SEA Currents: General
May 21, 2019
THE VIEW FROM ALOFT: Planning for Yard Periods
Greetings from the marine department, where we’re constantly thinking about our ships. As I write this, spring is in the air and we’re gearing up for the arrival in Woods Hole of the SSV Corwith Cramer.
While we attend to her short-term needs, such as scheduling Coast Guard inspections, we’re also planning the details for the Cramer’s yard period in Rockland, Maine, which starts in August. It’s a six- week yard that includes a haul-out for rudder and tail shaft (propeller) inspection along with a large doghouse/aft accommodation space project that we weren’t able to accomplish during the Major Maintenance Project in 2017.
At the same time, we’re making a list of items to be shipped to the SSV Robert C. Seamans in American Samoa in August for the ship’s dockside maintenance. Some of the big items on the list include a new mainsail, new mattresses, exposure suits and new windlass wildcats.
Looking further down the road, we’re already mapping out the January haul-out for the Seamans in New Zealand, where the ship will be inspected as well as undergo part of her multi-year major maintenance project.
Planning for maintenance periods requires that we in the marine department work as a team to meet the needs of all parts of the vessels, from the rigging to the engine room – and everything in between! That means scheduling the inspections required by the American Bureau of Shipping and U.S. Coast Guard, prioritizing the project lists prepared by each department, identifying funding sources, developing schedules for crew and timelines for projects, and identifying the resources needed in the way of shipyard personnel, technicians, and crew.
And speaking of crew, during our yard periods we bring in almost double our normal complement, up to as many as 24 people. That means arranging for extra on-shore accommodation and transportation. (Once, in Denia, Spain, we rented a fleet of bicycles – so in addition to getting to work the crew got in a little exercise!)
So as you can see, there’s much planning that goes into the maintenance of SEA’s ships. That’s why, as said in the beginning, the ships and those that sail on them are constantly on our minds!