ONE MORE TOY YARD PERIOD 2020 BY CAPTAIN TIM EDWARDS
As we all know it is very hard to convince any owner to have downtime, let alone a five-month shipyard period, says the Captain of 155’/47.24m Christensen One More Toy, Tim Edwards. But sometimes a vessel that has been put through its paces for a year, with a busy charter schedule needs that all-important downtime. Spending time at a shipyard is especially important when it coincides with a special survey at the 20-year mark. It was also problematic to start this yard period in the peak of the COVID lockdown, but the alternatives didn’t provide many other options.
The yard started with a scope of work that was very different by the time we finished. The problem of dealing with a 20-year old vessel is that when you start to open up items it can become a pandora’s box. It’s a balance to know when to draw the line to keep the project on budget while doing what’s needed for the boat.
The major projects over the five months included:
An overhaul of the main engines (W6), which is essentially everything excluding the block being replaced. We were lucky to find that we could reuse some parts, but mostly it was new parts including the Cam and crankshafts. We also installed all new electronics for the main engines and a new 3, 10-ton titanium A/C chiller plant installed.
The vessel had significant misalignment issues, as well as vibration issues with the main engines, so we completed a laser deck target before lifting. The propellers were reconditioned, the shafts were straightened and crack tested, and additional cladding was also installed where the seals had been rubbing. When the main engine blocks were lifted in the air, we removed the sole plates to allow for a better alignment. New chock fast was applied, and the engines optically aligned.
We installed new main engine exhausts and reconditioned the engine intake and extraction fans by removing for sandblasting and powder coating. The 12 new thru-hull valves were replaced, pressure tested, and vacuum tested, and the main hydraulics system was serviced and relocated in the vessel for ease of future servicing.
Additional improvements included the repainting of the tanks, gutting the control room to facilitate the removal of various equipment, and a New Atlas shore power converter. The upgraded antenna domes now convert to high definition, allow more power and benefit from a slightly larger footprint. The monitoring system, security cameras, network rack, AV, and bridge equipment is all brand new, with the bridge now having new radars and a new Gyro.
It is of utmost importance to manage the expectations of the owner in longer, extensive yard periods; I tend to add 50 percent to the timeframe that any contractor proposes. You must also be prepared to uncover items that you may not have considered or that are out of your control.
You need a good engineer who is willing to get stuck in. And it’s very important to be prepared with a well-planned schedule, complete with targets, delegating ownership of activities and responsibility. A lot of the work on One More Toy was carried out by the crew and outsourced to local contractors outside of the shipyard to reduce costs, so it is vital to manage the time. If you are lucky to have a management team involved, use them as much as you can.
One final piece of advice is that when dealing with larger projects like this is to go with the approved dealer to avoid any hidden extra costs; they often can source parts quicker and with more ease.
When it comes to a project like this, having an understanding, seasoned yacht owner is very beneficial when you enter into an extensive yard period. To achieve this, it is vital to convey the issues and reasons for doing various jobs, so they can make informed decisions and not be left in the dark. Also, not having to always notify the owner on every single decision is also key as this facilitates a smoother – and ultimately shorter – yard period. Strong communication between all parties involved makes the project a success.