19 December, 2022

Coral Discoverer has just undergone a three-week shipyard maintenance period and was refloated on Friday 16 December in final preparation for the relocation voyage to Sydney and then onto our Tasmania season.

Fleet Maintenance Manager Jamie Roll says the ship came out of the water on 4 December and is ready to set sail after two days of sea trials and our annual “Class” Society survey conducted this weekend.

“As a 15-year-old vessel, she will come out of the water every year now for annual maintenance and this takes place at the Cairns shipyard,” he says.

“Over the past weeks she has undergone top end main engine overhauls which we conduct after every 10,000 hours at sea, which is equivalent to about two years’ of sailing. We do a major engine overhaul after every 20,000 hours at sea.

“These overhauls are essential for fuel engine performance and fuel efficiency. If you don’t do these overhauls, you burn more fuel, the engine won’t run correctly, and this can lead to extended operating issues and expensive repairs.”

As well as the engine maintenance, Coral Discoverer also had its usual detailed hull and deck checks to ensure strength in structure along with an extensive program of rust eradication which is always a focus item on ocean going vessels.

When a vessel comes out of the water, they are referred to as a “dark or dead ship” in which all its engines are turned off. It was then lifted by a trolley system out of the water, with divers deployed in the water to ensure everything was aligned.

The process to lift the ship from and back into the water takes several hours. The crew and shipyard team worked around the clock to complete the maintenance required within the planned works’ period so we that can return to our expedition schedule.

As well as structural maintenance, the hospitality and operations team use this time to refresh the soft furnishings around the ship.

Coral Expeditions Hospitality Operations Manager Matthew Winter says guests travelling on Coral Discoverer during the upcoming Tasmania season can also look forward to several cosmetic enhancements including:

  • Re-upholstered dining room chairs
  • New windows for the dining room and bridge deck lounge
  • Replacements for bathroom fittings – ongoing
  • Re-upholstered bridge couch
  • New sun lounge cushions
  • New outdoor furniture

And the crew haven’t been forgotten with new seating and bedding in their quarters.

Our December maintenance period is an important time for our fleet, and we give safety and maintenance the highest of priorities at all times.