Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Elly Maersk

On Saturday, we watched a huge container ship arrive at Felixstowe port. It was an incredible sight, and made me curious about which ship it was, where it was going, and where it had come from. Anyone not interested in ships and engines, look away now!

I had a look on the internet to find out more (there are loads of ship spotting websites -should have guessed!) and discovered that she was the Elly Maersk. Turns out she is one of the largest container ships in the world, and has a 14 cylinder Wartsila-Sulzer 'super engine', the largest engine ever built. The cylinder bore is just under 38″ and the stroke is just over 98″. The engine weighs in at 2,300 tons and is capable of delivering 109,000 horsepower. Blimey. She draws 15.5m maximum, so just her depth below the water is longer than the Duck! You can find her current position (when I looked she was just off Holland, heading for Bremerhaven apparently) at

Elly Maersk

Ship Type: Cargo - Hazard A (Major)
Year Built: 2008
Length x Breadth: 398 m X 56 m
DeadWeight: 115000 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 10.4 / 9.1 knots
Flag: Denmark [DK]
Area: North Sea
Latitude / Longitude: 53.90506˚ / 7.79563˚ (Map)
Last Known Port: FELIXSTOWE


  1. I love this because more than once I've sat spellbound for a very long time watching one of these giants move slowly, ploddingly, toward its berth in one harbor or another. I am glad to know I am not alone. :-)

  2. The real measure of a container-ship's size is it's TEU (20 foot equivalent) capacity. The Elly Maersk is 15,500, or 11,000 at 14t. It is either the largest class of container ship in the world, or very close to a class built by MSC.

    Maximum speed is 24.5 Kn. Cruising speed is usually only two or three knots below maximum, and ships cannot operate very much below cruising speeds for long periods of time (usually only a few hours), before needing to increase power, to avoid coking the engine.