In this paper we present some initial considerations which can be used in developing the design of a polymetallic nodules mining ship. The requirements for cargo volume and deadweight are studied on the basis of assumed production output. A novel concept for cargo discharging to a shuttle transport ship by self-unloading is proposed. The presented analysis of cargo characteristics showed that there are several issues which affect the subdivision of the ship and the approach to the problem of arranging its structure. The first proposal of a general ship layout is given, including ship subdivision, hull shape, hydrostatics calculations and a functional study.

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