos, WVD. 


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