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Trawler conversion showcases skills

Trawler conversion showcases skills
Management and staff from Whangarei-based Ship Repair NZ celebrate the conversion of the Sanford Fisheries operated trawler San Aramand, which had been damaged by fire.

Ship Repair NZ, based in Whangarei, offers a comprehensive range of ship repair, surveying and refitting services on all kinds of steel hull marine vessels.

Nick Eilering, the company’s manager, says having two slipways, one carrying an 1800 tonne capacity, the other designed for smaller vessels up to 40 tonne, makes Ship Repair NZ the marine servicing company of choice.

“We are fortunate to operate in one of only four deep water ports in New Zealand and the fact that we are the most northerly of these makes our location ideal for commercial fishing vessels operating in the Pacific,” Nick says.

Along with the slipways, one large enough to hold two smaller vessels if necessary, Ship Repair NZ has a wharf with berths of 120m, 67m and 36m complete with all the services and machinery on-site to assist vessels when tied up.

The company employs 40 full-time staff, across a range of divisions, including slipping crew, administration, engineering and fitting, heavy fabrication and welding.

Nick says there are plenty of challenges that come with taking on large scale refitting projects in particular, given the changing nature of marine regulations from time to time.

“While you always start off with a workscope you are never completely certain what
you are going to find in terms of corrosion until you begin work, so there is always an element of uncertainty that you have to factor in to your costs,” Nick explains.

Recently the company undertook a complete conversion of a 20 metre prawn trawler the San Aramand, operated by Sanford Fisheries, which had suffered damage form fire.

“We basically rebuilt the entire inside and workings of the boat, including a new hydraulic fishing package, an all-new structural towing frame and main gantry frame for fishing.

Trawler conversion showcases skills

The conversion of San Aramand, from former prawn trawler to scampi trawler following fire damage, included a new interior and all new hydraulic fishing package including winches and a replenished refrigeration system. The project took Whangarei-based Ship Repair NZ eight months to complete.

“We installed a new generator, replenished the refrigeration along with new stabiliser installation and a complete new paint job.”

“In all the project took eight months to complete and involved all divisions of the company at various times,” says Nick.

Ship Repair NZ also completed a full survey on two other Sanford vessels recently, the San Columbia and San Tortugas both weighing 205 tonne & 33m long trawlers.

It carried out a full marine survey on the vessels, removing the driveline systems, cutting out corroded plate work and replacing with new and giving both vessels a blast and paint from head to toe.

“We currently have one of the world’s largest wooden sailing ships, Tenacious, out of the water for a full Lloyd’s survey,” says Nick.

“Even though wood is not our target market we still have the skill and knowledge to complete the survey and get her away and sailing.”

While there are plenty of challenges in undertaking often very extensive heavy work on the vessels Nick says it is very satisfying to see just what can be achieved.

“We have a very skilled workforce with us. Some have been here for years and know their trade extremely well. “We have also evolved long-standing relationships with our team of specialist tradespeople and suppliers.

“They enable us to confidently go about completing significant and often technically challenging projects on time and to a very high standard.”

Trawler conversion showcases skills

The trawler San Aramand ship-shape after a complete conversion which included a new structural towing frame and main gantry frame for fishing and new paint job in the Sanford fleet livery.

Trawler conversion showcases skills


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