From the Sector

Supervision at Foreign Shipyards

11 April 2017 - 22:24

The shipowner should arrange his own supervision team at the yard which should work in skilled combination with good harmony to have smooth construction process of the best possible way for his vessel.

Some Shipyards will try to limit the number of the owner’s Representatives and acting to minimize owner inspections, that will bring a risk of substandardization. 

Some shipyards still have a separated quality assurance department while others base quality control more prior to worker self-checking and the check list trail. The shipyard worker checking his own work. Hence, this is a question mark.

The owner should establish what quality control procedures are in place at the yard in line with IACS and Shipyard Quality Standards. 

Some builders insist that the owner may carry out a final inspection and try to squeeze his access. 

The builder may have their reasons for this and the owner has to be cautious. 

There should be official owner inspections at all crucial stages, like surface preparation prior to paint application, fit up of block joints, erections before welding, final inspection before closing tanks and so on. 

In addition, it has to be possible for the supervisors to enter the vessel outside any official inspection as ship construction proceeds, provided it can be done safely. 

If the builder says that owner may disturb constrution progress; there will only be a final inspection, a starting point may be for the Owner to suggest spot, random checking at first and then see in practice later what is required. In order to avoid such a problem, the owner should revise yard’s basic technical specification and also should consider not to create serious extra cost.

Therefore it should be well balanced with an experienced team. 

There are also shipbuilders with very good quality controls including patrol and with a reputation for building good quality vessels. 

The negotiation stage is the right stage to uncover any wrong assumptions. 

Owner to be given at least 24 hours/one working day minimum advance notice for inside inspections, for weekend or outside inspections the notice should be even more. 

With this respect for trials and tests in the country of the shipbuilder, adequate notice must be given to enable attendees to arrange their travel. For sea trials sufficient notice must be given to enable attendees to travel from abroad. 

Therefore ITP (Inspection Test Plan), plan approval comments, sea trial procedure, kick off meeting all are very important to make room enough for Owner Site Team and yard will be kept alerted with the same.

The shipyard standard is an flexible issue, from the point of view of an Owner. 

Careful attention should be paid to what it actually means. 

For example, what does the standard say about sharp edges in connection with ballast tank coating preparation? How will the edges be rounded? Is there any difference between the yard’s interpretation of “stripe coats” and that full coats and stripe coats shall have different colour? Any difference in the interpretation must be uncovered as early as possible. 

Also for Water Ballast Tanks PSPC and 3 party agreement should be reviewed so carefully. Dust, salt contamination checks, roughness for cargo oil tanks if any, ambiant condition, monitoring should bear in mind.

 The owner must have the opportunity to attend shop tests of main and auxiliary engines, boilers, steering gear, winches, cranes, hydro tests,switchboards, pumps and other important equipment and machinery. 

The number of superintendents (Marine Chief Eng.s-Capt.s) in the Owner’s supervisory team allowed at the site should be agreed in the contract, the same should be match with production speed. 

Shipyard will try to put in Contract that they can request to switch the Owners Representative if there is some arbutration.  

Superintendents should be given free access and permission to take photos showing the progress of the newbuilding.

The ship hull is normally built to suit the yard’s production line as far as can be justified within the constraints allowed by the applicable regulations. 

The interpretation of these rules can sometimes differ amongst the parties concerned.

Present market condition, contract price will always effect relationship with yard.

The main problem with general philosophy the owner should adopt the philosophy that the basic 20-year ship service life standards are not enough. 

However selection of your partners such as  Classification Society and the  Flag State will be a serious deal considering specific project. 

On the other hand, IACS URZ23 that unscheduled inspections by Class, Owners Sup.’’NavalArtc’’, Yard QM, construction monitoring of the yard, workers, facilities,welders qualifications, fit up, checking 100 marks, missalignments, castingheating procedure, material protection (URZ8-9), welding consumables,welding machines, torches, mill sheet certificates, etc... will become very important issues.By the way, painting is one of the critical matter for foreign shipyards.

Paint manufacturer’s inspector is under considerable pressure over there and will perform well, in general, if he can rely on the support of the Owner’s Coating Superintendent (has Frs. or Nace Cert.) 

The paint manufacturer’s representatives are normally expected to look after the Yard’s and then Owner’s interest, and to inspect all surfaces.Under such an arrangement the shipyard can avoid responsibility when anything goes wrong. Yards can then state that since the paint maker and the contractor together are responsible for the problem, they are obliged to solve it. This is why the owner must have his own supervisors to do sure that all parties stand by their commitments. 

The yard, the contractor and the paint manufacturer, with the Owner’s oversight, must prepare detailed painting procedures (or job specifications) for each major coating area,outlining all pertinent factors, including acceptance criteria and agreed courses of action when procedures are violated or other problems arise.

The owner should develop a sufficient maintenance strategy and the appropriate tools to be used, depending on the intent of the repairs. The maintenance strategy should ensure that corrosion is not permitted to cause a severe necking effect or the coating film breakdown of large areas. 

It is not cost effective to wait with coating repairs until partial steel renewal is required. 

The paint manufacturer does not necessarily have the same objectives as the owner. The paint manufacturer will be keeping their balance interested with both in continuing to sell large quantities of paint to the shipbuilder and try to keep the owner’s rights who is also their client in connection with rules®ulations. 

The owner have to look after the vessel and his own interests. 

The owner seeks a paint system that lasts reasonably well for some time after the guarantee period has expired and before coating maintenance is required.  By insisting on this target being achieved, the Owner assists in ensuring that all involved parties behave responsibly. 

Two stripe coats and two full coats in the ballast and cargo tanks are generally recommended for a service life of about 15 years. 

The coats and the stripe coats (roller is not applicaple for stripes asper PSPC, brush to be used) should have different colours to ease the application.  

The three-coat system is required for a 20-year or longer service life but hopefully this is clearly mentioned in PSPC-CTF. 

The most common cause of coating failure and early corrosion in those locations is cracking due to shrinkage of the coating from loss of migratory solvents from the paint.

Also, owners obtain copy of hydrostatic testing requirements, NDTs, calibration of equipments, outfittings, certificates in advance for consideration. Should be cautious if the shipyard suggests limiting the hydrostatic testing to speed up. 

The other hot topic is shaft alignment. 

Some classification societies introduced new notation to avoid huge comment between the owner and the Yard. There is always a reason, but it is rarely to the owner’s advantage. 

The sea trail condition is straightforward in most cases. The shipbuilding contract may contain penalty clauses for speed, fuel oil consumption, deadweight,... However, it will pay to be clear on what is agreed during the negotiating stages. 

There is nothing clearer than an example. The example should include all correction factors and where they come from, and should be easy to follow. The Owner should reserve the right to have his own independent specialist to observe model tests and attend the sea trials. Indepentdent survey can also be considered in agreement with yard but mainly they will not be in a position to accept it.

The yard should give ample notice time for the model tests, tank test-CFD and the trials. The propeller could be designed with a light running margin to account for fouling and hull roughness and late accelaration.  This is important to check. The speed measuring method should be agreed. Power saving devices, hull lines should be considered. 

The fuel oil meters should be calibrated by a recognised organisation and the accuracy noted on the certificate of accuracy. 

In the light of above we should realize about EEDI value-phase, Time Charter Agreement, demend in advance are very important; not only for Owners, for the Banks as well to find the suitable finance and Banks are willing to see that they are going to support a profitable project.

It is not easy to explain all things here. 

Of course, many subjects can be discussesd/added depends on ship type in line with shipyard selection, shipyard financial status for opening RG, creditors, type of launching such as using slipway, drydock, skidberth, floating dock, etc..., key events-dates (keel laying-delivery), shipyard organization chart-contact point ‘’PM’’, CAD for Owners, design, air test, vacuum test, tandem launching calculation if any, preparation for followings PSC, Vetting, Major Oil Compony, OCIMF, USCG-AMSA-Terminal requirements, Charterers requests, trading area, new requlations-improvement of ship notations, operation pattern, matrix, maker selection, owner’s ISM, ISO, green passport, ship rycyling, eco ship, site team policy, location of shipyard, general shipbuilding practice, weather act, etc... Close discussion should be performed by both party while there are many items and each side should do their best.

Finally, we have to make sure the Owner always seeks to engender a team spirit involving all the parties, each stage should be under control of his team and directing the participants towards a common goal -taking care of the ship. 

Surely, good work relations come naturally when both parties are satisfied for the same target to take delivery of a good quality vessel through good cooperation. ν

This article 65330 hits received.


  • 2 Comment