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First of New Series Cargoships for Arklow Shipping is Launched During Wintry Scene

16th December 2022
The first in a new design series of 6,800dwt cargoships for Arklow Shipping was launched today amidst this ice and snow scene of the canal and shipbuilding halls of the Royal Bodewes yard in north-east Netherlands.
The first in a new design series of 6,800dwt cargoships for Arklow Shipping was launched today amidst this ice and snow scene of the canal and shipbuilding halls of the Royal Bodewes yard in north-east Netherlands. Credit: Royal Bodewes -twitter

The first in a new design series for Arklow Shipping in the form of a 6,800 deadweight tonnage (dwt) cargoship was launched at a shipyard in the Netherlands during wintry conditions, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The launch of shipyard newbuilding (NB#821) took place this morning when the cargoship was tranversely launched into the Winschoterdiep canal. The waterway is adjacent to Royal Bodewes shipyard in Martenshoek, Hoogezand near Groningen.

Unusally the newbuild was launched without having a ship name applied to the standard two tone green hull colours of ASL, which make their fleet livery easy to spot.

(Afloat updates the story in that the cargoship was given the name of Arklow Racer during the launch though without any ceremony. This is the second ship to carry this name from the 'R' series in which of the 16 built between 2002 and 2007 only a quartet of these short-sea traders remain in service). 

There will be more on ASL's inaugural Bodewes built 6,800dwt trader in which the Irish shipowner has been a previous client of the Dutch shipyard having completed 10 cargoships to the yard's Eco-Trader 5,510dwt series. These smaller cargoships were given Arklow 'V' names, the last been Arklow Villa (NB#730) which was completed in 2018.

The launch at Royal Bodewes marks a return to this shipyard by ASL as their previous orders went to Ferus Smit shipyard also in the Netherlands. This yard built 6 of the 'A' series in the period of 2020-2021 and a further 10 newbuilds of the 'C' series were completed between 2016 and in October this year.

This final C series newbuild, Arklow Crest is in service and this afternoon Afloat tracked the Irish flagged cargoship north-east of the Shetland's having departed Inverness, Scotland. The short-sea trader is bound for Glomfjord in Norway. 

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.