Gibdock pulls out the stops on repair project

06 Jan 2012
Replacement of rudder bushes was one of several tasks undertaken by Gibdock on 'Pullmantur Zenith'

Replacement of rudder bushes was one of several tasks undertaken by Gibdock on 'Pullmantur Zenith'

Gibraltar repair yard Gibdock says that it was tasked with going the extra mile to complete a recent cruise ship drydocking within a very tight two-week timeframe.

The 42,255gt, 1992-built Pullmantur Zenith arrived in Gibraltar on 7 November last for various tasks that had to be completed in time for the ship to leave dock on 20 November for Brazil, to start its  next cruise. One job was renewal of the rudder neck bushes, which required the drilling of two holes into the bottom floor of the drydock so that the Pullmantur Zenith’s two rudders could be lowered to get them out. “Not many yards would go to such lengths,” says Richard Beards, Gibdock commercial director. ”But it shows our flexibility and willingness to do whatever is necessary to meet our customer’s requirements.”

The scope of work also included renewing four chillers. Removal of the old items and replacement with new chillers involved cutting large openings in both sides of the ship and renewing the majority of the associated PVC and non-PVC pipework. The new chillers had to be fully working and commissioned by the time the passengers boarded.

The tank top steel in two compartments was found to be corroded below the thickness levels set by Class, and Gibdock handled the necessary steel renewal work, which  included opening access in the bottom to facilitate the renewal and strengthening of the tank top steel to the satisfaction of Class.

During tank cleaning for the survey, shortly before the arrival of the Pullmantur Zenith at Gibdock, the forepeak tank was found to have some old weather damage that was causing corrosion within the forepeak. The yard was notified and responded by renewing the corroded steel before the vessel was due to leave the dock. Gibdock re-coated the external hull ; while this was, according to the yard, in many respects a routine operation, poor weather conditions intervened, but work was completed well within schedule.

“We were able to float off our blocks early and maintain our schedule without difficulty,” says Jan Sandvik, Pullmantur Cruises’ technical director. “The yard was flexible in adjusting its work pattern to follow our requirements in getting the ship out of the yard on time.”

Pullmantur has previous experience of using Gibdock, docking a number of vessels with the yard in recent years, and this track record played a part in the yard winning this latest project. “Gibdock has proven that they are able to handle unplanned jobs in a timely manner and we were confident in the ability to deliver on time,” says Sandvik. “Deviation time was also minimal.”

Commenting on the yard’s flexibility in dealing with situations during the docking, Sandvik adds: “I was impressed with their pro-activeness in solving problems,” he says. ”The yard was open to the rapid changes sometimes needed when things were not going quite as predicted. They also took the time to understand what was needed and to prepare well.”

Gibdock says it looks forward to continuing its close working relationship with Pullmatur Cruises over the coming year.” Pullmantur is a repeat customer and the docking of the Pullmantur Zenith is another vote of confidence in us,” says Beards. “With cruise repair facilities in Barcelona closing down we are demonstrating through projects of this type that we are more than capable of filing the gap.”

Other recent cruise ship visitors to Gibdock have included the Thomson Destiny, owned by Louis Cruises, which also docked in November. This was the third time the owner has docked the vessel in Gibraltar, on this occasion for relative routine docking and repair work.

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