Tall Ship Christian Radich visits Damen Shiprepair Harlingen for repairs and refit work

The fully-rigged sailing ship Christian Radich has departed Damen Shiprepair Harlingen (DSHl) following five weeks of repairs and maintenance. The Norwegian-flagged, 63-metre, three-master is not only used as a training ship for young Norwegians, she also undertakes cruises and races with paying guests. She is therefore maintained to a high standard.

The maintenance works at DSHl included high pressure jetting and cleaning of the exterior, while the rudder assembly including the shaft underwent maintenance works and the rudder trunk was replaced. Other works included the renewal of the top of a freshwater tank and the application of a fresh coating, which required the renewal of the wooden deck above it.

Handling with (extreme) care

Maintaining a classic sailing ship – the Christian Radich was launched in 1937 – is very different to works on a modern motor vessel. The presence of masts and rigging makes cranage much more difficult, while the use of fixed ballast, rocks in this case, also makes access for inspections highly problematic. Other aspects that require careful handling include the traditional woodwork used in the accommodation. This is very different to today’s commercial panelling and flooring and needs to be handled with great care and with high levels of craftsmanship. Any steel works also bring particular challenges.

The most significant element of the five-week programme was the removal of the existing galley and the installation of a new, commercial-grade facility capable of feeding the 80 plus crew and guests. As well as the installation work, performed by specialist subcontractors, the refit involved the removal of all the concrete floors for the fitting of the new equipment including a ventilation system, and new walls, ceiling and flooring.

“It was good to welcome the Christian Radich back once again following their last visit in 2015,” said Frank Seinen, Director of Damen Shiprepair Harlingen. “Not only do we have a good relationship with the vessel, but during previous visits to Harlingen the Christian Radich Foundation has formed a good relationship with our local Maritime Academy and that means that the crew can stay there in comfort while the works go on. As before, it has been a pleasure to be entrusted with the works on board such a beautiful and sensitive vessel.”