News

6th December 2010

Well here we are with another year disappearing fast. We have been busy with the lead project of 2010 being the construction of a new model, the Watson 60, which is scheduled for completion autumn 2011.

Preparation of the design commenced in July 2009, with plan review and approval by Lloyds Register, with practical construction beginning in February. This lead time is important; in a new project there are over 6000 hours of design time in the hull structural, deck fittings, engine room detailing and interior accommodations.

Construction began with a load of steel plate shipped from steel mills in the Ukraine and Australia.

CNC profile cutting































Modern CNC profile cutting processes for steel plate provides parts that cut accurately, within .005mm.

CNC cut frames
































The hull structure is carefully designed so that it can be fabricated in sections or modules, just like large ship construction. This gives many advantages, particularly in labour saving.

For this to work satisfactorily requires a high standard of accuracy on the part of our fabricators who have, with modern welding technology and many years of experience developed welding procedures that result in very little distortion. The accuracy we are able achieve is +/- 1.5mm across the beam of the vessel; phenomenal in any material let alone for steel construction.
































An example of module building is the bow section, which in this case is largely fabricated by one man. Built upside down and starting with a jig for the deck plate to lie on with both camber and sheer.

sections

Bow section
































The hull frame work is then set up on the underside of the deck with all the deck stiffeners welded in to place. 

Bow section

Here it is again with the photo inverted. Note the all important watertight collision bulkhead with the chain locker immediately ahead of it.

Hull
































Once the framework is complete and checked for accuracy the module is plated. All these pieces are cut from a computer model of the vessel including the shell plate at exact sizes so there is no need for any trimming of parts.

modules
































When the section is completed it is prepared for rotation and consolidation to the main structure. Note that the stainless steel anchor hawse pipes and striker plates have been included; every item that can be is added at the module stage while access is easy.

rotated
































rotated
































Bow section rotated
































Once upright the module is maneuvered into position. This part of the vessel weighs 5300kg or a little over five tons.

Bow section upright
































Bow section upright
































Bow section upright
































Once aligned in position with all measurements and level checks completed it is welded to other modules previously positioned on the consolidation frame, in this case the forward double bottom fuel tank module.

The bow module is just one of eleven modules that make up the Watson 60. Building this way helps to simplify and keep under control an otherwise complicated structure.

Regards,
Pete

Last Updated (Wednesday, 08 December 2010 23:59)