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The Rig Report—The WESTPORT


A hopper dredge in Alaska.

Returning from its first season of the current three-year Annual Maintenance Dredging Project for the Port of Alaska in Anchorage Harbor, Manson’s only tug-assisted hopper dredge WESTPORT arrived in the Seattle yard to undergo general maintenance.Before arriving at the Seattle yard, the WESTPORT embarked on a 14-day journey to drydock in Vancouver, BC. The dry dock work on the WESTPORT involved inspection and regulatory maintenance required by the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) Certification of Inspection (COI) and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). “The concerns of both parties vary because they are focused on two different, but very important, things,” says Gary Ketterl, port engineer. “The U.S. Coast Guard wants to ensure that safety requirements are met, and ABS focuses more on the steel, hull, and coatings work. Manson, the USCG, and ABS coordinated with one another to make sure things stayed in order and each requirement was met and passed inspection”. For Manson, an important feature that required attention was the maintenance of the vessel’s load line.


The load line is a marked measurement on the WESTPORT that depicts the draft and the allotted load limit of the vessel. The load line is a preventative measure to avoid overloading and excessive stress on the vessel’s hull. The latest update and maintenance of the load line completed at dry dock will carry the WESTPORT for five years.


After completion of the dry dock work, the WESTPORT made its way to the Seattle yard to begin its second phase of maintenance. “The WESTPORT underwent general maintenance, which included the replacement of pumps and fixing of wear and tear parts that can’t be done while on the project,” says Eric McMann, general superintendent. “The maintenance crew communicated with the WESTPORT crew to identify and address mechanical issues.” The WESTPORT crew is able to inspect parts and perform simple maintenance, such as an oil change while out on the project, but the maintenance in Seattle tackles heavy duty tasks like replacing parts of the dragheads, flippers, and grizzlies. “The biggest thing about the maintenance work for the WESTPORT was ensuring it was back at Anchorage on April 1st so crews could begin the second phase of digging,” Eric says. “Crews worked simultaneously on different areas of the rig to ensure the sail date.”



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