Megan M Emerges from a Clever Conversion
Many multi-purpose work vessels have been described in these pages and all have one thing in common. They are constructed to fulfil the special needs of their operator's business and each vessel reflects, as near as possible and within sensible financial constraints, the ideal vessel to meet the client's demands. Equally, it is not uncommon for various other vessels to be converted to pontoon style work vessels.
The vessel started life as the former salvage vessel 'Stoneness', a 33m diesel-electric salvage vessel built for the Port of London Authority in 1965. GSS purchased the vessel in a somewhat dishevelled state in the west of England and commissioned naval architect and marine consultant Ian C Darley to completely redesign the vessel as a pontoon style multipurpose work vessel. Mustang Marine were entrusted with the reconstruction, which included building a completely new superstructure and bow section, total reconfiguration of the machinery spaces, installing new propulsion machinery and auxiliaries, and extensive outfitting.
Work started on the hull in February of this year when the vessel arrived in tow at the Mustang Marine yard in Pembroke Dock. The entire hull structure was stripped, the existing deckhouse removed and the hull shortened by removing the bow (which had already been extensively modified by a previous owner).
Designed originally as a salvage vessel and lifting craft, the hull is very heavily constructed, much of it in ¾" steel plate. The hull configuration is that of a very rugged shallow draft pontoon.
Working from the designer's drawings, Mustang Marine produced, using their 'Ship Constructor' systems, the material necessary to have the steel components for the superstructure and bow cut by a sub-contractor in the Netherlands and plan the assembly. All of the resulting steelwork was completed in the Mustang facilities and fitted to the pre-prepared hull at the appropriate time. At the same time the original stern gear was removed and new tunnels constructed to accommodate new propellers, nozzles and rudders. The new bow incorporates a pair of well fendered push knees, a substantial bow roller and heavily constructed crane pedestal.
The resulting Megan M is an imposing vessel that meets the requirements of the MCA Workboat Code Category 2, operation up to 60 miles from a safe haven. Only close examination of the hull structure gives a clue as to its original history. Heavily rounded deck edges, some scarring in the heavy plate-work and some remaining fittings are the only evidence of its life as a salvage craft. In its new form the vessel is 27.31m in length overall (over the push knees), with a waterline length of 23.95m, moulded breadth of 8.54m and an estimated full load draft of 2.25m.
Located within the hull structure forward of the engine rooms are two main fuel tanks, one of 20,000 litres capacity and the other 21,250 litres. Two fresh water ballast tanks in the bow can accommodate 15.75 tons each. Tanks aft have capacities of 7.5 tons and 19 tons, with one further tank for potable water containing a maximum of 5,000 litres. The remaining hull spaces below decks include two separate engine rooms, an engine room lobby, a centrally located area fitted out as crew accommodation and a large stowage hold forward accessible from the deck.
Megan M has now been fitted with two Doosan Daewoo model V222TIH, 21.93 Litre, V12, 4 stroke, turbocharged and intercooled marine diesels generating 588 kW (800 bhp) at 2,100 rpm. Each engine is located in its own engine room. Power is transmitted to fixed pitch, four blade, 1,500mm diameter Kaplan style propellers via Dong-I model DMT280HL reverse reduction gearboxes with a reduction ratio of 4.52:1. This propulsion system is calculated to give the vessel a bollard pull of 19.5 tons.
Each main engine is situated in its own engine room and cooled by a 'grid 'cooling system. The engines are started by a 24v DC system incorporating a 50 amp battery charging alternator. Start/stop controls are located on the wheelhouse console with a second panel and removable key start mounted in the engine room. Both audible and visual alarms are fitted in the wheelhouse for coolant temperature, low oil pressure and battery charge. Engine speed and gear change control is affected by Morse 'twin lever' control heads via Morse series 30 cables.
The port engine room also houses a Doosan LO86TIH auxiliary engine rated at 210 kW at 2,100 rpm fitted with two hydraulic pumps to power the deck machinery. A hydraulic powered general service pump is also located in the port engine room.
An auxiliary generator and harbour set are located in the starboard engine room. The main generator is a Doosan ADO34TI diesel powered alternator with a rated output of 45 kVA at 400/3/50. A Lister-Petter LPWT4 air-cooled harbour set of 16.3 kVA is contained within a sound proof housing.
The main engines and auxiliaries were supplied and commissioned by Watermota.
All of the original deck machinery has been replaced. The new main winch mounted forward of the superstructure is from the Netherlands company Lemans. Designated type LM-HPBK 40/50, the single drum hydraulically powered winch has a maximum line pull of 40 tons, with a stall force of 50 tons and line speed of 11m/min (all calculated on the 1st layer). The winch is fitted with a 125m steel work wire of 52mm diameter, accommodated in 3 layers.
A second winch has been installed aft above the transom to serve the single, centrally located, stern anchor. Associated with the latter is the original cast steel fairlead fitted to accompany the 1 ton 'bower' anchor. The winch is a Lemans tugger winch type LM-HP 10,000, with a maximum line pull of 10 tons and hauling speed of 5 m/min. 200m of 32mm diameter steel wire rope is accommodated in 6 layers.
The large clear work deck available aboard Megan M is impressive, with a useable deck area of 150 m2 and the ability to carry 150 tons of cargo. A flush fitting engine removal hatch is provided above each engine room. These and an access hatch to the forward hold are the only real obstructions forward of the winch. Two pairs of 'high capacity pad eyes', one of 60 tons and one of 45 tons, remain from the vessel's earlier life and may well prove useful in the future.
Equally impressive is the Effer 125000-4S knuckle boom hydraulic deck crane. Fitted with a four extension, long reach telescopic jib, the crane is capable of lifting 14.35 tons at a radius of 7.32m or 5.3 tons at 18.07m. A wire winch and hook are also fitted along with remote controls if required. The crane is ideally located to cover the entire work deck and stow neatly when not in use.
The new superstructure is mounted right aft and embodies a wheelhouse with impressive outward sloping forward and side windows and overhead glazing in the roof. Modern style exhaust uptakes are fitted and a trellis mast to carry mandatory lights and antenna. A skipper's cabin is provided at bridge deck level, accessible from the elevated wheelhouse. The latter has a single, full width control console beneath the forward windows.
Included in the outfit of navigational equipment are a Lilley and Gillie Mk 2002 magnetic compass and a Raymarine ST60 analogue/digital compass display working through the E series high speed SeaTalk network from the fluxgate compass. The E series SeaTalk network also operates in conjunction with a Raymarine type DSM300 HD digital with fishfinder echo sounder, the Raymarine radar, and a Raymarine ST7002 S3G autopilot. A RayTech navigation software system works in conjunction with the radar, autopilot, GPS and is displayed on either of the two E120 monitors on the console. A Furuno DP35 stand alone GPS system is installed along with a McMurdo model ICS NAV-5-plus GMDSS Navtex.
Radio equipment includes two ICOM model IC-M601 VHF marine transceivers with remote control microphones and external speakers in the skipper's cabin and the crew mess. The system can be used as an intercom to the wheelhouse from the remote units. A waterproof ICOM model IC-M1EUROV hand held marine transceiver is provided for emergency use. The MF/HF marine transceiver is located on the console and comprises an ICOM model IC-M802 with one touch DSC emergency communication.
The, fully air conditioned and heated accommodation aboard Megan M has been fitted out by Mustang Marine to a very high standard. In addition to the single berth skipper's cabin in the superstructure there is a well fitted day mess at main deck level along with a wet clothing locker and WC. The crew accommodation below decks is accessed via a passageway between the port and starboard engine rooms and contains two double cabins, a spacious mess, well equipped galley and a separate washroom and shower facility.
Megan M ran trials during mid-October and is expected to be handed over before the end of the month. It is understood that once in service the vessel will be stationed at Fishguard to service the GSS contract with Quinetiq, handling target barges and carrying out other duties on the Aberporth military range in Cardigan Bay.
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