Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Clipper Update on keel repairs in Subic

Tim Hedges:

As work progresses on the Clipper fleet out in Subic Bay, the following is an update from the technical team working on the yachts: "Over the last four days work has really got a move on, with the local workforce gleaning the knowledge of our composite specialist from Green Marine in the UK, David Monks. With a few methods taught to make the work faster we have all been impressed with the rate of progress.

The current state of the fleet is that we have six boats out of the water with the 7th coming out this evening. This morning we have five keels off, and the sixth comes off in the next hour. Four of the keels have already had their bolts removed ready for the new longer ones.

Prepping work is nearly finished on Liverpool, Qingdao, Glasgow and Durban. On these four we have removed the outer skin and core of the sandwich construction to leave a recess area extending outboard to underneath the entire keel bracing structure. In this area the repair will be a solid monothlic structure, this means solid composite, no core. The method that we use to do this will be vacuum bagging, a more advanced method of construction than in the initial build. A reassuring factor with this process is that it will either work and be 100 percent, or if the vacuum fails for some reason, we are able to see it visually and we will be able to take off the dry fibres and re set up the infusion, a reassuring fact for the crews. Work internally is already complete with the failed materials removed and the skin surface prepared for the tray laminate.

Victoria and New York are being marked up and their outer skin being removed in what looks likes drastic surgery. All of the work inside in removing engines, tanks, battery trays and batteries has been done. Also, as on all of the boats, all the open areas have been sealed off, so only a walkway and the working area is subject to dust."

Meanwhile, Clipper Ventures CEO William Ward arrived in Subic Bay on Monday to see the work underway first hand. Having worked in the Philippines in the past, William is familiar with working practices in the country and is determined to get the fleet fixed as soon as possible. Clipper Ventures' in house lamination expert Adam Wheeler is also now on site in Subic helping to coordinate the repair.

We are expecting to get the materials for the lamination on site on Wednesday, at which point it will be possible to estimate the time frame for completing the repair. It is hoped to make an announcement before the end of the week on the scheduled restart date.



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