Service engineers asked to replace an electric motor on a yacht’s roll stabiliser had to rethink their standard practices when they realised that the vessel in question was the ultra luxurious Hampshire II. The yacht had just completed extensive sea trials prior to being handed over to the owner. While in dock in Barcelona, it was decided to replace the main drive motor on the stabiliser.
Wim Bruil, Customer Care Manager for Rotor, the company that supplied the replacement motor, explains: “Stabilisers are very important on luxury yachts, because the owners are seeking a very specific experience. The Hampshire II is reported to feature a real log-burning fireplace in the dining room, the most extraordinary bar on the bridge deck, a stunning wine cellar with underwater viewing window, and a cinema on the lower deck, plus a helipad, swimming deck, diving boards etc. Clearly there can be no thought of compromise just because the water is a little choppy!”
The first clue the service crew had to the unusual nature of their task was when they went below to assess the stabiliser and saw that the whole engine room was immaculately decorated in white. The motor was mounted in a small space, and it was obvious that any oil or grease stains would be unacceptable.
Wim Bruil continues: “Access wasn’t great and we could see that using a crane or winch would increase the chances of damaging some of the paintwork or decoration. So we started looking at options for dismantling the original motor in situ and taking it out one component at a time. Naturally this led to the same idea for installing the new one, although assembling, testing and commissioning the new motor in the engine room would be a far greater task.”
The new motor was to be a 30kW Rotor AC unit, weighing in at 320kg when fully assembled. Rotor makes and supplies standard and special motors up to 1000 kW to IEC, DIN and marine specifications. It regularly supply complete drive systems for pumps, ventilation systems, davits, cranes, port machinery, hydraulic systems, compressors and various other pieces of equipment, so while the Hampshire project was unusual, it was well within Rotor’s scope of experience.
Wim Bruil recalls: “We have installed motors in the desert and the arctic, in theatres, hospitals, sewage works, offshore, subsea, in tall buildings and at the bottom of mines. We have worked in some of the most arduous environments imaginable, but coping with a luxury yacht in a beautiful Mediterranean marina was new territory for us – fortunately we are flexible and able to adapt. We worked on the principle of never making a mess, rather than cleaning up afterwards; being quiet at all times and hitting the deadline with precision accuracy.”