The fully-rigged sailing ship Christian Radich departed Damen Shiprepair Harlingen (DSHl) in early November 2018 following five weeks of repairs and maintenance.

The Norwegian-flagged 63m three-masted vessel is not only used as a training ship for young Norwegians, but also undertakes cruises and races with paying guests. She is therefore maintained to a high standard.

The maintenance works at DSHl included high pressure jetting and cleaning of the exterior, while the rudder assembly including the shaft underwent maintenance works and the rudder trunk was replaced.

Other works included the renewal of the top of a freshwater tank and the application of a fresh coating, which required the renewal of the wooden deck above it.

Maintaining a classic sailing ship –Christian Radich was launched in 1937 – is very different to works on a modern motor vessel. The presence of masts and rigging makes cranage much more difficult, while the use of fixed ballast, rocks in this case, also makes access for inspections highly problematic.

Other aspects that require careful handling include the traditional woodwork used in the accommodation. This is very different to today’s commercial panelling and flooring and needs to be handled with great care and with high levels of craftsmanship. Any steel works also bring particular challenges.

The most significant element of the five-week programme was the removal of the existing galley and the installation of a new, commercial-grade facility capable of feeding the 80 plus crew and guests.

As well as the installation work, performed by specialist subcontractors, the refit involved the removal of all the concrete floors for the fitting of the new equipment including a ventilation system, and new walls, ceiling and flooring.