A few tons here, a few tons there

Some long time followers of The Monitor, might remember a little blurb quite a few years back, on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s plans to install a Wartsila 12V46 auxiliary engine on their Radiance Class ships. These ships were solely powered by two gas turbines when they came out of the Meyer Werft yard in the early 2000’s, making them environmentally friendly and ahead of their time, but unfortunately, not very competitive when it came to fuel costs.

The other day, I had the pleasure of watching a television show called World’s Toughest Fixes, which was covering this actual carrying out of the plans, in the shipyard. Kinda neat to see the idea go into actual production. The fascinating process of shoehorning this massive engine and alternator into a space that was never originally designed for it, is the star of the show.

The seventh episode of the first season was my first introduction to the show playing on National Geographic Channel. The show’s host, Sean Riley, with a job as, and a passion for rigging, takes us to the Grand Bahamas Shipyard in Freeport, where the Radiance of the Seas is in a three week dry dock. Apart from the usual busy yard tasks, work on the ship included azipod maintenance and the installation of an auxiliary diesel generator which the show focuses on.

The show is centered on the shipyard’s point of view, and the complex logistics of getting the engine into the ship. Disappointingly, but quite understandable, considering the scope of the work involved with such a project, the show does not dwell on the complex work once the engine is in, and the finish product, because of that, the show remains topical for most season engineer, but none the less interesting.

The over dramatization on this episode was refreshingly light, compared to various other television shows showcasing ships, which is nice to see. Although I did take some offense, on behalf of the crew, when the host remarks, at one of the ship’s bar, after a successful docking, that the crew were now relaxing because their job was done, and that the “shipyard was taking over” – perhaps for the entertainment and casino crew, but certainly not for the marine department.

The hour long show is produced by National Geographic Television in 2008, the second season’s episodes play every week on Thursdays, and I see they have several other marine themed shows. I am not sure where you can catch this particular episode in its entirety, although you can see some clips here.

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