Houlder’s Marine Design and Consultancy team recently designed temporary fendering modifications for a Ro-Ro Passenger vessel built 1991. These allowed the 175m, 7,500t ferry to switch to operations to the Irish Sea providing a short-term replacement for vessels in refit.
Following previous work on the vessel in 2009 and 2014, Houlder was approached in 2016 to review the berth fit and develop the design of fendering modifications to suit operations on her new Irish Sea route. A key feature of the new fendering was quick installation and removal to facilitate a cost effective return back to her original configuration. The requirements for this conversion were that it should be achieved in under 24 hours with no requirement to drydock the vessel.
David Wing (pictured), Principal Naval Architect described our approach to the project. “With the client’s brief in mind, Houlder engineers visited the vessel on her cross-channel service in order to understand the key requirements for her continued operation in her home ports. Houlder also surveyed her existing structure onto which the temporary fendering would be attached. Houlder engineers also visited the Irish Sea ports to confirm critical aspects of the berth fit and ensure the proposed fendering modifications suited both proposed berths. This berth fit exercise confirmed that the proposals were feasible and indicated where modifications were necessary to the shore-based infrastructure.”
With this information to hand, the vessel’s owners were able to complete the modifications ahead of the ship arriving to the berth which reduced the operational risk and time out of service. Houlder’s fendering modifications design work included nesting fenders at main deck level fore and aft to allow the ship to meet the berth fenders safely, and an extension piece on forward upper deck to allow the shore linkspan fingers to land safely on the deck.
The fender modifications were completed and installed during April 2017 and the vessel operated successfully on the Irish Sea route to cover the refits without the operator needing to charter additional tonnage.
Working closely with our customers allows us to see the operator’s requirements first hand. In this case, we provided fendering modifications that suited their business by being quick and easy to install and remove.