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Old Jul 25 2011, 01:38 AM   #1
Weyr Harper
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Default Academic Class Ocean Liner

Don't remember exactly how, but ages ago I got the idea for a series of tiny ocean liners. Picture a cross between a student flat, a classroom & and a yacht. That's what these ships are.

Academic Class Ocean Liners

Basically, a fictional company (from a story I haven't quite finished) offers a form of Tertiary education in a vaguely Montessori style. Students/Recruits are divided into small groups of around 12 (at least two of these will already be studying Medicine and Catering, to aid onboard) and gifted one of these ships - the aptly named Academic Class - and basically they sail this ship from port to port, and pick up their skills along the way, through either working in one of the ship's many specialised rooms, or helping out in one of the ports they stop at. Over time, once they've figured out their desired future area of work, they graduate on from the ships, go on to the next phase of learning, and the ships get passed on to the next set of students.

Not only does this build strong friendships and aid in learning skills, it also teaches the students how to use these ships, which, in the world I've designed, are the most common form of transport. In case of war-like situations, any person who trained on one of these ships will be able to come forth as a militia of sorts, and use the offensive weapons on board to defend whatever needs defending.

All of these ships have names that end in -ic; something that seemed clever originally, but over time the good names have run out and you're more likely to see a ship entitled "Eccentric" than "Majestic".

It's also worth noting that although these ships have a lot of rooms on board, it's not a luxury liner. The rooms are a bit small, the furniture is bit old, the wallpaper is out of date - it's a student flat.


The Boat Deck; not much to note here. Several areas lack labels, due to the fact that the text couldn't fit in them. Luckily, I can annotate them via the description! The tiny room behind the Bridge is the navigation room - it has a large map on the wall of the ocean, and various lights representing different ships move across it. The tiny rooms near the Funnel are just deckchair stores and the like. There's a raised roof over the Lounge, inbetween the two lifeboats.

A Deck; now here's where things get detailed. This deck is mostly for recreation, so there's a lot of large rooms. However, there's a good bunch of alcoves here too, which people on board can use for work purposes or if they just want to sit and blob.

A miniature pipe organ rests in the Lounge; this is in fact a synthesizer with some adjustments. Not only can a person use it to play music, it can play back existing music, and can even be used as a recording studio, by recording multiple sessions, and then playing them together. Finally, the pipes are largely for show, and they flash a certain colour and release a puff of smoke on some songs, to create a sort of visual spectacle for those listening to it.

The Palm Court at the back is simply a room with a few tables and a tiled floor. It can be used as a verandah, or the tables can be moved aside so it can be used for something else.

The Bar at the front of the ship is basically another Lounge, except this one has a drinks counter, and a better view.

B Deck; the cabin deck. As you can see, it's here the size of the ship becomes apparent - the bedrooms are pretty tiny, with a bed and a wardrobe taking up a good deal of the room. The four bedrooms to the front of the ship are not generally used by the regular students; they're reserved for guests, and in other times used as a sick bay.

Beyond these extra cabins is a large open space used as a Workshop - here the students can tinker with and build stuff using whatever materials are loaded into this room via the nearby Cargo Hatch.

At the other end of the ship is a Library, a Reading Room, two interior Promenades, and a large Greenhouse/Conservatory at the back, containing various plants and a fountain. A skylight above provides illumination.

C Deck. This deck is largely dominated by the Galley - the six tiny rooms around it are Storerooms, and the tiny alcove near the Funnel is where finished food is left until the rest is ready. Next to that is the large Dining Hall, which is part of the Main Staircase.

In the fore part of the ship is the Pool and Baths - a large swimming pool dominates the main room, with doors on either side leading to various bath rooms. Further on are four Steam/Sauna rooms, which all open on an alcove next to the Pool; intended to be a place for cooling off. Although not marked on the map, for emergency purposes, a hidden door exists in two of the Steam/Sauna Rooms, to allow access to the Cargo Hold.

At the aft of the ship, which can only be accessed through the Aft Staircases, is a Court, which can be used for playing games, or simulations. Next to that is a Games Room, which largely consists of a Pool Table (not much use on choppy seas), several tables for smaller games, and a large cupboard full of games.

Here's where the format gets a bit confusing - normally, to indicate the sloping walls of a ship as the shape changes, you put a dotted line to indicate where the floor meets the wall. Since I modelled this thing in Lego, doing that became a bit difficult. The interior walls you see from now on immediately inside the exterior walls are where the floor meets the wall. Imagine that the wall slopes between the two marked wallls.

The Orlop Deck. This is below the waterline. There's not much down here; mainly Cargo to the fore, and Engine Controls to the Aft. A large Switchboard room exists near the Control Room; this allows an Engineer to control where power is directed to onboard the ship - very useful in emergencies. The large rectangular rooms on either side of the ship are known as "Carpenter's Chambers", and are designed with multiple uses - if the hull fails on one of the chambers, it can be sealed off to prevent sinking, if the ship is sinking, these rooms can be sealed off to trap oxygen inside and aid in keeping the ship buoyant longer, etc (if you go into blatant Sci-Fi territory, they could also be used as ballast tanks, so the ship can travel underwater, and so on).

The Tank Top. The bottom of the ship. Everything down here is either Cargo or something to do with the ship's Engines.

And I think that's pretty much everything.

Academic Class Ocean Liner Design Copyright ME!
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Old Jul 25 2011, 08:08 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Fan of: Pern...I like Freedom too
Now Reading: finishing umpteenth re-read of All the Weyrs
Default Re: Academic Class Ocean Liner

Interesting, by chance have you researched any of the 'semester at sea' programs to aid you in your story development? I can think of three recent incidents that could play up the drama of your plots...
1) about 5 or 6 years ago, there was a group of US students on a Mediterranean tour when their liner grounded and then sank in the Santorini Caldera in Greece. (all but 2, a frenchman and his daughter, survived)
2) about the same time, there was a 'tall ship' that was knocked down in a storm off of Brazil and sank. (all hands survived)
3) about 3 years ago, a 'Semester at sea' ship was hit by a rogue wave in the North Pacific and suffered extensive damage to the ships structure and systems.
Cherokee43v6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 26 2011, 08:31 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: CA
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Default Re: Academic Class Ocean Liner

where are the heads? another incident of the sort cherokee mentioned - A couple years ago a sea-scout ship ran into the oakland bay bridge (SF Bay)
and sustained damage, possibly sinking. thankfully, everyone made it out all right.(including our neighbor.)
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