By Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation
Our SafePilot system was used to safely navigate MS Ovation of the Seas, the equal fourth largest cruise ship in operation in the world, in to dock at Napier Port on Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand. Napier is the North Island’s second largest export port by tonnage. It hosts around 50 cruise ship visits each year, but the Ovation of the Seas is the largest it’s ever received, overtaking the 138,194 tonne MS Voyager of the Seas, which first visited in 2014.
Ovation of the Seas is a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International (RCI). The third ship in the Quantum class, it is the second largest class of passenger ship behind RCI’s Oasis class ships. At 348m long, 18 decks high, weighing 168,666 tonnes, with capacity for 6,500 people, the vessel is the equal fourth-largest cruise ship in the world.
The Port is a long-term customer of Trelleborg, who has supplied the port for 15 years. The SafePilot CAT III unit is designed for robustness, accuracy and reliability. It is engineered to meet the needs of the most demanding piloting applications which require accuracy to the centimetre as well as heave, pitch and roll monitoring.
I’ll leave you with a few comments from Ruslan Mitlash, one of the two Napier Port pilots that used Trelleborg’s CAT III SafePilot solution to bring this large ship into the relatively small port, and Napier Port’s Port Services Manager Bruce Lochhead.
Ruslan said: “There was no room for error when berthing the Ovation of the Seas at Napier Port, so accurate information on speed, rate of turn (ROT), and clearing distances was vital. SafePilot was an integral part of the operation right from the planning stage, and the real-time information it provided was critical to the safety and success of the manoeuvre.
“We find SafePilot very user-friendly, and being able to use it with a tablet makes it a convenient tool not just for pilots, but for the whole team on the bridge.”
Bruce said: “It was a great experience seeing Ovation of the Seas come into port, as the weather conditions the night before had us thinking twice about whether she would be able to berth. We’re very proud that Ovation’s call went so smoothly – it was a real testament to the skill of our pilots, the calibre of their equipment, and the efforts of the team here at Napier Port.”
You can watch a time-lapse of the arrival here.