Oosterdam in dry-dock.
After the Easter weekend another big operation took place on the Oosterdam in dry-dock, which is the exchange of the port-side (left) Azipod. An Azipod is the electric propulsion motor with the propeller in front, and the entire unit acts as a rudder at the same time. In the maneuvering mode the Azipod can turn 360 degrees. This makes the Azipod an excellent “tool” for bringing the Oosterdam into ports without the use of tug boats.
In an earlier post the “old” Azipod of the Oosterdam was seen standing ready on the yard for installation. Our electrical superintendent Wiel has sent in numerous pictures of the actual exchange of the Azipods.
First, the propeller needs to be taken off the Azipod which was still under the ship’s stern. The propeller will then be used again on the new Azipod that will return underneath the Oosterdam. To accomplish this, the port-side Azipod was turned 180 degrees so the propeller faced the back of the ship and the cranes could easily reach the propeller for lifting.
A slide was built on the dock floor. When disconnected, the Azipod was lowered with its cradle onto the slide and by means of a forklift moved free from underneath the stern of the Oosterdam. Once free, the Azipod was lifted off the slide.
The new Azipod was lifted onto the slide and moved beneath the stern of the Oosterdam. After lifting the Azipod beneath the ship to its position, the engineers connected the Azipod to the ship’s systems. The new Azipod was also facing with its propeller shaft aft, to allow for the propeller to be installed.
The new Azipod is the original one that was exchanged in 2007. In the last two years the Oosterdam has been sailing with a “spare” Azipod.
The first picture is the spare Azipod lifted out from the dry dock. This one has taken the Oosterdam to all of the wonderful destinations in the last two years. The Azipod will return to the factory and will be serviced. After that, it would be ready as a spare for any other ship in the Carnival Corporation fleet that needs it. Let’s hope it will not be necessary to use it again.
The second picture shows the newly installed original Azipod ready to receive its propeller. On April 22nd when the dry-dock will be filled with water again, the Azipod will be back in service and will take the Oosterdam to many more exotic destinations in various parts of the world.
Captain Jeroen Baijens is master of ms Oosterdam.