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SeaKing completes ‘sensitive’ upgrade of Lake District vessel

By Mersey Maritime

Birkenhead marine engineering specialist SeaKing Electrical has completed a sensitive upgrade project involving historic Lake District steamer MV Teal.

The contract with Windermere Lake Cruises involved wide-ranging repairs and upgrades to the three-deck passenger ferry during its winter layup period. SeaKing business development manager Neil Mellenchip said the 31-day project required careful planning around a broader asbestos removal process.

MV Teal was built in 1936 by Vickers of Barrow. It carries up to 533 passengers operating alongside sister steamers MV Swan and MV Tern on Lake Windermere.

“We began by disconnecting the 440V switchboard and removing all deckhead and bulkhead fittings to prepare the engine room for specialists to carry out the asbestos removal,” said Mr Mellenchip.

“New insulation was then reinstated by one of our regular supply chain partners and fellow Merseyside marine specialist IPS Marine Fabrication. Following this process SeaKing’s own installation team began to repair and contain cabling which was damaged during the asbestos removal process. The vessel’s switchboards were then reconnected and tested.

“With work taking place during the winter layup period, the vessel’s anti-condensation heaters were turned off. It was therefore necessary to test the insulation of the generators. During this process we discovered the megger readers were low before applying heaters to raise the insulation readings.

“We also identified a damaged connector block on the main generator cable which was later replaced.”

SeaKing engineers delivered a series of other small works including the installation of new battery boxes for the port and starboard generators and main engines. They further installed 14 LED fittings and two emergency light units to the engine room.

New optical smoke detector heads were also installed while the fire detection panel was reconfigured to accommodate the new smoke detection heads. We phased engineers in throughout the project depending on requirements using up to five specialists at the busiest points.”

MV Teal is 142ft long weighing 251 tonnes. It is manned by seven crew and can reach a speed of 10 knots with its two 6-cylinder Kelvin diesel engines and two auxiliary generators. It offers passengers scenic views across England’s longest lake combining with other attractions.

Mr Mellenchip said the recent contract comes hot on the heels of a separate deal secured with Cumbria County Council to repair electrics on the Mallard car ferry following a fire in 2018. This vessel required a new engine and complete rewire.

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SeaKing completes ‘sensitive’ upgrade of Lake District vessel