Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Imagine watching the movie Titanic (the 3D version comes out this summer, so you can) with one big change - - everyone weighs on average an extra 30 pounds.  Poor Rose on the small wooden raft - - but 35 pounds heavier.  Or the survivors in the crowded life boats - - but with hundreds of extra pounds.  Picture crew and passengers totaling 2,200 times 30-pounds per person - - when life boats supported only 700 survivors.

The Coast Guard must be thinking about this.  In December the Coast Guard formally put into effect rules requiring certain passenger vessels to comply with its new Assumed Average Weight per Person.  That new weight, 185 pounds, is a full 25 pounds more than the previous average, 160, a figure put in place about half a century ago (the 185 comes by averaging the average male (194.7) with the average female (164.7) per the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - - clothing and personal items are also embedded in the averages).

It all boils down to a simple calculation - - Greater Average Weight Per Person divided by the Same Vessel Capacity = Fewer Passengers per Ship (and lower revenue per ship and the need for more ships if the traffic and schedule allows).

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