A bow visor , usually also called bow flap , is a pivoting closure of the opening of the ship's bow of a RoRo ferry , which when opened allows the entry and exit of vehicles. Usually, like the visor of a protective helmet, these swivel either upwards in one piece or to the side in two.
The so-called Atlantic lock (also: Atlantic security) secures the bow visor against unintentional opening with bolts on the side. In some ships, the interior of the ship is also secured against the ingress of water by a bulkhead , which usually serves as a vehicle ramp, or an additional deep sea bulkhead .
The term bow visor went through the media during the shipping disasters of the Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987 and the Estonia in 1994. In both cases, water ingress via the bow opening led to the sinking of the ships, since the continuous car decks were not secured by bulkheads and separate, watertight sections. In some cases, new ships were built without a bow flap or existing bow visors were welded shut.
Open one-piece bow visor of the Volcan de Taburiente
Open two-part bow visor of the Stena Germanica
Sardinia Regina with open bow hatch in Bastia
Anne-Marie at the ferry terminal in Cuxhaven