10 July 2015

The Jaczon-operated fishing trawler, Afrika, left Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen on 9 July, fresh from a period in drydock where she received a programme of repairs and upgrades.

As with any refit project, a detailed plan was crucial. Not only did the collaboration of various contractors create a logistical challenge, the numerous activities that needed to be executed also required proper scheduling. Taking this into account, Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen implemented a rigid operations schedule to avoid overlaps, ensuring minimal leeway for potential delays.

Safety first

Fishing vessels require extra consideration to matters of safety. “A few months prior to commencing works on Afrika, one of Jaczon’s vessels caught fire. Understandably this meant that safety was a priority. Our fishing refit experience began with the rebuilding of one of the largest fishing vessels in the Dutch fleet, the Willem van der Zwan, which  burnt out completely in 2007,” says Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen’s Commercial Manager Peter Sterkenburg. Several safety adaptations were made to the aft deck arrangement, new staircases in the holds and the bow thruster compartment.

Afrika’s fish tanks are temperature-controlled by refrigerated cold water and insulated with purofoam to prevent energy loss. This highly flammable material can only be used once and is difficult to remove due to its positioning “in between” steel walls. A plan was devised to inject the space between the walls and the deck with N2. The flow of oxygen was then closely monitored, and welding on deck successfully completed without having to remove the insulation.

Further activities

Additional activities performed on the vessel included the extension of the forecastle deck creating more storage space, as well as an extension of the boat deck, thus increasing the accommodation space, which also received a complete refurbishment. A complete steam-cleaning and paint job in the technical areas and an overhaul and renewal of a large part of the engine room machinery were also conducted. Dock items included the propeller shaft, hub modifications and fish equipment renewal.

One time completion

As there was a strict time frame to adhere to, unforeseen repairs needed to be assessed quickly. The synergy between all parties involved allowed for operations to run smoothly and finish on time.


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