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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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A catalogue of spiralling faults with two vessels is at the centre of Scotland’s ferry fiasco under the stewardship of minister-controlled Ferguson Marine has prompted serious shipyard concerns over whether they will ever see service.

A damning March internal analysis from minister-controlled ferry owners and procurers Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited reveals the number of faults that remain outstanding on the ferries has risen from 166 before nationalisation to 237 in March. Some 65% of them relate to safety, maintainability, or specification requirements.

New internal documents from nationalised shipyard firm Ferguson Marine admit a serious risk that CMAL may not accept the vessels for the ferry operator CalMac’s lifeline services to Scotland’s island communities.

CMAL, in the document seen by the Herald on Sunday, criticises management systems in place and said the most pressing risk issue was the "failure to completely understand the actual remaining works that must be completed in order to deliver each vessel".

Ferguson Marine analysis from April reveals highest level risk concerns in five key areas, with new project 'non-conforming issues' surrounding stability, the fuel system. and escape routes.

More from The Herald Scotland which requires subscription.

In addition to further coverage of the shipyard saga from This Week which chronicles the ongoing delays of the pair of hybrid-fueled ferries to serve on the Western Isles. Among them the Isle of Arran on the Firth of CLyde, CalMac's busiest route.

Published in Shipyards

Shipyards

Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.

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