Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Modernizing of O’Hara Corp.’s Factory Trawler Alaska Spirit is a Work in Progress

O’Hara Corporation’s 210-foot factory trawler Alaska Spirit is slated for upgrades in 2021 for the galley and mess area, the latest stage of a complete vessel overhaul to improve habitability, efficiency and optimize vessel performance.

For the multi-year project that began in 2017, O’Hara selected Elliot Bay Design Group, which has already completed some major renovations during the vessel’s normal down time, EBDG officials said. That way no fishing seasons for Atka mackerel, Pacific Ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, Pollock, Pacific cod and more have been missed as renovation continues.

Upgrades to date have included new generator and hydraulic engines, a new factory, conversion of underutilized aft tanks to stores, replacement of pilot house port lights with windows, habitability upgrades and a complete rethinking of the trawl deck. EBDG provided engineering support for much of this work, and the U.S. Coast Guard has provided oversight in accordance with the Alternate Compliance and Safety Agreement. For habitability, O’Hara has refurbished crew quarters, including upgrades to staterooms, laundry, showering and toilet spaces. Accommodation improvements will continue in 2021.

Renovation to date also includes the addition of silencers to exhaust lines of all diesel engines, substantially reducing onboard noise pollution.

O’Hara has also replaced burtoning gear with a knuckle boom crane. New trawl winches are being installed this year and an equipment room is being constructed around the crane pedestal. Next year the existing trawl machine located at the forward end of the trawl deck will be replaced with a pair of net reels and a new Gilson gantry. The base of the gantry and reel foundations are being incorporated into an enlarged changing room for the deck crew. EBDG spokespersons said that to date they have scanned nearly the entire vessel, offering effective visual aids for the owner’s planning and modeling.

The Alaska Spirit was built by Halter Marine Services in 1974 as an offshore supply vessel for the Gulf of Mexico. In 1989, she was converted at Murakami Shipyard in Japan to a head and gut fishing trawler for use in territorial U.S. waters of the Bering Sea, and there her work continues.

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