Gibdock’s growing reputation as one of the leading cruise ship repair and refurbishment centres in the Mediterranean has been enhanced by the docking of the 42,255 gt, 1992-built Pullmantur Zenith. The vessel arrived in Gibraltar on November 7th for work that had to be completed within tight time constraints and left on schedule on November 20th, en route to Brazil for its next cruise itinerary.
Gibdock was tasked with renewing the rudderneck bushes, which required the drilling of two holes in the bottom floor of the drydock so that the Pullmantur Zenith’s two rudders could be lowered to get them out. “Not many yards would go to such lengths,” says Richard Beards, Gibdock commercial director. ”But it shows our flexibility and willingness to do whatever is necessary to meet our customer’s requirements.”
The scope of work also included renewing the four chillers onboard. To fit the new chillers the yard had to cut open both sides of the ship and renew almost all the associated PVC and non-PVC pipework. This had to be done to a tight timetable so that the chillers would be commissioned and ready for when the passengers came onboard.
During a survey, the tank top steel in two compartments was found to be corroded below the thickness levels set by Class and Gibdock handled the necessary steel renewal work. Work included opening access in the bottom to facilitate the renewal and strengthening of the tank top steel to the satisfaction of Class.
During tank cleaning for the survey and shortly before the arrival of the Pullmantur Zenith at Gibdock, the forepeak tank was found to have some old weather damage that was causing corrosion within the forepeak. The shipyard was notified and responded by renewing the corroded steel before the vessel was due to leave the dock. Gibdock also recoated the external hull of the cruise ship. While this was in many respects a routine operation, the yard had to contend with poor weather conditions, but completed the work with time to spare.
“We were able to float off our blocks early and maintain our schedule without difficulty,” says Jan Sandvik, Pullmantur Cruises’ technical director. “The yard was flexible in adjusting its work pattern to follow our requirements in getting the ship out of the yard on time.”
Pullmantur has previous experience of using Gibdock, docking a number of vessels with the yard in recent years, and this track record played a part in the yard winning this latest project. “Gibdock has proven that they are able to handle unplanned jobs in a timely manner and we were confident in the ability to deliver on time,” says Mr Sandvik. “Deviation time was also minimal.”
Commenting further on the yard’s flexibility in dealing with situations during the docking, Mr Sandvik adds: “I was impressed with their pro-activeness in solving problems,” he says. ”The yard was open to the rapid changes sometimes needed when things were not going quite as predicted. They also took the time to understand what was needed and to prepare well.”
Gibdock says it looks forward to continuing its close working relationship with Pullmatur Cruises over the coming year.” Pullmantur is a repeat customer and the docking of the Pullmantur Zenith is another vote of confidence in us,” says Mr Beards. “With cruise repair facilities in Barcelona closing down we are demonstrating through projects of this type that we are more than capable of filing the gap.”
Other recent cruise ship visitors to Gibdock have included the Thompson Destiny, owned by Louis Cruises, which also docked in November. This was the third time the owner has docked the vessel in Gibraltar, on this occasion for relative routine docking and repair work.