Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ferry Crash Number Four....The Door Has It.


It turns out that, in addition to the dock, the latest BC Ferries crash at Duke point also damaged one of the ship's doors.

And recall, if you will, that this is one of those new gas guzzlers from Germany.

Which means that you can't order up a part from the lot, or even from the dealer down the street.

Instead, you've got to make the very expensive call across the ocean.

Chris Montgomery has the story:

...The ferry itself took damage to the portside door, which means having a replacement part made and flown in from Germany...

{snippety doo-dah}

...It’s really odd that the company finds itself in the position of having to have door parts made abroad.

Crew tell me the new ferries “cost us a lot” in parts and maintenance. They say the deal made for the vessels with the German yard was kind of like buying a Porsche, where you can’t go out later and buy parts of your choice. You have to get them flown in, at whatever price the seller chooses, and you can’t make them yourself, because you haven’t negotiated any patents. So for some other ships in the fleet, engineers can machine new parts. On the Coastals, the bow doors are a different design that lifts the door and then slides it on a roller. When it works, it’s really slick. But when it gets hit, the damage is huge. It’s a heavy door but a fairly light track system, and that and the cylinders that lift the door are what gets ruined when the door gets whacked, the engineers say. That’s when you get stuck with a month-long wait and a big bill for parts.

And that’s where you find yourself when you go for the kind of contract Ferries signed for the German newbuilds. Great on the front end: good price, lots to brag about, on time and on budget. The bills come in later....

Of course there is also the minor matter of the alleged Hochsteining of the local shipbuilding industry that may or may not (but I reckon it probably did) have had something to do with the awarding of those contracts offshore in the first place.

But hey, we've been through all that before.

I'm telling you, if you are not reading Ms. Montgomery's stuff regularly on all matters Maritime, you are really missing out. Case in point, yesterday she also questioned the official party line that there is nothing to see here/no need for a publicly scrutinizable investigation because this kind of stuff is bound to happen once in awhile.....Or some such codswallop.



cfvua said...

Nice work. Totally correct and you called it almost word for word nearly 8 years ago. Great to point out again that the complicit and obviously overpaid, if they are paid anything at all lamestream media couldn't catch a cold letalone chase a story.

RossK said...

Thanks cfvua--

Sometimes I think I should have just stopped after six months, changed the headers and just rolled everything out over and over and over again player piano style.

(this actually came up yesterday when a reader suggested as much when I wrote the dissection of the KMiller Salmon paper in Science....I dunno...Should we just schlep off to Sheep Ville?)


cfvua said...

No. I mean no schlepping off. Keep up the investigative exposure that shows how things are really being manipulated. Just so we know for next election.
We just got an ema from the good gov indicating that they want to eliminate escort vehicles for oversize loads on the most deadly section of highway in the northeast. Don't the people that will be endangered in a blowing snowstorm have families or does their safety come in second place now??

RossK said...

Oh boy.

What's the explanation?

Cost cutting?

Doesn't this kind of stuff make everyone up there burn when they think of how much money was spent on that new roof on the marshmallow?


Gabriola guy said...

Thats because sport is king, over any social problem. I wonder how many people stayed home to watch "a game" instead of getting out and voting. We all are responsible for the government we have. Maybe (but I doubt it) people will start to take some responsibility for getting educated and start voting responsibly.

RossK said...


You are right, of course.

If we all knew as much about our MLA as we know about Luongo's flop 'n slop style we'd be much better off in about a million ways.


cfvua said...

No explanation. The good bureaucrats just sent out notice of a proposed "pilot" to eliminate escort vehicles for oversize loads on all LCV ( long combination vehicle) routes in BC. Most of which are in the lower mainland and are four lane. They are strangely asking for comment. Hwy 2 from BC/AB to Dawson Creek has the highest fatality count of any section of road in the Northeast where there is no four lane(almost). Many escort vehicles accompany loads entering from nearby AB service centers where they are not required, to work in BC, effectively deadheading and adding to costs. If Hired from BC there is no additional cost incurred with current regs. We are not sure what is the trigger for this experiment with traffic safety.