ML UK completes extensive vessel refit to ML Split Two
Complementing ML Dredging’s fleet of workboats, the ML Split Two is one of ML’s two self-propelled split-hopper barges, often seen operating in the Solent region and along the UK coast.
The 42m x 8.4m ML Split Two has a capacity of 340m3, enabling her to provide a range of dredging services to commercial marine operators, including shipyard, ports and marinas; who regularly employ ML’s split-hopper barges for capital and maintenance dredging contracts.
In late 2020, following many years of often back-to-back contracts, ML Split II required an extensive refit. Over 40 tonnes of steel were used to re-plate the hulls and topsides and within the split.
The refit was carried out by ML Dredging’s sister company, ML UK at Hythe Marine Park in Southampton.
ML UK’s welding teams, who at times throughout the project were 18 strong, works included fabrication of the forward hull split plates, bow plates, forward and ram space bulkheads and the main hold bulkheads to fore and aft. The main and aft hulls were re-plated as were the fore and aft deck plates.
The engineering teams also replaced the main fuel piping, and improved the ram space access to fore and aft, together with new forward combing.
ML Split Two benefited from having new hawse pipes, anchors, new main splitting pins and rebore, as well as new main fuel piping. The engine, propulsion and hydraulic systems were appraised, overhauled, and serviced by ML UK’s team of in-house marine engineers.
Due to the unique nature of the split-hull configuration there were several potential issues to overcome. Where the two splitting hulls come apart via hydraulic pistons to allow materials to be dropped into the sea, not only was it a complex task re-plating the dual inner hulls within the existing outer hull structure, but also challenging ensuring that hull-splitting operating gear remained safe and operable during the works.
ML UK’s Portsmouth workshop boasts a comprehensive range of machinery allowing the fabrication team to roll 13mm thick plate up to 2.5 metres long to form the bow using rollers, as well as the machining capabilities to form all plating requirements from cutting, folding and rolling.
Joe Liney, Director of ML Dredging comments, “We are delighted with how the team at ML UK devised solutions, which resulted in a seamlessly managed vessel refit, to time and on budget. The quality of the refit is faultless and ML Split Two returned to service right on schedule.”
Following completion of her refit and renewal of MCA class certification, the ML Split Two recommenced active service where she was immediately deployed to undertake dredging works in Portsmouth harbour at Gosport Marina with her sistership, the ML Split Three.
Images (c) courtesy of Maritime Films UK