October 4, 2022
The summer months at Seaspan Shipyards brought exciting progress on ships being built and modernized for Canada, as well as a bevy of cruise ship repair projects.
The Royal Canadian Navy’s future Joint Support Ship continued to grow this quarter. Near the end of July, the vessel’s bridge was put in place atop the hull, bringing the current height of the structure to 32.2m above baseline. The hull is now nearly finished, with 85 per cent of the ship’s blocks structurally complete. More than 75 per cent of the ship’s complete blocks now on the hardstand underneath Big Blue.
Not to be overlooked, construction on the Canadian Coast Guard’s new Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel has also progressed over the past few months. Seaspan has now commenced cutting steel on 31 out of the ship’s 38 blocks. Just over 40 per cent of the ship’s blocks have now been assembled, with grand blocking planned to begin near the end of the year.
It was the beginning of cruise season at Vancouver Drydock this quarter, with three separate cruise ships making a stop in North Vancouver for touch ups before embarking on their exciting summer and fall cruise schedules. First up, we had the 216-metre long luxury Seven Seas Mariner in for two weeks in July. After some general touch ups, the vessel went on its way to Alaska’s Inside Passage, a coastal route along the Pacific Ocean that boasts spectacular tidewater glaciers. In August, we hosted two cruise ships simultaneously to the drydock in North Vancouver, a first for our skilled repair and overhaul team. The first of the two to arrive was the National Geographic Resolution, which had come in after a journey through the icy waters of the Northwest passage. This vessel is relatively new and stopped in for drydock to complete a standard inspection and get paint touch ups. Joining the Resolution shortly after its arrival was the 180-metre Regatta, on which we performed general refit and maintenance work, including paint and mechanical, as well as work on the ship stabilizers and bow thrusters.
Not to be outdone by its more luxurious floating counterparts, the Happy Dover, a striking yellow heavy load carrier from Amsterdam, also came through the drydock this summer for two weeks in order to remove marine growth, paint the underwater hull and hull sides, inspect the ballast tanks and replace the seals on the propeller blades and stern tube.
At Victoria Shipyards, repair and modernization work continues on a number of different Royal Canadian Navy frigates and submarines. The Seaspan team over on the Island is currently working on HMCS Regina as part of a Docking Work Period for the Navy. This is one of the five West Coast Frigates as part of a long-term, to end of vessel life, contract for repair and refit work. The following frigate, HMCS Calgary, is due arrive at the shipyard in January 2023. HMCS Victoria is currently undergoing a pre-refit condition assessment to clarify the scope of work necessary to return the submarine to service. The extended docking work period is scheduled to begin in January 2023. HMCS Chicoutimi remains alongside at the Esquimalt Graving Dock South Jetty in a Transition Docking Work Period until mid-2023. Both vessels will see repairs in tanks and structures as well as needed general repairs, testing and system re-commissioning. HMCS Corner Brook is nearing the completion of a major extended docking work period and will return to service in early 2023.