As ships get every larger they come up across certain size limitations. The Panama Canal has been a classic example (Panamax) but other sites have defined limtes as well (Suezmax, Chinamax)



Example of a Limiting Structure

length of the vessel


width of the vessel


depth below the water (draft)

depth of the navigable channel

height above the water

lowest bridge


Ways to get around a limit:

(1) use high or low tide

(2) dredge the ocean floor

(3) remove contents to lighten the ship

(4) make bigger locks


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