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“White Marlin” poaches in the shipyard business: semi-submersible as a dry dock

“Eye-catching” jobs are not all that uncommon for heavy-lifters and semi-submersibles. However, they are not so often used as dry docks – “White Marlin” from Boskalis was recently booked for precisely this purpose.

The semi-submersible “White Marlin”, built in 2015 by Guangzhou Shipyard International in China, was ordered to the Caribbean for this purpose.

The charterers of the Dutch specialist shipping company Boskalis had placed an order for the 216.7 m long and 63 m wide ship with a deck area of 177.6 x 63 m for the benefit of shipping in the island state of Trinidad and Tobago.

The inhabitants are largely dependent on four ferries to travel between the islands. “A prolonged breakdown of these high-speed catamarans is therefore a doomsday scenario and timely maintenance is critical,” reads a Boskalis statement on the background to the order. Postponement is, therefore, not an option when the country’s existing dry dock is temporarily out of service.

“White Marlin” takes three ferries on deck

The problem could apparently be solved with “White Marlin”. The semi-submersible dived down and was able to take three of the four ferries – “APT James”, “Buccoo Reef” and “T&T Spirit” – on deck one after the other. When the ballast was lowered, the ferries were on the proverbial dry land. Maintenance work could then be carried out.

However, it was not the first time that the shipping company had used one of its semi-submersible heavy transport vessels for such purposes, as Boskalis did not forget to emphasise. Some time ago, the “Boka Vanguard” served as a floating dry dock for the 67,000-GT cruise ship “Carnival Vista” in the waters of the Bahamas.

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Copyright: Boskalis

Caption: The semi-submersible "White Marlin" from Boskalis can also be used as a "dry dock" if required (© Boskalis)