Southampton-based ship repairer and marine engineering services provider SMS has completed its first major high speed craft (HSC) refit in France.
SMS docked the HSC Condor Rapide for a week on the Port Normands Associe’s (PNA) ship lift at the Port of Cherbourg in France.
The Rolls-Royce syncrolift is 90m x 32m and offers a 3000T lift capacity.
Located just 75 miles from the Solent, it’s more effective solution for Solent centric operators than the ship repair yards in the northeast and south west of England.
Chris Norman, managing director of SMS, said: “This project will hopefully be the first of many.
“It’s a great example of the type of turn-key solution that we specialise in at SMS.
“Condor Ferries has long been a customer of SMS and now, with the unique relationships that we’ve got in France, we intend to put more and more business into Cherbourg and onto the ship lift.
“The facility is perfect. We’re masters of our own destiny in France and the proximity of the lift to the Solent region gives us a viable solution for not only Condor Ferries but also the likes of Brittany Ferries, Wightlink and Red Funnel.
“Seventy-five miles is an easier run than some of the UK yards, particularly in the northeast and southwest.”
Chris added: “Since concluding our last acquisition in December the company has focused somewhat on high-speed craft and commercial tonnage.
“We’ve had some great wins with Condor Ferries, Red Funnel and Brittany Ferries whilst our sister company the Wight Shipyard Co goes from strength-to-strength in the new build sector.
“Our high-speed diesel and aluminium expertise is now unrivalled in the UK market.”
John Webb, SMS’s technical manager for the refit, added: “Our senior team, including Nick Jalie and myself, have been docking vessels in Cherbourg for the best part of 15 years now. SMS has the ‘knowhow’ and ‘experience’.
“This particular programme of works benefited from the scheduled removal of the vessel from service.
“Works were then undertaken on the Wartsila waterjet propulsion system on the port outer main engine (POME), minor structural repairs and planned electrical upgrades.
“Whilst the refit cycle was challenging time-wise we returned the ship to her owners on schedule.”
In conclusion, Rob Loder, ship manager for Condor Ferries, said: “As Condor Ferries we were impressed with both the speed and quality of SMS’s works and their coordination on the ground in Cherbourg.
“It was a planned, challenging project, and all parties performed well.”
SMS is based at Ocean Quay in Belvidere Road in Southampton.
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