By John Bichy, Marine Superintendent
As part of the R/V Savannah’s biennial maintenance schedule, the ship was hauled out at Stevens Towing shipyard on February 17. Located on Young’s Island, S.C., near Charleston, the shipyard is close to the ship’s home port on Skidaway Island and offers top quality commercial yard services.
These shipyard periods are necessary to conduct maintenance projects that can only occur when the vessel is out of the water. This year’s projects are routine with the primary scope of work to resurface the bottom shell and top side shell coatings. Other projects include replacing the port shaft seal and standard gauging of the hull plate to measure steel thickness.
A good portion of work is conducted by the ship’s crew. Crew projects this year include, resurfacing the exterior decks, rails and superstructures; cleaning fouled pipes; and installing equipment such as a new replacement satellite communications antenna for the ship’s Fleet Express broadband internet service, to name a few. The crew understands this is a critical time for maintenance. It’s their home for much of the year, and they take a great deal of pride in making her the best platform she can be.