Drydock Inspections

23rd November 2009, 17:26
I'm sure this was the norm in many (most) companies:

Vessel enters dock and the dock is pumped dry. I then recall what seemed to be an enduring ritual in BP; that, at the earliest opportunity (and before any pressure washing, scraping etc.), there would take place an inpection of the hull. A select group of Master, Deck Superintendent, Mate and C/E plus associated hangers on and a Cadet (gopher) to carry the shell expansion plan, would descend to the dock bottom. The object being to ascertain what damage/mayhem (if any) had been visited on the vessel since the previous docking.

Dented or deformed plates would be noted and referenced against previous docking notes on the plan; bilge keels examined for deformation or detachment or, God forbid, extraneous traces of fishing gear still in situ! Similarly anodes (or lack of them), condition of the propellor ("Nasty chip there Chief, noticed any unusual vibrations?"). Also those suspiciously smooth areas on a fouled hull possibly indicative of close proximity to solid ground at a recent date!

As Cadet, it was always a vaguely entertaining interlude, with red faces and some shuffling of feet amongst the hierarchy when any of the above was noted. However on progressing up the "Managerial Pyramid" it took on an altogether different aspect!

I don't actually recall encountering anything too dramatic on these excursions but I'm sure, amongst the membership there will be those who have a tale to tell; Yes/No?

John Briggs
23rd November 2009, 20:58
I remember as a cadet being present at one of these inspections when we found a section of bilge keel rolled back like the lid of a sardine can for about ten feet with heavy fishing gear still attached.

23rd November 2009, 21:33
I was chief officer on a big dry dock inspection on the Kurdstan inc the chairman directers master super and Lloods plus drydock manger. found the bilge keel flapping. they ordered it be removed not replace rest is history.

24th November 2009, 00:00
Was that the Kurdistan sans the bow?

24th November 2009, 03:49
Big dents in several bottom plates on a 45k bulk carrier after a season loading iron ore at Goa.
Grill missing from sea-chest on a VLCC; ascribed to ineffective securing at the previous dry-docking.

24th November 2009, 08:21
Kurdistan is the one that lost the bow.

Tony Crompton
24th November 2009, 08:39
Remember as an Apprentice in Brocklebanks before one drydocking having to read carefully through a few years old log books for every entry "v/l landed heavily against quay" or similar.

Salaams, Tony

25th November 2009, 20:40
From my experiance the attending Superintendent would be down the dock bottom well before any so called "official Bottom Inspection" was carried out and the general requirements generally discussed with the shipyard Manager. With respect to bilge keels, it was commonplace to find them rolled back and invariably with the blessing of most Class Surveyors cropped back and not replaced. The most important thing with bilge keels was to closely inspect the welded fastenings to the shell plates as this was the area of fractures causing many well known problems.

7th December 2009, 18:05
Finally found out why the echo sounder didn't work ..............