maximum dimensions of
ships that can pass through the Panama Canal
are: 106 ft. in beam, 39 ft. draft in tropical fresh
water, and 965 ft. long. Any ship that is the maximum size is
called a "Panamax" ship. When you compare the width of the Panama Canal
to the maximum ship's width, there's not
much room on either side!
The Panama Canal is a waterway in Central America which joins the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, it had an enormous impact on shipping between the two oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 6,000 miles, well under half the 14,000 mi route around Cape Horn. Although the concept of a canal near Panama dates back to the early 16th century.
Each year more than 14,000 ships pass through the canal, carrying more than 205 million tons of cargo. By 2002 about 800,000 ships had used the canal altogether.The canal can accommodate vessels from small private yachts up to large commercial vessels. The maximum size of vessel that can use the canal is known as PANAMAX; an increasing number of modern ships exceed this limit, and are known as post-Panamax vessels. A typical passage through the canal by a cargo ship takes around nine hours. 14,011 vessels passed through in 2005, with a total capacity of 278.8 million tons, making an average of almost 40 vessels per day
Here is another PANAMAX