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Monday, January 11, 2021 

A team of Damen group subsidiaries has completed a challenging project to replace one of the twin rudder stocks on P&O Ferries 180m 30,635gt ro-pax vessel 'Pride of Canterbury'.

The near 30-year-old ship is equipped with twin Van der Velden Barke rudder systems engineered and made by Damen Marine Components (DMC). Replacing the stock on the starboard rudder is enabling the ferry to extend its already long and arduous life.

The project to replace the rudder stock involved three Damen companies working closely together. Damen Verolme Rotterdam (DVR) hosted the vessel while DMC coordinated the project and managed assisting service engineers from DVR and Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (DSR). The works began in the DVR No5 drydock, with the removal of the rudder and its worn stock, which were transported by road to nearby DSR for disassembly and cleaning. Meanwhile, DMC had designed and manufactured the new rudder stock and delivered it to DSR.

The most technically exacting part of the project was the fitting of the new stock to the rudder. This risky operation had to be done to the finest tolerances using techniques including bluefit to ensure optimal performance. Any errors in the machining that affected the positioning and finish, and the stock would have to be discarded and refabricated, with a high cost in time and money. The fitting took place at DSR  and to ensure that the process went perfectly, experienced service engineers from the sister companies teamed up under the guidance of DMC and used the old rudder stock for a trial fit. This determined the exact values that the replacement stock would need to meet in order to fit the rudder blade perfectly. Tests took place during the machining in order to ensure that the process continued on track.

With the new rudder stock fitted to the correct values, the blade was hung vertically and the new stock inserted to confirm that it fitted. The two parts were then transported to DVR and mounted in the vessel where the gap between the rudder stock and blade was measured and determined to be exactly as specified. Finally, the rudder and steering gear were prepared for operations and a swing-test was performed to confirm that everything worked perfectly.

“We completed the entire project on time and without any delays by bringing together skills and resources from across the Damen Group,” said Walter Treffers, area manager service sales, DMC. “For the ship owner it was crucial to have the ship out of the dock on schedule, and this was achieved thanks to the excellent cooperation and daily meetings between the yard, DMC, DVR and DSR. We wish the Pride of Canterbury safe journeys.”

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