AUGUST 17, 2016 — The HMBS Nassau (P-61), a 60 m Royal Bahamas Defence Force corvette, has arrived at Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam in the Netherlands for an extensive refit.
The 17-year old vessel will receive a comprehensive overhaul that comprises full systems and instrumentation replacement.
The P-61 refit is part of a sizeable contract between Damen Shipyards Group and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force: the "Sandy Bottom Project." Signed in 2014, it provides for the delivery of nine Damen vessels, disaster relief equipment, a bridge simulator, upgrade of various local ports in conjunction with Van Oord and the refit of two corvettes.
Damen is currently finalizing the refit of the first corvette – the HMBS Bahamas P-60 – at a local shipyard in the Bahamas.
The scope of work on HMBS Nassau in Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendamis extensive.
"The P-61 is 17 years old and is in need of a complete refit. So this is going to be a complete renovation project," says Tom Mastenbroek, Damen's Regional Service Manager for the Caribbean. "The shipyard will overhaul all the ship's systems; replacing components where necessary. The main engines will be overhauled by Pon Power. The vessel's bridge will also be completely renewed."
Additional work also includes steelwork, repainting and full replacement of the vessel inventory.
After their refits, both corvettes will be very similar in terms of systems and instrumentation to nine newbuild vessels that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force has purchased from Damen.
These include Stan Patrol 3007, Stan Patrol 4207 and Stan Lander 5612 design vessels.
This commonality will yield many advantages. Crew mobilization between vessels will be more straightforward and crew training programs can be standardized.
"From a Damen Services standpoint – after completion, the vessels will be considered as 'Damen' vessels," says Mr. Mastenbroek. "The Royal Bahamas Defence Force will also be using our Computerized Maintenance Management System."
Another part of the Sandy Bottom Project – the bridge simulator – will also make crew training more efficient. Expected to be delivered at the end of the year, it will allow captains and crews to perform training simulations of all vessels included in the project.
The P-61 refit is expected to take approximately nine months. On completion, the vessel will return to the Bahamas on her own keel.