10th January (am): The gaskets have been delivered to the ship!
Thanks again for all your messages. To answer a few more questions – the previous, resolved, issue with our starboard generator is not the same as the one we are dealing with now on the port generator.
We didn’t carry spares of the cylinder head gaskets, despite carrying many other spares as standard, as we believed they were easily obtainable from the manufacturer agents who are an international company and have a huge distribution network. Also, when we agreed the work to go ahead, we understood the parts were in stock or manufacturable, so this was not an issue.
And for those interested in the timeline of events:
During our Christmas voyage we noticed oil in the starboard generator coolant. This indicates a seal between the oil lubrication and water cooling has failed. Generally the oil pressure is higher than the water pressure, so oil leaks into the coolant. This was eventually traced to a failure in the Turbo, which was replaced. This also made the engineers check the port generator as both generators were installed at the same time, and have near-equal running hours logged.
Although the port generator initially appeared fine, on the 30th December we found oil in this generator’s coolant as well. We immediately contacted the local Baudouin agent, Baudouin being the manufacturer of our generators, who attended and checked the turbo which they declared fully serviceable. Unfortunately due to the New Year holidays they were not able to return until the 3rd of January. They removed the oil cooler and air charge cooler for testing, as this was the next logical step. These items were tested and also found to be okay. The much bigger task of removing the four cylinder heads was then considered. The local agent having confirmed their ability to supply new gaskets, they went ahead on the 4th January.
One of the four gaskets was found to be faulty, at which point the agents told us they were not able to manufacture new gaskets, and they did not have spares in stock. These particular gaskets are formed metal with embedded rubber o-rings, which is why they aren’t possible to make onboard or with a CNC machine. We then contacted our agents in UK, but they did not have spares either. If the UK agents had had spares we would have hand delivered them to the ship. As this was not possible, we determined the quickest method would be to send them directly from the manufacturer in France by DHL.
Our agent contacted Baudouin to arrange this on the late afternoon of the 4th, and they were shipped on the 5th. The delivery tracking shows the gaskets arrived in Las Palmas in the early hours of Saturday the 7th, but were then held in customs. Both our Operations team and our agents remained in regular contact with the delivery company to try to expedite their arrival, but we had to wait for customs to release them.
10th January (pm): They’ve done it!
Our engineers and the authorised contract engineers have worked into the night to get the generator up and running. We plan to depart in the morning after everyone’s had some much needed rest!
11th January (am): They’re off!
Tenacious departed Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, at 0810 hrs this morning, and soon set several squares and all four topsails to get underway. A small pod of dolphins soon joined us and played under our bow. A great way to finally start our delayed crossing. You can follow the ship’s progress at any time here: https://jst.org.uk/ship-tracking/