During the dry-dock of the Veendam we are not only building new cabins and upgrading facilities, we also do a lot of maintenance on the already existing machinery.
One of the essential systems is the lifeboat davits. Every dry-dock a selection of davits is taken apart completely and inspected. After inspection the davit is put back together again, and the final check is a dynamic load test.
In this test, two large water bags are hung from the davit blocks and filled with water to represent the weight of the boat, all it’s inventory and the weight of 150 persons in them. We then add another 10 percent to the total weight. For the regular lifeboats this amounts to a total weight of 19 tons, or 42,000 pounds.
The brake of the davits is then released, and once the bags are lowering at the maximum lowering speed the brake is put back on full. The bags have to stop lowering almost instantly, and the davit arms may not show any damage or deformation to pass the test. All of Veendam’s davits passed without any issues.
Jochem Bakker is Veendam’s chief officer.