Significant investment in the Ocean Dawn

Approval has been granted for a significant investment in the Ocean Dawn.


Bought by Sealord in 2013, the funds will cover a number of major upgrades, as well as the costs of the vessel's five-year class renewal survey and associated works.


Much of the additional upgrade work will be completed alongside Sealord's wharf in Nelson. It will involve a reconfiguration of part of the factory, refurbishment of the accommodation, a new seabird mitigation device, and upgrades to the bridge with the installation of new fish finding and sounding equipment.


"This will make the Ocean Dawn even more efficient at finding, targeting and differentiating fish species," says Fleet Harvest Manager Scott Gillanders, who together with Marine Engineering Superintendent Tony Kuyk, and Capital and Engineering Manager Adrian McGillan, will manage the entire project.


"Exciting new technology is being developed in this area and we want to ensure Ocean Dawn has it and is future-proofed by installing the underwater equipment to enable this.


"In the factory, the upgrade will focus on the fish-receiving and sorting area as this greatly effects the quality of the fish delivered to the fillet machines. The reconfiguration has been designed according to an ergonomic assessment to enable improved work positions."


In addition, the fishmeal plant is to be totally rebuilt. This is a huge task since it's located in the centre of the vessel and is to be removed entirely after dismantling and temporary removal of the surrounding bulkhead. Major work will then be undertaken before it's replaced on-board.


The 5-year survey work will involve the vessel being taken to dry dock in Lyttelton for routine inspection and maintenance, a total exterior repaint, removal of the propeller and its shaft for checking, and similar treatment to the rudder shaft. The upgrade work to the transducers and hydrophones for the electronic fishing equipment will also be completed here.


"This upgrade should make us an over all even more competitive vessel," says Stephan Fridell, who's been a skipper on the Ocean Dawn since 2012. "We've been operating with one sounder, but it'll be reassuring to have back up options on the bridge and some of the latest technology. We'll be among the first in New Zealand to trial the EK80, as well as having another sonar/sounder, never used before in New Zealand.


"It'll be a great morale boost to be working in an environment with more preferable aesthetics. The crew love their work though so they'll be anxious to get back to it."


Work began on October 1st and it's expected the vessel will return to sea no later than 20th December.



"Even before the upgrade the crew were very proud of their ship and the production and quality of their work and so is Sealord," adds Scott Gillanders. "The factory is small compared to a land-based factory for the amount of fish they put through, which is on average 12,000 tonnes a year. The entire work will make the whole vessel look really sharp."




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