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Constructing the CCG Hero class [Merged]

Cloud Cover

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Chief Engineer said:
Just another calculated ploy by Davie to get more work. If Lloyd’s says the ship's life can be stretched out a few more years then I would believe them. They are not in the business to make false claims.

I should hope not. They are also a marine insurance company.
 

CBH99

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Question for Chief, as your one of the most knowledgeable folks here when it comes to Canada & ships.


I would think if Davie was simply looking for more work & more money, they would have jumped all over the contract and promised to do excellent work - knowing there's a good chance of them getting the contract too, with an election coming up.

The fact that they declined to even bid on the contract, and avoid getting the work - due to the ship posing substantial risks to sailors & the environment... how is that a ploy to get more work??


Genuine question, as I realize there's A LOT about shipbuilding & ship maintenance that happens behind the scenes that most of us don't hear about.
 

Uzlu

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One ship to save Canada's Arctic

Losing Canada's only underwater survey and scientific research ship means losing the Arctic and our ability to monitor and map the oceans.

It puts at risk Canada's Arctic sovereignty, our ability to monitor climate change as well as our ability to ensure the safety of navigation for marine traffic in the most sensitive of ecosystems. Until the new Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel can be delivered, Canada's Arctic is at risk.

While everyone has been talking about the bungled shipbuilding procurements for the Navy, few have noticed that the Canadian Coast Guard is on the brink of losing its only offshore oceanographic (hydrographic) science vessel, the 1963-built CCGS Hudson.

The CCGS Hudson has served Canada proudly for 55 years. Whether she was surveying underwater ridges to defend our sovereignty in the Arctic, monitoring climate change, surveying the seabed to create charts for the safe navigation of ships in the Arctic or searching for crashed aircraft, the need for an Offshore Oceanographic and Science Vessel is unambiguous.

But ships don't last forever.

In fact, it is widely accepted in the marine industry that ships should be taken out of service at between 25-30 years old.

In other words, she should have been scrapped in 1993.


But with a series of mismanaged procurements, that didn't happen. And despite the Coast Guard's valiant efforts to keep her in service, she has now been through a series of attempted but mostly botched repairs which have raised the eyebrows of those within the marine industry.

The most recent repair works were aborted halfway through.

It was, by all accounts, a futile exercise.

She is a write-off and certainly not the kind of ship we could risk sending North. Not if we value the lives of our men and women in the Coast Guard or the sensitive ecosystems of the Arctic.

Unfortunately, through years of Trudeau Liberal procurement mismanagement, we have seen numerous delays in the shipbuilding program.

The replacement for the CCGS Hudson should have been delivered for $108 million, but Liberal bungling and mishandling means it will cost well above $600 million and won't be delivered until 2021 at the earliest.

As a member of the House of Commons committee on Fisheries and Oceans, I have constantly battled to receive a simple schedule but have been met with a wall of silence and obfuscation by senior bureaucrats who will go to all lengths to suppress the dire reality of the situation.

This year I was even told that it was confidential.
Please.

The planned OOSV ship which will replace the CCGS Hudson is one of the four Coast Guard ships penned to be built in Vancouver by Seaspan shipyard to prove its capability before it begins to take on larger projects for the Navy.

It is scheduled to be built after the first three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels are delivered.

Therein lies the first problem - those ships are presently around seven years late and we are yet to see even one handed over to the Canadian Coast Guard.

And yet the Trudeau Liberals continue to muddy the water hoping Canadians won't recognize their poor attempts at welding together a coherent procurement strategy.

This past summer, an expedition cruise ship grounded in Nunavut. Whether that was because of insufficient charts available due to a lack of surveys is still to be determined by the authorities.

But one thing is clear - our wildlife got off very lightly.

If that had been an oil spill then it would have been a catastrophe.

With marine traffic increasing along our northern coast, the need for a ship to chart the mostly uncharted waters is critical.

And if we can't ascertain what lies beneath, how can we even begin to enforce our claims over this prized but hotly contested region?

Today, the government's commitment to the Ocean Protection Plan, and operational requirements including oil spill recovery, and scientific research demands the readiness of the Off-Shore Oceanographic Science Vessel.

Canada has the longest most geographically diverse coastlines in the world and the world's oldest marine fleet.

Most, if not all, of the fleet tasked with keeping our waterways open and secure for the safe transportation of goods and people, ensuring coastal communities and our Maritimers remain safe, are well beyond their nominal service dates.

If the Liberal government can't deliver the ship we need, and all indications are that they can't, then we need to change this government.

Canada cannot afford to lose this critical capability. Scientists, researchers and those who care about protecting the oceans need this ship build now - at a reasonable price point.

This is not about politics anymore. It's about putting Canada first.

The brave men and women of our Canadian Coast Guard deserve better.

Todd Doherty is the Conserviative Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George and is the Official Opposition critic for Fisheries and Oceans.
https://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/opinion/columnists/one-ship-to-save-canada-s-arctic-1.23612041
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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I would have been swayed a lot more by Mr. Doherty's opinion piece if he had admited that it was the Government of Canada, of any stripe as it may have been throughout the duration, that bungled this replacement program.

The Hudson should have been replaced by 1993! Fine, It was aConservative government that was in power for the nine years preceding that year (Mulroney 1984-1993). Surely they are to blame, too. Then the Conservatives were back in power for another nine years under Harper (2006-2015).

So there is blame enough for all here.

Moreover (and I think you all know I am no fan of "the Hair"), I would not blame the current government with not recognizing "their poor attempts at welding together a coherent procurement strategy."  The current ship procurement strategy was developed by the Conservatives and it is within that strategy (because once moved in one direction, civil servants will be near impossible to move into an other direction to adapt to new circumstances) that they are now trying to deal with the current state of the fleet. Hardly a disaster of their own making.

I say, let's see how they deal with the Hudson situation and then we can judge them on that.

Perhaps there is surplus, 25 years old, NOAA research vessel out there to be acquired as yet another stop gap solution until Seaspan builds the OOSV. One can only hope.
 

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"The planned OOSV ship which will replace the CCGS Hudson is one of the four Coast Guard ships penned to be built in Vancouver by Seaspan shipyard to prove its capability before it begins to take on larger projects for the Navy.

It is scheduled to be built after the first three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels are delivered.

Therein lies the first problem - those ships are presently around seven years late and we are yet to see even one handed over to the Canadian Coast Guard."

Say what you will about this article, the timing of it, the motivation behind it, whatever - but those sentences above highlight the fact that this scientific ship is NOT even on the agenda for Seaspan at this time. I've heard mention that that its back to the drawing board as there are issues with the design, while that certainly needs to be properly addressed, the irrefutable fact is that this ship will not be turned over to the CG until 2026 at a min. based on the current timelines, due to, (to use that dreaded word), capacity constraints at Seapsan as they struggle to complete the 3 Fisheries ships and as well as build the 2 JSS.

And what about the Def?  Will it even get built? If so, when will it be turned over to the CG, 2030? 2032?  I think that the St Laurent will be old enough to collect CPP by then......
 

Stoker

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CBH99 said:
Question for Chief, as your one of the most knowledgeable folks here when it comes to Canada & ships.


I would think if Davie was simply looking for more work & more money, they would have jumped all over the contract and promised to do excellent work - knowing there's a good chance of them getting the contract too, with an election coming up.

The fact that they declined to even bid on the contract, and avoid getting the work - due to the ship posing substantial risks to sailors & the environment... how is that a ploy to get more work??


Genuine question, as I realize there's A LOT about shipbuilding & ship maintenance that happens behind the scenes that most of us don't hear about.

Obviously I'm speculating however Davie for some time now have released videos, too good to be true deals for discounted AOR's, formed a Davie coalition group all in an effort to take advantage of the delays and further discredit the NSP and secure for them either new work or a piece of the existing ship building project. All efforts have been mildly successful up to now. I suspect their strategy now is to keep coming up with things to put in the media to keep them in the public eye for future work even especially after the PM,  MND and the head of the RCN right or wrong has said they do not need a further Asterix type ship or the need to involve them in the NSP. I believe this is a calculated ploy to keep the narrative going and to have the public including the government saying "Wow a shipyard giving up the right to possible work", it must be true and perhaps we should involve them in the NSP" Had they bid and possibility won the work, the government may say, "well we gave them the Asterix, three CG conversions, and future CPF work and now a major refit", they should keep quiet." I would have been more inclined to believe their sincerely if not throughout their marketing campaign that they continuously disparaged the other yards and say how good they are. They also went ahead and wrote a letter and publicized it to try and embarrass the government, at this point in the game I would be more inclined to believe Loyd's assessment of the condition of the ship since they are the ones certifying the vessel. So who to believe? Loyd's who hasn't anything to gain or lose or Davie who has everything to lose in the longer game. Looking at social media there are reports that crew members of CCGS Hudson have stated that the ship although old not in that bad shape at all and the problems they were having was the botched refit. At the end of the day the ship will be replaced eventually and is supposed to.  I can't wait to see what Davie comes up with next.
 

Cloud Cover

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While I too think that if Davie is making overbroad claims that cannot/ are not supported by facts then they do themselves no favours. However, they are also a business with a sales and marketing department. It’s totally up to them how they wish to describe the state of the Hudson if they truly believe the state of the ship in their own assessment of attempt to deliver or perform on a contract. I suppose, if they wanted to, they could come back with an assessment that the ship requires an XXX million dollar refit, complete with new hull, machinery etc. Everybody would see that for what it is as well.

Outside of defence enthusiasts, I don’t really see any other entity trying to light a fire under the governments posterior to get moving on rebuilding the fleets of Canada (military, coast guards, fishery, science etc)  Yes, this is in furthering their own interests, but they are a profit motivated business with a pretty clear ambition to actively build and innovate.  By many accounts, Asterix is performing and functioning within design specifications so Davie does have credibility. It might not be perfect and have it’s limitations and certainly some things could be better, but then again the same will most certainly apply to the Seaspan AOR and pretty much every other ship built, modified, converted or overhauled for Canada.
 

chrisf

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Chief Engineer said:
Looking at social media there are reports that crew members of CCGS Hudson have stated that the ship although old not in that bad shape at all and the problems they were having was the botched refit.

Bare in mind, most Canadian Coast Guard sailors only have experience on coast Guard ships...

So their only points of reference is other ships of similar vintage/condition.

The Hudson 56 years old.

It was "old" and in need of replacement 26 years ago.
 

Stoker

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Not a Sig Op said:
Bare in mind, most Canadian Coast Guard sailors only have experience on coast Guard ships...

So their only points of reference is other ships of similar vintage/condition.

The Hudson 56 years old.

It was "old" and in need of replacement 26 years ago.


Not denying that it needed to be replaced 30 years ago, just don't agree with their tactics and the fact Loyd's is on record saying it will last until a new one is built and they are the experts in the marine industry without a vested interest. Someone here is not being truthful.
 

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Chief Engineer said:
at this point in the game I would be more inclined to believe Loyd's assessment of the condition of the ship since they are the ones certifying the vessel. So who to believe?

How about the possibility that since the Loyd's assessment was done sometime back in 2016, which is anywhere from 2.5 to 3yrs ago that the condition of the ship could have deteriorated substantially in that time period and their assessment is no longer valid. In which Davie's current, present day assessment is completely valid and sincere.
 

Stoker

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Czech_pivo said:
How about the possibility that since the Loyd's assessment was done sometime back in 2016, which is anywhere from 2.5 to 3yrs ago and the condition of the ship could have deteriorated substantially in that time period and their assessment is no longer valid. In which Davie's current, present day assessment is completely valid and sincere.

How about reports from their crew saying the condition of Hudson is not that bad? You do realize that transport Canada has to certify the vessel each year?
 

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Chief Engineer said:
How about reports from their crew saying the condition of Hudson is not that bad? You do realize that transport Canada has to certify the vessel each year?

Very fair points Chief.  I was just pointing out that the Lloyd's assessment was over 2yrs ago and alot can happen in the time period.

Also, has Transport Canada ever not certify one of our own ships?  Would they even be allowed to be that bold?

As for those reports coming from the crew, who are they, did any of them go on the record in saying that the conditions on the ship were not that bad? 

Sorry, but I'm a little suspect on this topic after reading some of the most recent facts coming out of the V Admiral Mark Norman case in terms of the officer requiring privacy protection from his own colleagues and superiors because he's willing to come forward with information that helps the V Admiral and not the Govt.

 

Stoker

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Czech_pivo said:
Very fair points Chief.  I was just pointing out that the Lloyd's assessment was over 2yrs ago and alot can happen in the time period.

Also, has Transport Canada ever not certify one of our own ships?  Would they even be allowed to be that bold?

As for those reports coming from the crew, who are they, did any of them go on the record in saying that the conditions on the ship were not that bad? 

Sorry, but I'm a little suspect on this topic after reading some of the most recent facts coming out of the V Admiral Mark Norman case in terms of the officer requiring privacy protection from his own colleagues and superiors because he's willing to come forward with information that helps the V Admiral and not the Govt.

In my experience Loyd's hull surveys don't change that much in that time period.  Transport Canada looks after marine safety in Canada, are you suggesting that a government agency is going to overlook safety violations or unsafe conditions.?
 

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Chief Engineer said:
In my experience Loyd's hull surveys don't change that much in that time period.  Transport Canada looks after marine safety in Canada, are you suggesting that a government agency is going to overlook safety violations or unsafe conditions.?

Well, they did fail in Lac Megantic and the results of the investigation bear this out to be truthful.  So, precedence has been established.
 

Stoker

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Czech_pivo said:
Well, they did fail in Lac Megantic and the results of the investigation bear this out to be truthful.  So, precedence has been established.

Ok sure transport Canada and by extension the Canadian government could be faking Hudson's true condition and Davie shipyard is the only one telling the truth. ::)
 

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Chief Engineer said:
Ok sure transport Canada and by extension the Canadian government could be faking Hudson's true condition and Davie shipyard is the only one telling the truth. ::)

I am not saying that Davie is operating from a position of pure altruism, but, in my experience, I have been involved in more than a couple of situations where the actual material condition of an object, aircraft or ship differed markedly from what the senior leadership in Ottawa either were told or they chose to believe a unrealistic rosy scenario.



 

Stoker

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SeaKingTacco said:
I am not saying that Davie is operating from a position of pure altruism, but, in my experience, I have been involved in more than a couple of situations where the actual material condition of an object, aircraft or ship differed markedly from what the senior leadership in Ottawa either were told or they chose to believe a unrealistic rosy scenario.

True and I have seen it myself, but when you hear three instances corroborated or not disputing the conclusion of a yard that has nothing to lose and everything to gain I greet that with skepticism. Given the new Davie inspired new story today they very well may get more work in the near future.

https://ottawacitizen.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/trudeau-pressed-in-quebec-city-to-give-more-contracts-to-david-shipyard/wcm/5f4e088e-ebb7-4bc5-b667-8297a6b1dd3c
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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I think all position variously described above can make some sense, one way or another.

Let's deal with Transport Canada certification first: Point one here is, I am not sure that the Coast Guard fleets needs it (anymore than we, in the Navy need it either). But even if it was required, Transport Canada inspection/certification of Canadian flagged ships only addresses whether the proper pubs, charts, and life saving equipment is carried onboard and up to date and whether all the ship's paperwork is in order. Those certification have nothing to do with seaworthiness and do not address that aspect. So it is of no use in this discussion

Second, Coast Guardsmen, as pointed out by A Sig Op don't necessarily have point of reference for their view. Moreover, unless they are the ship's engineers, they probably don't know enough about it to start with, just like we wouldn't take the word of a naval communicator or boatswain as indicative of the mechanical state of our ships in the RCN. So social media opinions is just gossip - not a relevant fact.

We now come to Lloyd's. First, as pointed out, the survey is a few years old - and in old ship's estimating life time of the hull/machinery is not easy. Yet, the Lloyd's surveyors are professionals who work with limited information (the surveys are usually carried out with the ship in the water - not in dry dock - so many things are hidden to them) and usually do a good job of it. However, they are usually called upon to make a survey in order for the ship to be insurable. Canada, like most Western nations, self-insures it's own ships. Why the needs for a survey then? Because that survey was done shortly before the Hudson was turned over to a shipyard for her last refit ( the one that was screwed up). That survey was made so the yard could insure the ship while she was in their custody. It likely took into consideration the expected result from that refit work in coming to its conclusion.

Finally, I note in the Davie letter declining the work an important point they raise: the "reputational" risk of taking on this refit. To me, that is the key: Davie has built up a good reputation in the last few years - since it came under English management - and the last thing they need, even at the cost of $20M, is to lose reputation/cred. as a result of trying to fix a ship not worth fixing and then having that ship fail anyway just because it was at the end of its life, and Davie being blamed for that.

The 280's were refitted in the early 1990's and more than 25 years later, some people ( even in these fora ;)  ) are still holding it against Davie. Can you think of a good reason they would want to take that risk with the Hudson? I can't.

So I think that it is possible for ALL of the various points expressed above to be either true or validly believed by the people expressing them without looking at Davie having an ulterior motive in this matter.

 

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
I think all position variously described above can make some sense, one way or another.

Let's deal with Transport Canada certification first: Point one here is, I am not sure that the Coast Guard fleets needs it (anymore than we, in the Navy need it either). But even if it was required, Transport Canada inspection/certification of Canadian flagged ships only addresses whether the proper pubs, charts, and life saving equipment is carried onboard and up to date and whether all the ship's paperwork is in order. Those certification have nothing to do with seaworthiness and do not address that aspect. So it is of no use in this discussion

Second, Coast Guardsmen, as pointed out by A Sig Op don't necessarily have point of reference for their view. Moreover, unless they are the ship's engineers, they probably don't know enough about it to start with, just like we wouldn't take the word of a naval communicator or boatswain as indicative of the mechanical state of our ships in the RCN. So social media opinions is just gossip - not a relevant fact.

We now come to Lloyd's. First, as pointed out, the survey is a few years old - and in old ship's estimating life time of the hull/machinery is not easy. Yet, the Lloyd's surveyors are professionals who work with limited information (the surveys are usually carried out with the ship in the water - not in dry dock - so many things are hidden to them) and usually do a good job of it. However, they are usually called upon to make a survey in order for the ship to be insurable. Canada, like most Western nations, self-insures it's own ships. Why the needs for a survey then? Because that survey was done shortly before the Hudson was turned over to a shipyard for her last refit ( the one that was screwed up). That survey was made so the yard could insure the ship while she was in their custody. It likely took into consideration the expected result from that refit work in coming to its conclusion.

Finally, I note in the Davie letter declining the work an important point they raise: the "reputational" risk of taking on this refit. To me, that is the key: Davie has built up a good reputation in the last few years - since it came under English management - and the last thing they need, even at the cost of $20M, is to lose reputation/cred. as a result of trying to fix a ship not worth fixing and then having that ship fail anyway just because it was at the end of its life, and Davie being blamed for that.

The 280's were refitted in the early 1990's and more than 25 years later, some people ( even in these fora ;)  ) are still holding it against Davie. Can you think of a good reason they would want to take that risk with the Hudson? I can't.

So I think that it is possible for ALL of the various points expressed above to be either true or validly believed by the people expressing them without looking at Davie having an ulterior motive in this matter.

Seaworthiness, fitness of machinery and life saving equipment would likely fall under international conventions such as IMO ,however transport Canada still enforces it and is still under the Canada shipping act.

Just as this social media forum is made up of SME with informed opinions, the reports of the current condition of Hudson comes from the Halifax shipping news who is well respected and well connected in the marine industry so I wouldn't discount that entirely either.

According to the government "The vessel remains in good condition, and meets all Transport Canada regulatory requirement and is fully certified.” I doubt a PW person will actually state that publically given the liability issues if it wasn't true.

As for the survey I acknowledge that the survey is old however that last survey was carried out at the end of the refit and each time the ship goes into refit Loyd's has to certify all testing, welds and work being carried out. This is also changing with regards to the ABS taking over certifications and inspections.  Hudson's life extension dry dock specifications are quite clear in Loyd's involvement throughout the scope of work and sea trials, along with the CG technical authority and PW. Loyds will also carry out a 5 year hull survey as part of the work. This is very important to maintain the ships ice classification as it will be operating in the Arctic.

End of the day Hudson is going to continue to sail like she always did and will be refitted until replaced.

We all know the company that is known as Davie is not the same company that did the 280's refit but they love to trot out their 100 years of ship building experience as proof of how good they are so they so they can own the 280 fiasco regardless.

Again I think Davie is so desperate for work from the government they will do or say anything to get that work and up until now has done nothing not in the interest of the company to get more work.
 

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I know personlly of 2 incidents were CCG/DFO ships were detained by Transport Canada marine Safety. One was the CCGC Racer because our flares were out of date and some minor problems with our lifesaving gear, sorted out by next day. The DFO vessel was because of the appalling state of safety gear onboard. We had come alongside it and tied up for the night, saw a buddy of mine decking on her, he showed me how bad their gear was, I told my Captain, he talked to theirs, found out that management was not spending any money on the vessels, my captain called Marine Safety, who sent down an Inspector and detained the ship, they were still detained when we pulled out a day later. The crew was happy about getting things fixed.
Sadly my trust in the current senior management of the CCG is limited, much of it has no sea going experience and more concerned about their careers than ships.
 
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