The latest occupier of an established shipyard in Southampton, UK recently welcomed one of its first visitors for an extensive overhaul.

MV Orcades has recently arrived at Hythe Marine Park, home of Ambrey Shipyard and new headquarters of the Ambrey maritime team. Orcades is one of the first vessels to come to Ambrey shipyard for a full overhaul of accommodation areas, safety systems, deck configuration and air conditioning installation, as well as a main engine and generator to support her new role working in the Indian Ocean for the wider Ambrey Group.

Built in Denmark in 1991, Orcades (ex-Grampian Orcades) is 47m LOA and 10m Beam and was formerly used as a Standby Safety Vessel in the North Sea. In order to accommodate larger crew and passenger numbers, the existing survivor seat locations (main deck and below main deck) are being converted to cabins and modern recreation areas, the galley and mess room are also being updated and the whole vessel refitted with a suitable air conditioning system.

Tristan Joyce, PM at Ambrey Shipyard, has been tasked with preparations: “We are undertaking an overhaul of the main engine, also major servicing to the onboard generators and azimuth bow thruster. We are converting two freshwater tanks to fuel tanks to allow extended operations. In place of the reduced water tank storage we are installing two water makers capable of producing 12,000 litres of drinking water a day for the crew and passengers. The fire suppression system is having a major service to recertify. Basically, all the necessary preparations to allow the vessel to operate offshore for the next 3-5 years in a very demanding role”.

Orcades will also be fitted with three Norsafe 750, diesel inboard Fast Rescue Craft to enable safe and reliable ship to ship transfer of personnel.

Hythe Marine Park, recently occupied by Ambrey, was originally built by the US Navy in the 1950s. As the only slipway of its kind on Southampton Water; together with the capability to lift various vessels up to 800 tonnes, it is a strong and solid foundation for Ambrey’s new venture. It boasts 10,000 square meters of undercover working hall space as well as a variety of options for boat storage, including deep water berths.

By Jake Frith