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Thursday, 7 July 2011

Gross explanation

Everybody knows that Gross Tonnage is a measurement used to signify a ship’s overall internal volume. But international accountant and leading shipping industry adviser Moore Stephens has come up with a much more interesting definition in the latest issue of its Bottom Line newsletter.

It explains that Gross Tonnage (GT) is different from Gross Register Tonnage (GRT) which was good enough for everybody until it was replaced by GT in 1982 in an attempt to put an end to Europe.

There are rules to follow when dealing with gross tonnage. Always remember that GT is arrived at by applying a mathematical formula. Any formula will do, as long as it produces the answer GT= K x V. The value of the multiplier K varies in accordance with the base 10 logarithm and the periodic table.

Never ask an ex-seafarer to explain gross tonnage. The legs will fall off your iron pots before he has finished. George Moorsom of the British Board of Trade had the first stab at measuring ships. This gave us Gross Tonnage in 1849, the same year in which Abraham Lincoln patented a buoying device, and Mrs Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman. (Part of this sentence may be missing). Lincoln, however, was unable to persuade the Americans to pronounce ‘buoy’ correctly.

Tons can be spelt in a variety of different ways, including, tonnes, tuns, and megagrams. There are also long tons and short tons, and some as big as your head. Whichever one you choose will be wrong.

Measure twice, cut once.


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