Electrical upgrade to Scottish vehicle ferry

Birkenhead-based marine electrical engineering firm SeaKing has completed work for Cammell Laird shipyard to return car ferry MV Hoy Head to service with Orkney Ferries.

Cammell Laird was employed to increase the car capacity on the vessel from 14 to 24 cars or for up to three 16.5 metre HGVs and seven cars. The work gave the vessel the highest load capacity in the Orkney Ferries fleet, adding considerable extra capacity for the Orkney Islands of Hoy and Flotta, the communities served by the Hoy Head.

SeaKing Electrical carried out complex cabling work on the vessel. The project saw the ferry split in half with a new middle section inserted. This required SeaKing to cut, upgrade and reconnect electrical systems via the new section.

SeaKing managing director Dave Gillam said the job required in-depth expertise and skills.

“This was a tremendous project for SeaKing to be involved with as it utilised a lot of the skills we have built up within the workforce over the years,” said Mr Gillam. “Key aspects involved mapping the existing electrical system and upgrading infrastructure to drive greater efficiency. We had to keep track of all the existing cables while adding new ones for the new control systems. We installed a new propulsion engine and propeller unit plus there was a new bow thruster fitted to improve operation in high winds. These systems needed to be controlled from both the bridge and the bow. In total, the project involved 60pc new electrical installation work and 40pc refurbishment work to the existing system.”

SeaKing also installed a fire detection panel and removed the radio and navigation systems to allow the vessel interior to be repainted before re-installing them. The firm further fitted an auto-pilot system.

“The Orkney Ferries fleet play a crucial role for the island communities they serve,” said Mr Gillam. “We were delighted to provide our expertise as part of a major project to help make the service of the MV Hoy Head more effective for its crew and passengers.”

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