Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Incat Puts Out Call for Woman

INCAT boss Robert Clifford has sent out a plea to all women: roll up your sleeves and join the crew.
The leading shipbuilder is on an aggressive recruitment drive and hopes women may be the answer to the nation's
manufacturing skills shortage. The company will even consider family-friendly hours in a bid to lure more females on
to its workfloor.
"We would be very happy to have more women because there is an imbalance at the moment," Mr Clifford said.
At present the ratio of men to women in the shipbuilding crew is 300 to 1, with only a sole woman involved in the
hands-on work. But Mr Clifford wants more -- lots -- as the company enters its expansion phase and tries to double
total workforce from about 400 to 800.
"Women could be the answer," Mr Clifford said. "I would even look at tailoring the work to suit their family needs,
offering 9am to 3pm hours." Last week Incat announced a new sale to a Spanish customer, and more deals
are in the pipeline.
But Incat is having trouble finding the extra staff to meet future orders. The company is looking interstate and even
putting a call out to retirees who might be interested in returning to work.
The company is seeking a range of skills, including welding, fabrication and fitting. Mr Clifford said women could be
perfect solution. "In other parts of the world, places like Russia and Poland, it's perfectly normal to have an equal
number of men and women in this environment," he said.
"I think it would be a big advantage for us to have a closer to equal ratio." Mr Clifford said women had "nothing to
fear" from the predominantly male workforce. He said the work was not physically challenging, with strict limits on
weights which both men and women were allowed to lift. While Incat has many women in its Derwent Park office,
there is only one female on its workfloor -- Deirdre Smith. Miss Smith operates a plasma cutter, which is a
computerised machine that cuts through steel plates.
When she started with Incat 11 years ago, Miss Smith recalled, she was a little nervous, but her fears soon subsided.
"I wasn't worried about all the men so much as the work," she said. But she has mastered her role and, in the words
of Mr Clifford "is as good as any bloke". Miss Smith said she imagined other women were probably intimidated by the
idea of working with so many men.
But she said those fears were unnecessary. "I feel like part of the family now -- they all treat me as an equal."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Big trouble for big ship in yard

A post panamax container ship being built for Maersk A.P. Moller at the Odense Steel Shipyard in Denmark caught fire June 09, 2006. Little is know of the ship or the cause of the fire as their doesn't seem to be any press release of it on either Maersk A.P. Moller or the shipyard's website, also owned by A.P. Moller.

The shipyard as just delivered the last of a series of 7000 teu ships to Maersk, and this one that had the fire was probably the lead ship, MV Emma Maersk, in the next series for Maersk. These ships are 8000+ teu according to Wilkipedia, and the Emma was due out in August. But judging from the pictures, I believe that will be delayed slightly.

Great pictures of the fire are available here, at what appears to be the Fire Brigade's website.

The Odense Shipyard website here, and the AP Moller site here.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Halifax Maritime Museum

If you are going to be in Halifax, the Maritime Museum is well worth the stop.

Located on the Halifax waterfront, the museum boasts the CSS Acadia, a 1913 Canadian Hydrography survey ship. The ship power plant is scotch marine boilers and triple expansion steam engines.

Also docked at the museum wharf, during summer months, is the last corvette, the HMCS Sackville,( The vessel is outfitted in her northern Atlantic camouflage.

Inside, the museum has a launch owned by Queen Victoria and a Sable Island lifeboat along wht numerous other small boat displays.

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic top in its class


Reader’s Digest has named the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax the best maritime museum in Canada.

The rating came in the magazine’s June edition and made mention of some of the museum’s more notable exhibits, including the deck chair from the Titanic.

The museum also displays telegraph key used by P. Vincent Coleman to divert a train with 700 passengers away from the imminent Halifax Explosion.

The oldest and largest maritime museum in the country, the facility opened in 1948.

Nearly three million people have visited since it moved to its Lower Water Street location in 1982.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Norwegian Crown Aground

THE cruiseship Norwegian Crown ran aground off Bermuda with 1,104 passengers onboard yesterday.

The 34,242 gt vessel was on its regular sailing between the towns of St. George and Hamilton when the incident occurred 8.30am local time.

Three local tugs were called in to refloat the vessel and was successfully towed into deep water last night.

Checks showed there was no water ingress and no pollution from the vessel. All crew and passengers were reported to be safe.

Eye witnesses said the grounding took place during a bad rain storm and that the captain and pilot probably missed the navigation channel.

The Norwegian Crown belongs to Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

BC Fantasies... huh Ferries

At the last "up island meeting" of the Vancouver Island Branch of the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering, I met with many peers. Even had dinner with one fellow with BC Ferries at Departure Bay, in Nanaimo, where the new Super C Class ships will soon ply.

I grilled him, thanks for the chat by the way, and I must say I am still quite a bit stunned to hear what he said. As some of you may know, the Super C class will be diesel electric boats, a major turn from the usual for BC Ferries. So I asked how many electricians would be onboard, the answer was really like, "huh, electrician what electrician, onboard, na, well just use the terminal one". Now I am not sure if he was fully in the know, but from other topics, it would appear that he might be relatively well informed of the project. That's why I am still in bit in disbelief.

In perspective, for our ship's 55,000 HP diesel electric plant we have in the engine room, 7 engineering officers and 5 engine room electrical officers, and one on the hotel side. So roughly 40% of the officers in the engine room are electrical.

Then I ran across the quasi civilian US military Sealift Command (MSC) website which I foundd an interesting newsletter published in November 2005. The MSC Engineering maintenance Branch Bulletin had an article on the amount of preventive tasks that were related to shipboard electrical components. On their fleet of supply vessels, they found that 29% of the preventive maintenance task tracked by their maintenance software was electrical. Granted these ships are relatively complicated, but then again, these ships are not even diesel electric.

Basically it seems that around 30% of the staff onboard should be electricians or the likes. I don't know about you but it would seem to me that at least one electrician should be onboard if they want to maintain a certain degree of reliability. One thing is for sure I don't see too many electrician on the coast now, or training being done to make sure engineers are able to handle high voltage installations. And I haven't really heard of any real talk of electrician and their marine certification at Transport Canada either. Sound like troubles' abrewing.

We are not talking about small 30 car ferries that can skip a couple of sailing here and there; I would hate to see bad press over breakdowns and the likes because of poor planning. I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on this. I know Washington State Ferries have diesel electric set ups, I wonder if anyone knows how many electricians they sail with, or how do they look after electrical maintenance?

Its been a few years since I noticed a major lack of electrical training in the marine field, other than basic stuff, especially since it is mostlikely the propulsion choice of the future for quite a few good reasons.

Here's a quote from about the Super C Class: "The ships will achieve a design service speed of 21 knots fully loaded at 85%MCR using a diesel-electric propulsion/power station concept, with four prime movers each providing 4,000 kW (5,400 hp) to supply electric power for two 11,000 kW (14,750 hp) propulsion motors, auxiliary systems and public spaces. The diesel-electric concept also provides a high level of redundancy, with a speed of 20 knots maintained with one engine off-line for servicing and 18 knots with two prime movers off-line."

The main engines will be MAKs, here's Cat's press release about the engines.


Freedom at sea

Thanks JK for all the great news and info you have been posting. Great to see. I encourage all of our readers to post comments, its easy and you dont have to be a member of Blogger to do so.

It appears that Royal Caribbean marketing dept. did their homework on the launch of Freedom of the Seas as it was all over the news over the last month, good PR. Some of you might of caught the fact that Freedom was "launched" from Germany. But the ship was actually built in Finland at the Turku yard of Aker. Well it turns out the ship had to go into drydock, because of pod issues. Kinda strange really since RCCL and Aker has much experience with podded propulsion, I am curious to find out what exactly was the cause. Of course with the building of the next two Freedom class ships underway, (second is named Liberty of the Seas and the other is yet un named), there was no room in Finland. So off it went for sea trials and dry dock in Hamburg before being delivered to RCCL.

A little more on RCCL, the company has also being getting lots of press over the anouncement of Genesis, a massive 240,000 ton ship to be built by ..... Aker ... of course. The ship is actually too big to be built in the current Turku yard, but apparently they have enough room to expand the dry dock. But then again, with the "aquisition" of Chantier de l'Atlantique in France last year the ship could well be built in France. Mmmmm.

Genesis and her sister ship will be powered by the usual RCCL Wartsila 46 series engines. The plan I heard of, calls for 6 main engines in a similar plant design as of the Freedom / Voyager class. Those ships have six 12V46 in them, the Genesis design calls for 3 V16 and 3 V12. At that size, one wonders if a gas turbine might not be a bad ideas since I am sure there will plenty of need for power, even in port.

Huh oh, did I say Gas Turbine, I dont remember if I am repeating myself since its been so long since I posted something online (sorry - moving is hell), but RCCL is doing some major renovating of the Radiance class of ships, and some of the Celebrity ships as well. These are the gas turbines powered ships. Really ahead of most regulations on pollutions, but when you are the only one doing it, its kind of silly to take a finnancial hit with fuel prices what they are now, especially when no one else does it, well except for Princess. Anyways, the fuel price crunch is forcing some major changes to this part of the fleet as they will be going one by one to the yard and getting a diesel engine installed.

Story goes that the ships are pretty much preped to go now, with a new section of the hull allready built, with an engine and related equipment installed. The ship pulls into drydock, the old section cut out, the new section with the diesel "slid" in place. Talk about ambitious engineering, these guys really dont mess around, they do and plan these things and make it seem easy.

Anyway the removed section will then be used as the base for the next ship's diesel update. The gas turbines, both of them, will remain in the ships and fully useable. When at sea with enough power demand the gas turbine will be used and when in port with low power consumption, the diesel will be used. As you can well imagine, the nightmare of not just installing, but making fit into an existing ship, which has no current HFO set up; wow, what a daunting task.

Anyways thats enough for now.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Nfld Pilot Boat Grounded

This could be considered embarrassing.....

Boat Runs Aground
May 29, 2006

Officials begin assessing the damage to a $3 million pilot boat that ran aground in Placentia Bay yesterday morning. The vessel, the more modern of the two which guide shipping activity on the bay, ran aground on Buffett Island and then became partially submerged while being towed to Buffett Bay.

Three people were on board - one spent the night at hospital in Clarenville while another was released after observation.

Anthony McGuinness of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority says a replacement vessell will arrive in the area in about three days.

Pilot Boat Replacement to Arrive Today
June 1, 2006

A replacement for the pilot boat which ran aground on Buffett island this week is expected to arrive in Placentia Bay this afternoon. Tony McGuiness of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority says the rudders and propeller of the stricken vessel were damaged and there are five large holes in the boat. Temporary repairs will be done in Southern Harbour and then it will be taken to dry dock for assessment by adjusters to see if it's worth salvaging. Meanwhile, McGuiness says the crew member who was taken to hospital in Clarenville for injuries suffered in the mishap is now doing okay.

And finally from CBC News:
Salvage effort planned for pilot boat
Last Updated: May 31 2006 07:11 AM NDT
Engineers and divers are trying to find a way to salvage a $3-million pilot boat that ran aground near a small island in Placentia Bay this week.

The vessel — one of two pilot boats that guide tankers and large ships through the tricky waters of Placentia Bay, on the southern Avalon Peninsula — is partly submerged off an island in the middle of the bay.

"Unfortunately, these things do happen," said Tony McGuinness, chief executive officer of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority.

McGuinness said there appears to have been "a bit of fatigue involved" with the operator on board the pilot boat.

Only one pilot boat is still in service in Placentia Bay's busy shipping lanes. (CBC)

"[But] we don't know the full circumstances," he said.

No one was seriously hurt in the incident, and fishermen from Harbour Buffett were able to rescue crew members before the pilot boat sank.

Tony McGuinness said it appears operator fatigue may have contributed to a pilot boat running aground Monday in Placentia Bay. (CBC)

Crews are hoping to bring the pilot boat to surface by as early as Wednesday.

If the salvage operation is successful, the Pilotage Authority will determine whether the vessel can be repaired and put back into service.

Pilot boats are essential in Placentia Bay, which is home to both the Come By Chance oil refinery and the oil transshipment facility in Whiffen Head.

Tankers are frequently seen in the bay, which also contains fishing communities.

The remaining pilot boat will be picking up the slack. An interim replacement vessel is being brought in from Nova Scotia.