INSIDE: B.C. SHIPYARD ACTIVITY UPDATE
BC SHIPPING NEWS
Volume 2 Issue 6
Commercial Marine News for Canada’s West Coast.
Brian Carter, President, Seaspan Shipyards: New kid on the dock
The next generation of innovation in the digital shipyard
JUL-AUG 12 CP PM# 42161530 JULY/AUGUST 2012
The ongoing history of the aircraft carrier
Plus: West Coast SAR — Part Two: The key role of Victoria’s JRCC
July/August 2012 On the cover: Vancovuer Drydock. Photo courtesy of Seaspan Marine Corporation
Cover Story - P.20
Volume 2 Issue 6
Photo courtesy of Allied Shipyards
10 Industry insight New kid on the dock BCSN speaks with the President of Seaspan Shipyards for the latest updates on the NSPS program and his take on the shipbuilding industry in B.C.
34 Search and rescue
West Coast SAR (Part Two)
In this second of a three-part series, Joe Spears looks at the key role of Victoriaâ€™s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre as well as the importance of aerial surveillance in marine search and rescue.
44 Shipyard technology
The next generation of innovation in the digital shipyard Diane Ryan, Business Consultant with Siemens PLM Software Inc., looks at how shipyards can effectively implement new technologies to ensure efficient and productive operations.
D E P A R T M E N T S
F E A T U R E S
News briefs / industry traffic
Search and rescue
Letters to the editor and news Burrard Drydock Company By Lisa Glandt
A recap of the Western Canada Shipbuilding Summit The face of the next generation Uncommon sense strategies to develop and keep your people By Patti Cross-Bishop New name, look station and vessel for SAR team. Plus: Effective prevention patrols on the Fraser ICMA a valuable forum for marine lawyers Commercial fishing licences: The fallout from the Saulnier decision By Paul D. Mooney The ongoing history of the aircraft carrier By Daniel Baart July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 3
July/August 2012 Volume 2/Issue 6 Publisher McIvor Communications Inc. President & Editor Jane McIvor
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We could use a few more Georges...
ne question I always ask in interviews for the Industry Insight is how will the impact of a pending baby boomer retirement surge affect that particular segment of the shipping industry. This month’s issue of BC Shipping News, with a focus on shipyards, is no different. In the “Industry Insight”, Brian Carter, President of Seaspan Shipyards, aptly notes that there are some natural talent pools from which skilled tradespeople can be drawn (other provinces and other sectors like the oilsands); and, since the announcement of the NSPS contract for Seaspan and the promise of a long-term stable career, enrolment numbers in BCIT have skyrocketed. He also pointed to strategies being developed with the provincial government, unions and First Nations groups that would bolster employment numbers. In Ray Dykes’ update on shipyard activity throughout British Columbia, Erling Sylte, Sylte Shipyards, said he “is struggling to find suitable employees with the right skill sets”. And this is before NSPS work even starts. While Seaspan, the government and other partners are pro-actively addressing the issue, there is one variable that hasn’t yet been fully flushed out as an option — immigration.
The shipping industry is no different from any other industry currently facing an aging workforce and a lack of skilled workers. In 2007, the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Resource Centre published a “High Demand Occupation List” that confirmed labour market shortages can already be found in “construction and skilled trades, machining and equipment operators... engineering, electrical, [and] industrial manufacturing...” And it’s only going to get worse. Given these facts, it is curious that the federal government’s new immigration policy (stated in April 2012 by Minister Kenney) proposes to clear up the backlog of almost 300,000 applicants by eliminating those applications filed prior to February 2008. While I’m not an expert on immigration and, giving the benefit of the doubt to policy planners whom I’m sure had their reasons, I would have thought a plan to fast-track those applications with criteria that matched our needs for skilled labour would have been a more appropriate response to the backlog. Regardless, the notion of a labour gap is a concern shared by every segment of the shipping industry. While some companies have taken steps, such as mentoring programs and relaxed
retirement age regulations, we need to be looking for additional resources now to stave off the shortages we all know are coming. It was my interview with George Coman (“The face of the next generation” on Page 30) that highlighted just how much we’re going to be relying on new Canadians to satisfy the needs of an industry on the verge of a boom. Born in Brasov, Romania (home of Dracula’s castle incidentally), George made his way to Canada via Ireland and various postings on ships. He is at that ideal age (33) where, with training complete and a family that requires him home, he will be reaping the full benefit of a revitalized shipbuilding industry on the West Coast for the rest of his working life. He is a poster-boy for the generation of new Canadians that the federal government should be seeking. One enlightened comment that George made during our interview is worth repeating here: “I believe that there is a lot of talent coming into Canada — there just needs to be a way to integrate that talent in a more efficient manner.” We should be heeding George’s advice. BCSN
Member of: International Sailor’s Society Canada
July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 5
INDUSTRY traffic GCT Global Container Terminals Inc. announces new Chief Financial Officer
ichael E. Moore, President and CEO of GCT Global Container Terminals Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Davies to Chief Financial Officer. “Chris brings a strong, solid perspective to our financial group with his experience in managing complex capital structure, securing financing, and managing the areas of tax, treasury,
and insurance. He will be responsible for the strategic leadership and direction for GCT’s financial activities and governance for both the U.S. and Canada,” said Moore. Mr. Davies is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience, most recently as Chief Financial Officer for Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd., a Canadian publicly traded company with approximately $1.4 billion in assets and sales in North America and Asia. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Finance at MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, one of Canada’s largest technology companies. In addition to his CA designation and more than 25 years financial experience, Mr. Davies holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia. He has served on the boards of a number of associations as well as being a member of several technical advisory committees for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
New branch manager for Sperry Marine
lan Aitken, Canadian Regional Manager for Sperry Marine and Director for Northrop Grumman Canada (2004) Inc., recently welcomed Colin Andrew Ross to assume the branch manager/business development role at Sperry Marine’s Vancouver office. Colin previously worked as a marine electronics technician in the Canadian Navy and holds an MBA with Honours from Vancouver Island University. In addition to his Naval Electronics Technology Diploma, he also holds a Bachelor of Arts, Radio and Television from Ryerson University as well as a Network and Electronics Technician Certificate from Camosun College. Most recently he had been working as a sales manager in the marine field for Inuktun Services out of Nanaimo. “He has solid technological 6 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
Colin Andrew Ross. expertise combined with good business sense,” said Aitken. “I know he will be a real asset to our organization.”
NEWS BRIEFS Ready, Aye Ready — new commander for the West Photo credit: BC Shipping News
ommand of the Maritime Forces Pacific and the Joint Task Force (Pacific) was transferred to Rear Admiral William Truelove in a ceremony at Duntze Head, HMC Dockyard Esquimalt, on June 4, 2012. In the presence of Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, Lieutenant-General Walt Semianiw and Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Steven Point, Rear Admiral Nigel Greenwood relinquished command to RAdm. Truelove as his last duty before retiring in Victoria with wife Deborah. RAdm Truelove recently returned from a nine-month deployment at ISAF HQ, Kabul, Afghanistan as the Deputy in the Strategic Communications Directorate. RAdm. Greenwood was honoured for his leadership of the Maritime Forces Pacific and the Joint Task Force by both VAdm Maddison and Lt.-Gen. Semianiw.
Left to right: Rear Admiral Nigel Greenwood, Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, LieutenantGeneral Walt Semianiw and Rear Admiral William Truelove. In passing the responsibilities of command to his successor, RAdm Greenwood noted: “Bill, in a couple of minutes, this will be all yours. Deborah,
in a couple of minutes, I’ll be all yours.” RAdm Greenwood and Deborah plan to travel to France for a much-deserved vacation. BCSN
July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 7
INDUSTRY traffic ClassNK marks historic world milestone:
First in Class to hit 200 million gross tonnage record
lassNK officially announced that its register had surged past the 200 million gross tonnage mark on May 28, 2012. ClassNK Chairman and President Noboru Ueda announced the historic achievement at a party celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the London office which was attended by many of the leaders of the maritime community, including IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu and IMIF Chairman Jim Davis CBE. Speaking during the party, Mr. Ueda recognized the role of the greater maritime industry and expressed his thanks to ClassNK’s clients and partners around the world, saying: “This achievement highlights the incredible growth of the world maritime industry over the past decade, as well as the undeniable importance of the shipping and shipbuilding industries to the continued growth and development of the global economy.” Mr. Ueda also tied the society’s ongoing success to its increasing internationalization and growth around the world, noting: “Fifty years ago, ClassNK opened our very first office outside of Japan here in London, and this year we will celebrate the opening of our 100th office outside of Japan. Our unprecedented achievement of having 200 million gross tonnage under class is a testament to our growing presence around the globe, and we will strive to provide even better service to our clients and partners in the years to come.” Founded in 1899, the growth of ClassNK’s register has steadily accelerated. ClassNK broke the 100 million gross tonnage mark in 1997 before becoming the world’s largest classification society in 1999. Just 10 years later, ClassNK became the first class society to exceed 150 million gross tonnage and
8 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
ClassNK Chairman and President Mr. Noboru Ueda. as of May 31, 2012, the ClassNK register accounts for 7,847 ships totalling 200,804,781 gross tonnage. Almost 40 per cent of the vessels making up over 50 per cent of the tonnage classed by ClassNK is attributed to bulk carriers. According to Mr. Ueda, the achievement represents the accomplishment of one of ClassNK’s main strategic goals of breaking 200 million gross tons by the end of 2012. “We are truly honoured to have accomplished this goal within such a short period of time, and this success reflects our tremendous dedication and efforts to meet the evolving needs of the maritime industry, and ensuring safer and greener seas.” Despite the importance of this achievement, Mr. Ueda emphasized that ClassNK would not rest, adding: “Roughly 20 per cent of the world’s commercial tonnage relies on ClassNK and our services and we are committed to exceeding the expectations of the maritime industry.”
INDUSTRY traffic New Capilano Maritime Design ship-docking tug launched
apilano Maritime Design Ltd. recently attended the christening of their latest design — an 80-foot Columbia-class ASD Ship-Docking Tug, Sommer S, for Shaver Transportation Company of Portland, Oregon. The tug was built by Diversified Marine Inc., also of Portland, and is the most powerful in Shaver’s fleet. The 80-foot ASD vessel is a twin Z-drive, diesel-powered ship-docking tug designed for maximum efficiency in the performance of ship-handling, escort, and related harbour support activity services. The vessel is equipped with a hawser winch forward and heavy bow fendering for ship-assist and escort work. A series of barge handling winches are aft for securing to and pushing bulk barges. The Columbia-class is a new series of tug designs by Capilano Maritime Design Ltd. Particulars include: • Length overall — 24.4 m • Length rule — 23.6 m • Beam, moulded, extreme — 11.0 m • Depth, moulded (hull) — 4.38 m • Maximum draft — 5.18 m Capacities: • Fuel oil — 90,000 L • Potable water — 90,000 L • Ballast — Nil Complement: • Crew — four plus two spare berths • Passengers seating — four Performance: • Bollard pull, ahead — 61 Tonnes • Bollard pull, astern — 58 Tonnes • Free running speed (Full RPM) 12.5 knots • Power 2 x 2680 BHP 4020 kW total Power is provided by two high‐speed MTV/Detroit Diesel 16V4000 M61 main engines. Each engine drives a Schottel SRP1215 360° azimuthing thruster with 94.5” diameter fixed pitch propeller. Ship‐docking is performed by a heavy duty Hawser winch from Markey Machinery with a 50‐HP electric motor.
The Sommer S, an 80-foot ASD ship-docking tug designed by Capilano Maritime Design of North Vancouver. Capilano Maritime Design Ltd. specializes in the design of commercial workboats including tugs, barges, crew boats, dredges, offshore supply
vessels, marine construction vessels and ferries, as well as providing general consulting services to the marine industry.
In Memoriam James (Jim) Alfred Haswell 1939 - 2012
e are saddened to report the passing of Mr. Jim Haswell, long-time member of the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering. Born in Manchester, England in 1939, he was orphaned at an early age and raised by his uncle in Sunderland, England. Jim passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 2, 2012. He is survived by wife Yvonne, daughter Karen, four stepchildren and 13 grandchildren. Jim began his shipbuilding career at the young age of 15 in Sunderland, the largest shipbuilding town in the world. He apprenticed as a fitter and turner or, in Canadian terms, a mechanic and machinist. He gave up building ships to join Britain’s merchant navy. “I was seasick going down the Mersey River,” he recalled, “and all the way to the Mediterranean and back. It took four voyages across the North Atlantic before I got it out of my system.” Jim returned to dry land when he was hired on as port engineer for Vancouver Shipyards in North Vancouver in 1978. In 1999, he was diagnosed with industrial asthma and joined the BREATH Program at the Lions Gate Hospital which he accredited with saving his life as he learned to live with a chronic pulmonary condition. Following his own treatment, Jim continued on with the program to help others. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 9
New kid on the dock
Brian J. Carter, President, Seaspan Shipyards
on’t let the lack of grey hair fool you. Brian Carter might be new to the industry in B.C. but he’s no stranger to shipbuilding and he’s especially no stranger to large-scale maritime business development projects with successful results. When BCSN sat down with Brian to find out how the first six months of his new position have been going, it was immediately obvious that his expertise
is going to be key for a company that just received a part of one of the largest procurement contracts ever initiated by the Canadian Government. As leader of the team responsible for building the non-combat vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard, Brian has his work cut out for him. Based on our interview, it’s evident that he’s up for the task. BCSN: First, congratulations on your appointment. You’ve been in this position for six months now but I understand you were no stranger to Seaspan prior to this. Could you provide us with a high level background of your career to this point and your involvement with the NSPS bid? BC: I’ve known Jonathan Whitworth (Seaspan CEO) for quite some time and during one of our conversations he asked me to assist Seaspan with the NSPS bid, which started in February 2011. Part of my role was to provide guidance in structuring the response. It was a great team and I was amazed at how much work was done by a very small group of people, everyone pitching in where they could. By the time we finished the proposal, I was quite excited about Seaspan and the NSPS program and was very interested in continuing on with the team should we be one of the successful bidders. After award of the non-combat package to Seaspan, Jonathan offered me this position. I’ve been in the shipbuilding industry for my entire career. My education
Photo credit: Dominic Schaefer
10 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
includes a mechanical engineering degree from Seattle University, a naval architecture degree from the University of Washington and an MBA from the University of California-San Diego. About half of my 20 years in the industry were with General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, the only major ship construction yard on the U.S. West Coast.
By the time we finished the proposal, I was quite excited about Seaspan and the NSPS program and was very interested in continuing on with the team... I left NASSCO in April 2010 to pursue work away from shipbuilding for a change. The investment side of the maritime industry interested me — mainly mergers and acquisitions. As I began to explore opportunities, a number of companies needed consulting help on short-term projects. It was in that way that Brizo Maritime was formed. Our focus was assisting maritime companies with strategic business development initiatives. BCSN: Could you describe some of your responsibilities and priorities as President of Seaspan Shipyards? BC: This is a new position within Seaspan, or rather a revived position given the new contract. Prior to it being created, Jonathan was overseeing the entirety of Seaspan Marine Corporation — the marine side, the shipyards, the ferries, it’s a huge portfolio. My responsibility is for the three shipyards (Vancouver Shipyards, Vancouver Drydock and Victoria Shipyards) as well as the responsibility to ensure our strategic plan is followed, a big part of which is getting ready for building the NSPS vessels. While we start on the facility upgrades and the first vessel design, we need to make sure all three shipyards continue
INDUSTRY INSIGHT to perform on their existing work — the Frigate Life Extension Program, the Vessel In-Service Support Contract and the HMCS Protecteur at Victoria Shipyards; commercial ship repair at Vancouver Drydock; and repair work and building nine new chip barges at Vancouver Shipyards. All of this will help develop skills as we get ready for the NSPS vessels.
In terms of priorities, the biggest by far is to build the team for the NSPS. By 2016, we expect to have about 1,000 people in our production workforce at Vancouver Shipyards. In terms of priorities, the biggest by far is to build the team for the NSPS. By 2016, we expect to have about 1,000 people in our production workforce at Vancouver Shipyards. Once we deliver the Polar Icebreaker and the NSPS work volume starts to decrease, we’d like to maintain that 1,000 workforce level by selling available capacity to third parties. The last time we had that many workers was in 2007/08 for the M.V. Island Sky but once that was over, we scaled back. This time, we’re looking to sustain that number, achieving one of the main goals behind the NSPS for a sustainable shipbuilding industry on the West Coast. BCSN: Do you have a sense of where the business will come from following the NSPS vessels? BC: There are a couple of natural places for us to look. For example, selling the existing product type, like icebreakers or research vessels, to foreign governments. That would be an absolute win for us and a big validation of what we and Canada have achieved under the NSPS. BC Ferries would also be a logical place to look for new building opportunities. The current focus is on a very deliberate process of building the team — creating the processes to execute the work, planning the work and then executing it — in that sequence. We have
to do this in a very organized manner to avoid losing control that would be hard to recover. We see an eagerness from the industry, the public and even our customer to get going on vessel construction but we need to lay a proper foundation to ensure success. BCSN: Could you provide an update on progress with that foundation — where are you at with things like team-building and infrastructure upgrades? BC: As mentioned, we’ve placed a huge priority on building the right team. Historically, when a new build opportunity was awarded in Canada, a company would create a program team by assembling staff from different parts of the organization, execute the program and then have everyone go back to their regular jobs. The NSPS provides Seaspan with the stability necessary to build the organization
properly. In our case, we’ll go from being a project-based shipyard to a manufacturing company and we’re building a team to support that. This year, we’re hiring 35 new salaried positions, mostly experienced shipbuilders for senior management. Of our five highest priority positions, four are now filled. We’ve been very selective but fortunate in finding the right people. Another key step in the project is the modernization of Vancouver Shipyards. We have hired STX Korea to help us finalize the facility design. They’ve recommended changes to our original design that will give us more flexibility — allow us to execute NSPS efficiently but also provide for greater opportunities in the future. Some of the highlights of the facility upgrade include a new building to
July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 11
Updated facility design for Vancouver Shipyards incorporating recommendations from STX Korea. support block assembly and pre-outfitting capabilities, a very important component for shipbuilding efficiency. A key new addition to the shipyard will be the new blast and paint building which will provide a lot of flexibility for our repair work and new construction. We’re also planning for a 300-tonne gantry crane to support grand blocking and the vessel erection process. Currently, we’re completing the details on the new layout and support services and we are also working with the municipal government to get the proper permits in place. We expect to break ground on the first building at Vancouver Shipyards late this year and be tendering construction-type opportunities by August. The project should take two years to complete once construction begins. Our strategy is to build as much of each vessel as possible in our North Vancouver facility and then, once it’s launched, take it to Victoria Shipyards for final outfitting, tests and trials before delivery. Victoria has solid experience in dealing with that final phase and they have the support of the Esquimalt Graving Dock facilities as well. In addition, we’re planning a couple of new buildings in Victoria — the cost will 12 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
amount to about $15 to $30 million out of the approximate $200 million budget for shipyard upgrades.
The JSS will require a big ramp up for us. We’ll see a spike at that point in employment and production. BCSN: Do you have an update on the status of the vessels as well? BC: We have four vessel types identified thus far — the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV), the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV), the Joint Support Ships (JSS) and the Polar Icebreaker. We’ll be building the OFSV first. Our goal is to start construction in the third quarter of next year. We’re currently working with the Canadian Coast Guard on the design and expect to be under a contract to complete the production design this summer. As the design matures, we’ll start to evolve the equipment requirements — by the first quarter of 2013, we should be ready to start purchasing a good portion of the material. We also have the concept design for the OOSV. Because there is only one OOSV required, it would be ideal to make it as close to the design of the
OFSV as we can and, while we have the concept design in hand, we’re pausing so we can develop the details on the fisheries vessel and integrate those details into the construction of the OOSV. The JSS will require a big ramp up for us. We’ll see a spike at that point in employment and production. To ramp up like that is risky for a shipyard and we are working with the government on the JSS design development. Our goal is to provide input into the design for those vessels so that they can be built efficiently in our shipyard and mitigate our execution risk. A similar effort will be underway soon for the Polar Icebreaker for exactly the same reasons. The government has been very supportive of that as well. BCSN: There was an announcement in March for additional funding for non-combat vessels. Do you have any additional details on that yet? BC: We’re currently working with the government to understand what those vessels will be and the associated timing. Essentially, the government announced an additional $5.2 billion over 11 years for renewal and refits to the Canadian Coast Guard fleet, including helicopters. A large portion of this will be for new builds that will fall under our umbrella agreement to supply non-combat vessels over 1,000 tonnes, but we’re in early days yet for this. BCSN: One of the elements in your contract with the federal government is a “value proposition”. Could you describe some of the initiatives being planned for this? BC: Yes, it’s an important part of our strategy. We’re not trying to just build NSPS vessels — we’re creating a shipbuilding company in perpetuity and to do that, we need to foster an ecosystem that will support it. We will be active in maximizing value for our customers — partnering with the right people and organizations, including First Nations, universities, research and development institutes and trade schools to make sure we have a sustainable industry for the future. We’re exploring investments in programs that, in the future,
INDUSTRY INSIGHT would allow us to draw from a talent pool and also investments that could allow us to buy shipbuilding material here in Canada. There are also potential investments for funding new technology development. We’re still in the planning stages for how to manage the value proposition. It will likely be the middle of next year before we start executing the plan. BCSN: Have you had much experience with the U.S. National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP)? Would this be the kind of initiative you would consider as part of the value proposition? BC: The companies I worked with in the U.S. participated in the NSRP. The program focuses on projects that could potentially reduce costs for shipbuilding for the U.S. government — mostly naval-related technology. It’s partially funded by the government but managed by a private company and it is effective as a vehicle for the industry to share information. For example, we’re meeting with a company who developed a shipyard simulation tool under the NSRP program. It’s now a proven system and the company is out marketing it commercially. The main difference between the NSRP and our value proposition is in the funding and we will not necessarily just focus on shipbuilding. The total funding for the value proposition is about $40 million ($15M from Seaspan, $5M from the Province and $20M from BC Ferries). We’re looking to foster the development of the overall maritime industry in Canada. It’s very clever of the government to require this. For us, there is a regional strategy and a national strategy and I think partnerships with companies like Irving Shipyards and others to execute an NSRP-like program nationally is something that could potentially be explored. BCSN: Could you compare Canada’s shipbuilding industry to that in other countries? BC: Canada’s NSPS program is the most interesting opportunity in the global shipbuilding industry today.
About Seaspan Shipyards
ith roots dating back over 114 years, Seaspan Marine Corporation’s three shipyards — Vancouver Drydock Co. Ltd., Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. and Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. — have successfully completed countless new construction, conversion, refit, repair, life-cycle maintenance and refurbishment projects on government and commercial vessels, including cruise ship conversions, work on deepsea vessels and container ships. Seaspan Shipyards specialize in new construction of and repair work on ferries, Coast Guard vessels, naval ships, barges, tugs, yachts, fishing vessels, Arctic Class and research vessels of all types and sizes. Vancouver Drydock Co. Ltd. has a Panamax drydock with 36,000-tonne lift capacity; a self-contained drydock with 30,000-tonne lift capacity; a 210-metre deep-water pier; and a machine shop that covers almost 2,000 square metres. Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. was originally incorporated in 1902 when it was located in downtown Vancouver before moving in 1968 to its present, 35-acres facility in North Vancouver. The bulk of an approximately $200 million investment will be spent on infrastructure and facility upgrades at Vancouver Shipyards with seven new buildings planned to accommodate efficient construction of the vessels under the NSPS contract. Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. can accommodate vessels up to 100,000 DWT and can perform a wide range of repairs up to and including complete vessel conversions. Utilizing Esquimalt Graving Dock (owned and operated by Public Works & Government Services Canada), Victoria Shipyards is well known worldwide for its quality cruise ship repair service, and its work on Royal Canadian Navy vessels, including the Navy Submarine Program and the Frigate Life Extension Program to modernize 12 Canadian Patrol Frigates. For more information about Seaspan Shipyards, visit: www.seaspan.com.
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July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 13
INDUSTRY INSIGHT I think that our open Vice President, Technical position is one of the most attractive jobs in the shipyard world right now just by the nature of what’s ahead of us. From a volume standpoint, Canada hasn’t had enough steady volume to allow us to be internationally competitive. If we compared ourselves to some of the higher-wage shipbuilding countries and, believe it or not, our costs are about on par with Korea, but they have
the volume that allows them to be more efficient and we can’t compete with that. Where we are going to be able to compete is in specialty vessel construction — for example, research vessels and icebreakers for foreign governments or commercial use. Comparing us to lower wage countries, for example China (although China is unique and their wages will increase in the coming years), you need to focus on those variables that you
About Brian J. Carter
fter obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Brian Carter began his shipbuilding career in Washington state, first for a custom yacht builder and then for Washington State Ferries Vessel Design Group. He was later hired by Halter Marine — a leading middle-market shipbuilding company with 10 shipyards on the Gulf Coast — first as a mechanical engineer and later promoted to project engineer. The majority of his career has been spent with General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, California where he was promoted through the ranks from project engineer to global manager, commercial business development and strategic planning. In this role, he led company-wide strategic commercial shipbuilding and industrial sales planning efforts including detailed technical and financial strategies for capturing commercial shipbuilding contracts. His efforts resulted in securing one of the largest commercial shipbuilding contracts in recent U.S. history (the $1 billion, nine-ship, PC-1 product tanker contract) as well as the development of 14 new ship designs and 23 unique shipbuilding opportunities totalling more than $4 billion in potential revenue. Carter established Brizo Maritime in 2010, a consulting firm that provided expertise in merger and acquisition opportunities, evaluation and qualification of investment opportunities, and advice for stakeholders on product development and funding strategies for new product initiatives. In addition to obtaining his Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of California-San Diego, Brian was selected for the honour of Member status within the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). He has fulfilled speaking engagements around the world for such audiences as the National Academy of Sciences, the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), the U.S. Department of Transportation, and JECKU (Japan, Europe, China, South Korea and the United States) Shipbuilding Top Executive Meetings. While hobbies include sailing and cycling — both of which provided a significant attraction to relocating to Vancouver — Carter admits that his new position allows for little recreation time. 14 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
can control to become competitive. If labour is not your cost driver then it’s material so you do everything you can to minimize the material costs. When we design vessels here, we’re looking to optimize our “touch” labour because that’s our main cost driver. One of the benefits of using STX Korea for our facility design is that they have the same cost drivers as we do here in Canada so their recommendations have been very useful to allow for greater efficiency and flexibility. Once we have some of the NSPS work under our belt, we’ll be more competitive internationally on specialty vessels and this will hopefully be attractive to other governments and operators like BC Ferries.
Shipbuilding efficiency is really a function of highly repeatable processes — it’s more a series of small gains that will add to efficiency improvements. BCSN: What sort of new technology will be part of the upgrade to the facilities here? BC: In terms of technology, shipbuilding hasn’t really changed that much in 20 years. There were some companies 10 or 15 years ago that heavily got into robotics but I don’t think they achieved what they wanted and might have created more problems than they solved. Shipbuilding efficiency is really a function of highly repeatable processes — it’s more a series of small gains that will add to efficiency improvements. With more work, you gain more experience. The workforce is the best place to get ideas for improvements — listening to the people who are living it every day, learning how we can do it better and getting that information into our processes and designs. BCSN: What about labour and the workforce? Are there any evident differences between Canada and other countries? BC: One thing I’ve noticed about Canada — and I can see it when I walk around the shipyard here — is the training has been much better than
anything I’ve seen in other yards. I’ve had the opportunity to tour BCIT as well as the Pipefitters’ training facility and they’ve really done a great job. Those types of schools are rare in the U.S. so a shipyard often has to train its own workforce. I’d have to say from an efficiency standpoint we’re pretty equivalent — they have more experience but our guys are better trained. An apprenticeship here is like getting a four-year university degree; in the U.S., it’s often just a couple of months’ worth of training. And it’s not just the skills of the trade but also aspects like safety, rigging and generally a more organized approach. That was a nice surprise for me as I came into this position.
With the stable, long-term work that we’ll be able to offer, it’s attractive and a great opportunity... BCSN: Do you anticipate any issues related to an aging workforce — losing technical skills or knowledge as the surge of baby boomer retirements begins? Also, do you anticipate any difficulties in filling all of the positions you’ll need? BC: When we start on the production phase of NSPS, we expect that the average age of our workforce will naturally go down. In the early stages we’ll see positions being filled by fairly senior people due to the nature of our collective bargaining agreements, but over time this will change. We are partnering with our unions, First Nations groups and other organizations that are interested in ensuring we have a workforce to draw from in the future so we’re not too worried about difficulties in finding labour. With the stable, long-term work that we’ll be able to offer, it’s attractive and a great opportunity for someone who wants a wage that allows for a family and a great Vancouver lifestyle. There are some obvious labour markets that we’ll be able to tap into — for example, people working in the oilsands or from other provinces who are looking for a career in Vancouver. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 15
INDUSTRY INSIGHT The good news also is that the contract announcement and the work we are doing creates a lot of interest in skilled trades, so as people progress through their apprenticeships and schooling, shipbuilding will be an appealing option. I think BCIT’s application volume went up dramatically after the NSPS announcement was made in October. BCSN: For companies looking to get involved in the NSPS and offer their services and supplies, what sort of opportunities do you anticipate? BC: First, I strongly recommend they register with our Suppliers Registration Site at www.seaspan.com. Since going live in January we’ve had
over 500 new suppliers register — and that’s in addition to our existing supply base. As far as the types of supplies and services we’ll need, think of everything that goes into a ship — the material to support the structure, the pipes and pipefittings, etc., and then there is the specialty equipment to support the operation of the vessel. Beyond the shipbuilding, there are opportunities to support the facilities upgrades as well. We’re currently in the market for shipyard equipment like panel lines, etc. The upgrade is a twoyear project and we’ll be actively procuring materials for quite a while. For the vessels themselves, you won’t see
much this year but as the vessel construction begins to peak in 2016, we’ll be purchasing over $350 million of material and equipment per year. And because we’ll be trying to sustain that level of activity beyond 2017 there will be some good long-term opportunities for outside suppliers. People should also remember that the federal government has set aside $2 billion for over 100 small vessels (under 1,000 tonnes) plus another $500 million per year for repairs and refits.
We’re making the most of this opportunity to create a sustainable shipbuilding industry in B.C. BCSN: I’d like to spend a minute looking at government involvement — not just as a customer for the vessels but other agencies and how they’re contributing? BC: There are a lot of resources available within the government and with the interest that surrounds the NSPS program we’re seeing a number of agencies wanting to make sure it’s successful. A good example was the workshop recently organized by Western Economic Diversification Canada. That forum gave a good overview of some of the initiatives being taken that will benefit the project — programs like tax credits for training incentives through the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Innovation and the Ministry of Finance; the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program through Public Works & Government Services Canada; or the BC Shipbuilding and Repair Workforce Table created through the BC Jobs Plan. While I can’t speak for the government, our goal for a sustainable shipbuilding industry on the West Coast is shared by them. We’re really not focused on just building vessels for the government and then folding up our tent and going away. We’re making the most of this opportunity to create a sustainable shipbuilding industry in B.C. — that’s the priority and the NSPS provides a fantastic springboard. BCSN
16 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 17
Burrard Drydock Company: More than just ships were built By Lisa Glandt
Librarian/Archivist, Vancouver Maritime Museum
18 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
support buildings at the eastern end of the shipyard, were acquired by a new company, Vancouver Drydock Co. Ltd., which is still in operation today as a part of Seaspan Marine Corporation. But, enough of a history lecture… back to the photographs! The donation included crisp, stunning black and white images of the 1916-1917 construction of wooden hulls #92, 93, and 94 — later known as the schooners Mabel Brown, Geraldine Wolvin, and the Jessie Norcross built for the Canada West Coast Navigation Company. Other photographs from later years Photo courtesy of Vancouver Maritime Museum
recent donation of photographs related to the Burrard Drydock Company led me into our collection to see what other associated library and archival records we had. Shipwright Alfred Wallace started the Wallace Shipyards Ltd. in 1906. As his company grew, he changed the name to Wallace Shipbuilding and Repair Ltd. and expanded to sites in False Creek and North Vancouver. In 1921, the name was changed to Burrard Drydock Co. Ltd. and in 1925 they built the first floating drydock in Vancouver. The company was the busiest Canadian shipyard during the war, building a total of 109 Park and Fort Liberty-class freighters, corvettes, minesweepers, and Admiralty maintenance ships from 1939-1945. During this time they also converted and outfitted 19 escort carriers for the Royal Navy. At its peak, the shipyard was one of Vancouver’s major employers with 14,000 staff. After the war, the company continued to build and repair ships and consolidated its holdings with a number of other shipyards. The Wallace family sold the shipyard to Cornat Industries in 1972 and it was renamed Burrard Yarrows Corporation. By 1985, the shipyard was known as Versatile Pacific Shipyards Inc. and a few short years later, in 1992, the floating drydocks, along with the
Staff hard at work at Burrard Drydock.
depicted staff hard at work in the administrative, drafting, and fabricating departments. These photographs were used as one of the sources for the anniversary publication produced by the company called Progress 1894-1946: An Illustrative Presentation by Burrard Drydock Company Limited of their War and Peacetime Shipbuilding Facilities in Canada’s Largest Pacific Port, Vancouver, British Columbia. I also located copies of Wallace Shipbuilder, a monthly magazine published by Burrard Drydock Company for its staff. The magazine was
VANCOUVER MARITIME MUSEUM Photos courtesy of Vancouver Maritime Museum
Image from the early 1900s — construction of hull #92, 1916.
A monthly magazine for shipyard workers.
produced from July 1943 to September 1945 and was used to educate the company’s workforce about the particulars of shipbuilding (not every employee had a nautical background), the status of ships under construction, workplace safety, and included photographs of shipyard events and social activities enjoyed by staff. Almost 70 years later, the magazine provides an insight into some of the people who worked at Burrard Drydock Company. The June 1944 issue contains an article titled “International Harmony” and includes photos and introductions to seven employees from Russia, Netherlands, the Ukraine, Finland, England, Hungary and Ireland, each bringing their unique talents to the shipbuilding efforts at Burrard Drydock. Other articles in the issue include workplace inventions by staff that increased productivity and streamlined workflow for the welding and machine shops; a record of the celebrations for the completion of the shipyard’s 85th ship (Canada’s 300th Victory ship for the war); social notices including marriage and birth announcements; language and swimming class schedules; invitations to join various clubs and activities; gardening tips; lost and found items; and an update on the various sports teams made up of
social ties with each other. Records like this remind us of Vancouver’s rich and proud history of shipbuilding.
shipyard staff titled “What Goes on in the Sports World of Burrard” with information on the boxing, tug-o-war, swimming, softball, and bowling teams. When viewed together, these photographs and publications give us insight into the Burrard Drydock Company through the years. The shipyard was its own large extended family, made up of a community of people brought together for the common goal of building and repairing ships, but strengthened by their
Lisa Glandt has been the Librarian/ Archivist for the Vancouver Maritime Museum since 2007. She started volunteering at the museum in 1999 sharing maritime stories with school children and now she preserves the stories. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 19
B.C. shipyards gearing up for federal work boost By Ray Dykes
he size of the pot of gold at the end of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy rainbow is known but it may still be a while before the benefits flow out to the industry. With major projects on its order book, Seaspan Marine Corporation is going to need help from other yards and there is a frenzy of anticipation among them. Someone has to help with the routine BC Ferries work, maintaining the tug and barge fleet, and help keep the fishing fleet serviceable and a variety of yards is keen to step forward. Plus, there is the additional $2 billion set aside for new vessels under 1,000 tonnes and excluded from the NSPS contracts with Seaspan and Irving Shipyards and the $500 to $600 million budgetted for repairs and refits of existing federal fleet vessels. The “Now Hiring” signs are up at Seaspan and its major yards — Victoria Shipyards, Vancouver Shipyards, and Vancouver Drydock. In fact, Victoria Shipyards began the search about 18 months ago, and according to its Vice President & General Manager, Malcolm Barker, “the unions have done an excellent job of filling the holes with the right kind of people”. Smaller yards might be feeling the pinch finding skilled tradespeople, but the buoyant times are likely to prove a 20 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
magnet for many to come to the West Coast. In fact, Barker says the future for the B.C. shipbuilding and repair industry “looks extremely bright” with the “next five years really bright”.
Even before Seaspan won big in the NSPS lottery, VP & GM Malcolm Barker and his team had a “dream order book”... Vancouver Shipyards and Vancouver Drydock Vice President & General Manager, Tony Matergio, says “it’s a pretty exciting time to be in the industry especially for the younger generation. We have the density of work and our younger workers will be able to make a career of it, something the industry hasn’t been able to offer for many years.” Here’s a glimpse at what kept the B.C. shipbuilding and repair industry busy in 2011 and the major new projects of 2012:
As years go, 2011 was another traditional one “but still busier than usual” for this Victoria facility. Even before Seaspan won big in the NSPS lottery, VP & GM Malcolm Barker and his team had a “dream order book” with action on four fronts — commercial ship repair, new construction, the Victoria In-Service Support Contract
(VISSC) covering Canada’s four hunterkiller submarines, and the Halifax-class patrol Frigate Life Extension Program (FELEX) which runs through to 2016. The combination of work has already boosted employment to 1,000 in 2012 and sees the yard “pretty much maxed out”. FELEX work included HMCS Calgary coming in last June for a 12-month refit. The frigate is expected to be back in service in January 2013. Built in Quebec and commissioned in 1995, the Calgary was in for Mid-Life Refurbishment (MLR) upgrades and modifications to such things as its combat systems, radar and other electronics with Victoria Shipyards as a subcontractor for Lockheed Martin. The submarine HMCS Victoria recently completed its refit at FMF Cape Breton in Victoria and is back at sea and HMCS Chicoutimi, located in the yard’s new submarine refit facility, will soon be ready for action again after a similar refit. Sister sub, HMCS Corner Brook is also occupying a refit shed at the yard. The 1995-commissioned frigate HMCS Winnipeg has been in drydock since April for its FELEX work and should be in the yard until June 2013. The supply ship HMCS Protecteur has also been in the yard since April 2012 for a nine-month refit and will occupy a
shipyards spot in drydock with the Winnipeg until September. HMCS Vancouver will be in for similar work in mid-2013. And in a world of acronyms, the yard will participate in NSPS work (Seaspan has termed the contracts Federal Fleet Renewal or FFR), but much of this work will be done in Vancouver. The naval work is making it more difficult to squeeze in cruise ship maintenance and repair because of the pressures on the graving dock. However, Barker says Victoria Shipyards “is still talking with cruise lines, but it requires careful planning”. In this light, the Celebrity Century has been booked for a refit and refurbishment in 2013. Last year saw three cruise ships in drydock — the Radiance of the Seas, the Disney Wonder, and the Oosterdam — for a variety of refit and repair work. In 2012, the year began well with the Sapphire Princess completing a 25-day, multi-million dollar major refurbishment. This project involved about 300 incoming containers of materials and supplies and 1,000 subcontractors and kept about 400 shipyard employees busy in a frenzy of activity. And then there was routine work for BC Ferries mixed in as possible. Barker says Seaspan is also reviewing upgrades for its Victoria facility. Recently, the ground was broken for a $750,000 investment in building an Industrial Marine Trade and Research Training Centre located just outside the Esquimalt Graving Dock. Boosted by Western Economic Diversification and private sector dollars, the project is designed to upgrade marine trades and professionals in the industry. It will start small and slowly as it builds courses and curriculum and will then expand as needed.
The new fiscal year also promises to be “very busy” says Ruslan Tracz, Manager of Communications for Public Works & Government Services Canada, Engineering Assets Strategy Sector. One of the past year’s highlights was the dry docking of the cruise ship Sapphire Princess, the widest vessel ever to enter the facility with only one metre of separation between the hull and the entrance walls, requiring delicate maneuvering into place. Over 90 per cent booked already for the new fiscal year, the graving dock has spent $6.5 million recently on equipment upgrades and infrastructure repairs, including equipment rehabilitation. But there’s even bigger spending ahead, and through the federal government’s Economic Action Plan 2012, some $101 million is being provided for health and safety projects over the next five years. The graving dock is currently reviewing its priorities for projects that will take advantage of the new funding.
As 2012 evolves, National Defence and BC Ferries continue to be the major customers, with work from the private sector when drydock time and space is available.
Esquimalt Drydock Company
For this Victoria yard nestled close to the Esquimalt Graving Dock, work in 2011 probably wasn’t quite as hectic as in 2010, “but was still busy,” according to Superintendent and Dockmaster, Norm Wickett. Welcome bread and butter projects included sewage upgrades for BC Ferries vessels Queen of Burnaby, Queen of Alberni, and Spirit of Vancouver Island. As a break, the yard also discharged six or seven yachts so their owners could sail in local waters, but the business has been slower in 2012 with only three transhipped so far. A regular, the dredge Fraser Titan, docked for three weeks for on-going work involving new engines, generator, a shaft inspection, and hopper door repairs.
Esquimalt Graving Dock
This federally owned and run facility had a solid 2011-2012 (fiscal year ending March 31) and dry docked 20 vessels while berthing another 56. The activity generated total revenue of $8.7 million for Ottawa’s coffers. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 21
shipyards As for 2012, the job sheet has included the Queen of Burnaby in for an emergency docking with a leaky variable pitch propeller hub, and the damaged Coastal Inspiration in for repairs after a collision with the dock at Duke Point in Nanaimo, an incident that closed the terminal for months, forcing passengers to use the Departure Bay Terminal. The Spirit of Vancouver Island was back for a floating refit as part of its continuing sewage upgrade and work on its shafts. The Skeena Queen docked for three weeks recently for a rightangle drive change. In May, work slowed considerably and the yard, which normally hires 50 to 60, was down to only five employees as the nearby graving dock was busy with naval vessels such as HMCS Winnipeg and HMCS Protecteur.
Point Hope Maritime
General Manager, Hank Bekkering, says 2011 was “an okay year” and extensive work on the Quadra Queen II proved the most valuable contract of the 12 months. The year also included what has become a regular contract for SNC Lavalin, the four-year refits of naval barges, this time the YDG 3, a degaussing barge. As well, the yard in Victoria’s Inner Harbour also completed repair and refit work on two Pacific Pilotage Authority
22 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
vessels, PPA Scout and PPA 2, which involved shafts, sea valves, underwater paint, corrosion protection anodes and propeller shafts. The Burrard 9 was also in for regular maintenance, paint and sea valves, while U.S. tug K-Sea Altair was in for its four-year ABS survey. Work included shafts, propellers, rudders, sea valves, hull paint and minor steel repairs while in during July and August. So far this year, the 31-metre navy training vessel HMCS Oriole was back for regular refit and maintenance. Work included steel repairs, sea valves, piping, woodwork, mast repairs and electrical repairs. And the patrol craft Orca Raven was in for its four-year ABS survey with a job order that involved work on the shaft, pumps, rudders, tanks, sea valves, and the usual blast and paint. Two fishing boats — Nordic Spirit and Viking Storm — also docked for similar work orders. The Sea Link tug Sea Commander also called for its fouryear Transport Canada survey involving shafts, rudders, sea valves and steel repairs. Asked if it was a healthy time for the yard, Bekkering responded, “soso.” Looking ahead, he sees NSPS work for Seaspan as being a year away and says it’s hard to figure how much BC Ferries work will come the yard’s way.
The workforce has settled at around 40, depending on the workload.
This Campbell River yard, which began its life over 60 years ago as a specialist in marine fabrication and welding, is also a boat builder and completed two 18-foot sidewinder boom boats in 2011. Owner Rick McTavish has a crew of seven and they recently helped neighbour Ocean Pacific Marine Supply build a sub-docking barge for the navy by doing structural welding and the docking pads. The yard also builds docks and selfcontained fish tanks for local aquaculture businesses.
These are good times for Ocean Pacific Marine Supply...as its team of 35 is busy on a variety of projects.
Ocean Pacific Marine Supply
These are good times for Ocean Pacific Marine Supply in Campbell River as its team of 35 is busy on a variety of projects. Only five years ago, the yard employed just six. Last year, the yard refitted the 45-foot tug Teeshu for Catalyst Paper and replaced the hull plating on the 98-foot aluminum landing craft Inlet Raider as well as refitting the Comox search and rescue craft Black Duck.
shipyards Photo courtesy of Daigle Welding
The major new build project of 2012 so far has been the construction of a 100-foot long submarine barge for the Department of National Defence. Due to be launched late in June, the barge can dock two submarines at a time and will soon be on its way by tow to Victoria. Ocean Pacific Marine owner and President, Bruce Kempling, says the yard is also working on another 80-foot, steel landing craft, which once served in the U.S. Navy. The Skookum Truck completed repairs and stability tests and its old crane was changed out for a new one in January. And in another major project, the boat yard converted the 60-foot pleasure craft Nootka Queen into a 20-passenger tourism cruise vessel. The conversion to Transport Canada specifications and other renovations took eight months and you’ll now see the vessel cruising Nootka Sound and Discovery Passage. Certified in both steel and aluminum by the Canadian Welding Bureau, Ocean Pacific Marine has a 110-tonne travel lift which serves two 65-foot long buildings enabling vessels to be inside for repairs, refits and other routine survey work.
Daigle Welding delivered the NPA Osprey to Nanaimo Port Authority in May. 42-foot fishing boat and a $1 millionplus 45-foot boat. The first is almost launched and the second is evolving in design and options and is at the 50 per cent completed stage. The yard felt the bite of the 2009 global recession hard. With 70 per cent of its aluminum pleasure craft going to the Washington State Seattle/Tacoma market, Daigle says it hurt “when somebody turned the switch off” and orders dried up. Layoffs followed but in fall
2009 the yard landed four big projects over a four-month period and the lights went back on. Those orders included a 38-foot pleasure craft; the 32-foot Tymac Surveyor; a 50-foot landing craft that went to Inuvik; and another 36-foot landing craft destined for Quebec. Crew boats for BC Hydro have also followed and on the pleasure boat side, Daigle says the Alberta market is strong with buyers choosing to leave their vessels
One of the big projects of the year for this Campbell River boat builder was the delivery in May of the $600,000 patrol vessel NPA Osprey for the Nanaimo Port Authority. The 39-foot EagleCraft pilot/patrol vessel will also be used as an ambulance and for firefighting duties. The yard also built a “little sister” — the 32-foot NPA Eagle for the port authority last year for about $380,000 and equipped it with a 180-horsepower Styre diesel running a 300-gallons-per minute fire pump and foam system. The vessel will also fill patrol and ambulance duties in and around Nanaimo Harbour. But, when it comes to repeat customers, says owner and President Steve Daigle, the recent restoration of a gooey duck fishing boat has led to two further orders — a $1.25-million,
“Electrical contractors to the Marine Industry” McRae Head Office: +1-604-291-7131 email@example.com 4006 East 1st Avenue Burnaby, B.C. V5C 3W4 Island Division: +1-250-924-1119 firstname.lastname@example.org 679 Colonia Drive Ladysmith, B.C. V9G 0A3 July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 23
shipyards stored in a Daigle-owned 40-boat covered storage facility until needed. The yard currently employs 30 fulltimers and, in one unusual project, is widening a vessel that had seen many add-ons during its 15-year life and needed better stability. Daigle Welding & Marine Ltd. has been designing and building its EagleCraft custom aluminum boats since 1985 and, with over 760 boats to its credit, the line-up would stretch
6.8 kilometres long if they were placed end-to-end, says Steve.
Deas Pacific Marine
As the dedicated repair and maintenance division for BC Ferries, it has been another hectic year for refit and capital works projects at Deas Pacific Marine in Richmond. “Our 2011 was a good year and we were kept very busy,” says facility Executive Director K.S. Ng. He adds
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that Deas Pacific was “fully loaded” for much of 2011 doing refit and sewage pump upgrade work for eight to 10 vessels. Minor capital works projects included revamps of passenger space and lifesaving equipment upgrades for Bowen Queen, Powell River Queen and Mayne Queen. The Queen of Chilliwack docked for a Phase 2 passenger and crew space upgrade, a $15-million project that ran through until May 2012. The overnight ferry Northern Adventure was docked for sewage pump and domestic water line renewal, plus bilge and ballast, and piping modifications. The $5-million job began last October and was completed in early April 2012. At its peak, the ship repair yard had 180 employees and performed about 190,000 man-hours of work. In October-November there were up to 250 subcontractors performing various projects. Authorization Now, there were three ships in as Ng glanced out his window and a workforce of around 140 and 40 subcontractors. Jim:________________ The Northern Expedition was in for a routine refit and the Howe Sound Queen was in for sewage pump upgrade work. All new BCMike:_______________ Ferries vessels have sewage treatment plants while the older vessels now have collecting tanks with offloads to shore collection points. Ken:________________ Amid the constant ferry traffic, the yard also manages to squeeze in other projects to help out local shipping companies, says Ng. Rob:________________
The 220 employees at Vancouver Shipyards have had a busy year maintaining the Seaspan fleet of tugs, and chip, gravel, oil and covered barges, plus an almost endless run of other tow boats and coastal tugs. So says VP & GM Tony Matergio who puts 2011 down as a good year for the division of Seaspan with business volumes and repair work climbing back to normal levels as ship owners start to spend again. 24 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
shipyards On the new build side, in December, the yard completed and delivered a 32,000-barrel oil barge it designed for Marine Petrobulk. At the time, the Petrobulker was the biggest new build underway in the province and Matergio says it was completed “on time and on budget.” At least nine new chip barges are being built for Seaspan and the first three are already in service. Vancouver Shipyards will play a leading role in the upcoming NSPS contract work and Matergio says the first of the Federal Fleet Renewals, a 55-metrelong Ocean Fisheries Sciences Vessel, is expected to be underway in the summer of 2013.
In 2012, an extremely busy first quarter included the first dry docking of a cruise ship in Vancouver in 20 years...
epoxy ice-coating after a sandblast. The multi-task vessel, which is used in such capacities as search and rescue, buoy tending, lighthouse supply, and Arctic patrols, also had a rudder survey and work on her propellers, sea valves, bow thruster plus minor engineering tasks. In April, the BC Ferries Coastal Inspiration made a scheduled standard docking for survey work over a two and a half-week period. Two large fishing boats, the American Seafoods vessels Ocean Rover and Northern Eagle were also dry docked during April-May for routine work. The drydock continues to be “quite busy,” says Matergio with other scheduled dockings by regular customers including Crowley, Horizon, Northlands Transportation and others. It’s enough to keep about 200 fully employed.
Now under new ownership, Allied Shipbuilders Ltd. has Chuck Ko at its helm as owner and President instead of a member of the McLaren family. The change came in February 2012 and ended 64 years of McLaren control.
Photo credit: Benjamin Cartwright, Vancouver Drydock
As for his other responsibility, Matergio says Vancouver Drydock is also gearing up for a much brighter future with its facility that can handle vessels up to 36,000 deadweight tonnes. The last half of 2011 was busier than the first as BC Ferries work picked up. A refit of the coastal defence vessel HMCS Yellowknife also helped bolster the workload as did a steady stream of Crowley and Foss tugs and barges in for maintenance and repair work. The drydock also scored the 150metre Washington State ferry Puyallip in for a standard refit and the 85-metrelong local ferry Bowen Queen shared the space as it was given a standard refit, plus the usual assembly of Seaspan fleet maintenance and repairs. In 2012, an extremely busy first quarter included the first dry docking of a cruise ship in Vancouver in 20 years — the Prestige Cruise Holding’s Seven Seas Navigator. The work included steel renewal along the length of the keel, plus sea valves, rudders, bottom hull coatings, lifeboat, topside painting, while subcontractors aligned the main
generators and replaced carpets and other items. And the Seattle-based Premier Pacific fish processing factory ship Ocean Phoenix dry docked in January for a two and a half-week standard refit and class survey. Other callers included the 217metre container vessel Horizon Kodiak in for similar survey work, including sandblast and paint and sea valves. In February, the satellite launching vessel Sea Launch Commander dry docked for a standard refit, which involved a multi-million dollar refit including a major sandblast and paint, Azimuth thruster work, sea valves, propeller and rudder inspections and topside painting. A new customer to the drydock was the Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc. 73-metre supply ship Dominator which received a four-week refit involving rudders and props. The workload has been interspersed with calls by barges for repair and maintenance, including two from K-Sea Transportation and a variety of tug and workboats. The Canadian Coast Guard light icebreaker Sir Wilfrid Laurier received service including renewal of its
The Seven Seas Navigator was in Vancouver Drydock in May. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 25
shipyards Arrow Marine
the vessel’s gearbox and service and overhaul of all generators. The hull was given a sandblast and paint, and deck machinery, including a crane, was overhauled. The chase for BC Ferries work continues, says Ko, without any recent success, but it is traditional work for the shipyards. The slower times also mean Allied can do work to improve its production by refurbishing its machine shops and outfit barge. He is also keen to help out Seaspan on any NSPS or other work it can’t handle once that $8 billion worth of projects starts to work through into the industry. “I think it is a very good time for the industry,” says Ko, “we’ll just have to be patient.”
Photo courtesy of Allied Shipyards
Ko showed optimism in taking ownership despite the second half of 2011 which saw a significant downturn that left plenty of time to do shipyard maintenance, but he now sees a bright future thanks to the NSPS success for the West Coast. The two-shipyard company managed to hold on to 70 per cent of its core work group during the downturn. An order for eight chip barges helped the work flow in the Fall. This year, Allied is “steady, but not booming,” says Ko, who has been with Allied for 31 years and knows it well. Currently, the refit of the navy YPT torpedo ship ranging vessel Sikani has the yard busy on a five-month project due to be completed in June and involving removal and replacement of
Allied Shipbuilders’ new owner, Chuck Ko, is optimistic that 2012 will be a good year. 26 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
After a mediocre 2011, the team at Arrow Marine Services in Richmond is relieved that 2012 is “looking a lot better.” That’s the feeling of Arrow Vice President Brian Charles who says there was “nothing exciting in 2011, just general repair work”. But, so far in 2012, the shipyard has built 800 feet of steel dock for the Ledcor Division at its Silverdale wood chip load out in Mission. As well, the yard has been converting the freight scow Empire 25 by adding 10-foot sides and extending existing nine-foot walls. The work was expected to be completed by the end of June. Arrow has rebuilt the U.S.-flagged 70-foot tug Anne Carlander with new rubber bulwarks, new insulation, a full sandblast and paint, and other mechanical work for new owners Harken Towing of Port Coquitlam. The work was expected to be completed by the end of June. Other work has included the fishing boat Freeport, which was in for its routine Canadian Steamship Inspection (CSI), plus work on the tunnelling between fish holds. And the yard replaced the stern rubber on the Seaspan tug Comox Crown, plus other miscellaneous maintenance work. The Titan Rascal, a 45-foot tug once owned by Westview Navigation, was in for repowering and a refit for new owners Thunder Bay Towing of Powell River. Leader Fishing docked the fish boat Pacific Viking for a month for replacement aluminum work after bow damage from a collision. It was back in its owner’s hands by the end of May. As well, the fishing boat Savage Fisher was in for a bow scrape and paint. Ocean Fisheries had the E J Safarik in the yard for two weeks for sandblast and paint work, welding and other repairs. Ocean Fisher 1 was also in for minor repairs and paint work. And in a six-week project, the 70-foot long tug Cindy Mozel was in at Arrow to have icebreaker plates installed, plus new propeller nozzles and other work
shipyards including a sandblast and paint — all while having its regular CSI. For Charles, 2012 has been a lot brighter for Arrow especially since the installation of a 330-tonne capacity Travelift, which is attracting bigger tugs for regular work. He says that the yard is competitive and is looking forward to spin-off work once the NSPS contracts coming to the West Coast kick in. Current employees total about 22 and the number is climbing.
especially since the fourth Seabus was cancelled, and there was a scramble to find other work in steel. In March 2012, the yard delivered a 65-foot tow boat for Standard Towing of Burnaby, something Dawson says was “a fairly good size job” which is now deciding on its extra features before delivery. As well, the yard started work on a new 64-foot steel vessel for Sampson Tugboats back in February. In 2011, ABD also delivered two Tymac boats and a third contract for passenger structures as a subcontractor for Victoria Shipyards. While the 87-year-old Dawson doesn’t think it’s the end of aluminum for the yard, he’s busy climbing the steel boat learning curve, adding “if you can do aluminum welding, then you can easily do steel.”
Photo courtesy of Arrow Marine
For 84-year-old President and owner, Erling Sylte, this Maple Ridge yard had a “not too bad year in 2011 — we were busy anyway”. The Sylte Shipyard — one of the oldest shipbuilders on the coast — is struggling to find suitable employees with the right skill sets. The crusty veteran of the B.C. shipbuilding industry has 16 employees on the books currently but would like 25 if he could find them. The yard is busy and has begun building a 49-foot tug, a project that should take it through the rest of the year. The finishing touches are being put on a 28-foot new tug and also a 59-footer built for Gowlland Towing of Campbell River, which was due to be completed and delivered by the end of May. Sylte says the yard may also build a glass bottom boat for Great Lakes tourism although “nothing has been signed yet”. And Hawaiian interests are considering having the yard build a fishing boat but the final details have yet to be agreed. One of the industry’s eternal optimists, Erling says for him the industry has been good of late: “It’s always been good for me, it’s going just at the pace I want it.”
ABD hired 25 at its peak and has now settled at around 18 employees to meet the current work load. With so many years of experience to look back on, Dawson says the B.C. shipbuilding industry “looks good for the future”. As the manufacturer of steel and aluminum boats, he says he remains “reasonably optimistic” and the yard is hopeful that one of the offshoots of the NSPS work will be fabrication in aluminum. Either way, this respected veteran of the industry wasn’t down in the dumps. Just a few days after the interview with BC Shipping News he was off on his 20th cruise, this time to Alaska. Ray Dykes is a former journalist who has worked his way around the world as a writer/photographer. Ray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steel is the new cause-celebre at the once exclusive aluminum boat building yard in North Vancouver. ABD Aluminum Yachts made its name in just that, building new work and pleasure boats made of aluminum. But part-owner Al Dawson (the other owner is Burton Drody) says aluminum is no longer the magic for the shipyard,
Arrow Marine’s new 330-tonne capacity Travelift is attracting new customers. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 27
shipbuilding summit Western Canada Shipbuilding Summit highlights opportunities for NSPS suppliers
early 600 people attended the Western Canada Shipbuilding Summit in May, hosted by Western Economic Diversification Canada. Andrew Saxton, MP for North Vancouver, and the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for WD, provided welcoming remarks, noting that this initiative was a part of the federal government’s Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Action Plan. The day-long session provided an opportunity to hear from industry representatives, executives from both Seaspan Shipyards and Irving Shipbuilding, and federal and provincial government agency representatives on how to capitalize on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. “There are opportunities here for all of Canada,” said Minister Yelich. “We want to ensure that you receive the information you need to compete. My goal is simple: I want to set you up for success.” Vice-Admiral (ret’d) Peter Cairns, President of the Shipbuilding Association of Canada, outlined the impact the strategy would have on the industry: “A multi-year order book for the shipyards, their suppliers and their supply-chains will mean stability. It will also mean improved productivity and improved financial health which is important for increased investment and infrastructure modernization. This increased investment will lead to new technologies and a renewal in the workforce.” Gary McGee, Director, NSPS Secretariat, highlighted the drivers behind the strategy: “Previous boom and bust cycles were the result of a lack of a shipbuilding strategy to realize fleet renewal and that impacted shipyards significantly,” McGee said. “Previous shipbuilding solicitations were ad hoc and unreliable. Given these elements, as well as the current state 28 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
and age of the current Coast Guard and Naval fleets, the government of Canada is committed to undertaking fleet renewal and revitalization over the next 30 years.” Describing the opportunity as “once in a lifetime”, McGee expects that the fleet renewal will see the creation of 15,000 direct and indirect jobs and $2 billion in economic benefits.
...the portions of the NSPS that excluded Irving Shipyard Inc. and Seaspan Shipyards...[will be open to all other shipyards across Canada. Speaking specifically about the portions of the NSPS that excluded Irving Shipyard Inc. and Seaspan Shipyards — i.e., $2 billion set aside for small vessel construction (under 1,000 tonnes) for 116 ships; and ship repair and refit work estimated at between $500 to $600 million per year for the next 30 years — McGee noted that the bid competition would be open to all other shipyards across Canada. Examples of vessels that fall into this category include SAR lifeboats, mid-shore science vessels, channel survey and sounding vessels, near-shore fishery research vessels and special nav-aid vessels. At this time, a schedule has not yet been developed
nor has a breakdown in the budgets. Following McGee’s presentation, government agency representatives outlined a variety of programs: Public Works & Government Services Canada: Ravinder Rahkra, Regional Director of the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises, explained how to access federal government procurement opportunities and the implementation of the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program. Ms. Rahkra indicated that all opportunities related to the $2 billion budget for vessel construction just mentioned by Mr. McGee (i.e., those excluding the contracted packages for combat and non-combat vessels over 1,000 tonnes) would be open to a competitive bid process posted on Merx (www. merx.com), an electronic tendering system. Rahkra recommended that companies visit www.buyandsell.gc.ca to learn more about the government procurement process. The buyandsell website allows one to register on the Supplier Registration Information System (SRIS); search contract history; and register for seminars among other resources. Ms. Rahkra also provided details on the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program — a procurement program aimed at addressing challenges
Full house — nearly 600 people from 360 companies attended the Western Canada Shipbuilding Summit in Vancouver in May.
shipbuilding summit experienced by Canadian businesses in commercializing their products. The program works through a competitive process where the government procures pre-commercial innovations that are then tested out by federal government departments. Four priority areas have been identified for projects: environment, health, safety and security, and enabling technologies. Industry Canada: Mary Gregory, Executive Director, Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Directorate, spoke first about the value proposition and then about the IRB Policy. Ms. Gregory explained that the value proposition is an investment by Irving Shipbuilding and Seaspan Shipyards into three priority areas: human resources, technology investment and industrial development. It is designed to benefit the maritime industry in general, not just shipbuilding. Different and distinguishable from the value proposition is the IRB Policy. This is a requirement for all prime contractors to undertake activities in Canada that total 100 per cent of the value of the defence or security procurement. The policy strongly encourages prime contractors to select Canadian partners and suppliers, however the policy is market-driven in that the selection must make business sense both to the contractor and the Canadian company. B.C. Ministry of Finance: Joe Masi, A/Manager, Corporate Tax and Integrated Operations, spoke about the B.C. Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Tax Credit Program. While still in the development stages, Masi provided a look at the umbrella program, the B.C. Training Tax Credit. Essentially, the program provides for three levels of credits available to employers — basic, completion and enhanced (for First Nations individuals and persons with disabilities). Credits range from 20 per cent of an employee’s wage (up to a maximum of $4,000) to additional incentives for a completion tax credit and an enhanced credit, the program is expected to start in October 2012 and run through to 2019.
Lloyd’s Register Canada Ltd: Marcel Laroche, Marine Manager Western Canada, described the role of class societies in ship construction and outlined Lloyd’s involvement in all stages of vessel construction. Lloyd’s is a non-profit organization recognized as a “delegated authority” by Transport Canada. Through regulatory regimes such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Canada Shipping Act 2001, Lloyd’s ensures consistent application of construction to accepted international regulations, including technical requirements and verification of compliance. Laroche noted that this verification extends to equipment, materials and components of a vessel, therefore companies should be ensuring their product meets the proper standards. He offered Lloyd’s assistance to guide suppliers through the approval process. More information about Lloyd’s Register can be obtained at www.lr.org. B.C. Shipbuilding and Repair Workforce Table: Kerry Jothen, Project Manager, explained that the purpose of the Table was to ensure the right number of people with the right skills were trained at the right time and in the right place. In addition to analyzing expected labour supply and demand, industry gaps and talent pools, the Table will be working with industry to develop a strategy to guide investments in training. The strategy is expected to be drafted by June 2012. Additional information on the project can be found at www.shipbuildingandrepair.com. Irving Shipyard Inc. (ISI): Adam Spence, Director, Supply Chain, provided background information on ISI, noting that there are four locations with 1,300 employees, 1,100 of which are in Halifax. ISI submitted the winning bid for the combat vessel portion of the NSPS which includes 21 vessels, the first being the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (six to eight required), followed by 15 Canadian Surface Combatants to replace Canada’s frigates and destroyers.
Spence noted that, of the 1,200 suppliers already registered on their online supplier registry (at www.irvingshipbuilding.com), only 37 are from the West Coast. He encouraged those companies in the audience from the West Coast to register and outlined a number of steps companies could take to better position themselves in the procurement process, including communicating services and products clearly and understanding ISI’s supply chain. Seaspan Shipyards: The most anticipated speaker of the session was Brian Carter, President. Carter gave an update on progress being made on infrastructure upgrades and vessel design. The details of this presentation are covered in BC Shipping News’ Industry Insight on Page 10 of this issue. To briefly summarize: Carter expects that opportunities for site work and shipyard modernization will begin a tendering process by August of this year and procurement of material for the first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel will begin in the first quarter of 2013. He strongly recommended that companies not already registered on the online supplier registry at www. seaspan.com should do so as soon as possible. To provide closing remarks on behalf of WD, Kimberly Zinck, Senior Policy Analyst with WD Ottawa outlined WD’s role in implementing Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Action Plan. In addition to having already invested over $1 million toward the Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre in B.C., WD will continue to consider opportunities for investment. They will also be advising of upcoming opportunities similar to the current workshop and, beginning this fall, will be hosting a series of information seminars to help small and medium sized businesses better understand the intricacies of doing business with the federal government and private contractors. Plans are also being developed to help businesses showcase their products and services through supplier development tours. BCSN July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 29
The face of the next generation
eorge Coman is in an enviable position. At 33 years old, with a marine engineering diploma from BCIT in hand and already having spent a good portion of time at sea, George is the generation that will most benefit from the NSPS boom in British Columbia. While his original plan was to have continued on at sea for another 10 years before starting his own business, a mix of fate and opportunity led him to Jack Campbell Marine and the beginnings of a career ashore. “On the same day my mother-inlaw passed away,” George recalls, “my 11-month old daughter stopped breathing and my wife had to perform CPR to save her life. She’s fine now but that day made me realize that a career at sea was not an option. I didn’t want to miss out on raising my family.” So, in April 2011 George established Geco Marine and sought out local opportunities to keep him close to home. He found Jack Campbell Marine, a marine repair shop on the water in North Vancouver, whose owner was about to retire. George purchased the shop complete with welding equipment, drill press and all the tools a shipwright
and engineer required. “I immediately walked straight into a few jobs with fishing boats as well as cargo ships.” Over the past year, George has laid a foundation that puts him in good stead to take advantage of a revived industry here on the West Coast. Following a career that has taken him from ships on the Black Sea in his native country of Romania, to Ireland, and then to Canada, George spent a number of atsea years with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Oceania Cruises and even time on the Great Lakes with the aging self-unloading Laker fleet. The combination of sea experience, education and an attitude that recognizes hard work and the value of building a reliable reputation within the industry, has given George a leg up over others in his age group. More than anything, he believes that for the NSPS to be successful, the industry will need to look beyond Canada’s borders to fill the gap that currently exists in the workforce. In addition to contracting work out to students from BCIT’s Marine Campus who are between school and sea, George works with new immigrants who are in the process of
George at work during the recent commission of Oceania Marina in Genova, Italy. 30 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
converting their certificates to ones recognized in Canada. He sees the momentum that has been building and believes that, more and more, Canada will need to rely on immigration to satisfy the labour needs of the industry.
...George has laid a foundation that puts him in good stead to take advantage of a revived industry here on the West Coast. “Many that are new to Canada and looking for work aren’t familiar with how to convert their certificates to Canadian-recognized ones,” he says. “I spend time helping them learn how to do that and at the same time, contract them to help in the shop when needed. I believe that there is a lot of talent coming into Canada — there just needs to be a way to integrate that talent in a more efficient manner.” Geco Marine provides a wide range of services, including technical support, maintenance and repairs; feasibility studies and procurement assistance for main propulsion auxiliary machinery, instrumentation, safety and firefighting equipment; as well as instrument calibration, repair and installation; and Safety Management System implementation and maintenance to name just a few. In addition, Geco Marine is the exclusive Canadian representative for Total Marine Solutions and the western Canadian rep for MERUS, Garbarino pumps, Waterless and a number of other products. “Total Marine Solutions focuses on products and services that provide solutions for compliance with environmental regulations for things like black water management and bilge water treatment systems,” George says. “One of their best-selling products is the Marinfloc AB — the only oil/water separator on the market today that retains separation over time. They have
workforce also developed the Marinfloc White Box System which is a fail-safe system incorporating the features of an oil content meter’s control over a three-way valve’s return function into a central locked location. It gives vessel operators the assurance that water with an oil content in excess of 15 ppm will not be accidentally discharged overboard.” MERUS is another new technology which, while not yet widely used in Canada, is gaining recognition as a proven way to treat scaling/fouling, corrosion, and algae and bacteria in a number of areas on a ship. “By using an oscillation technology, the MERUS Ring is an easy and effective alternative to other cleaning methods,” said George. “Cunard Cruise Lines has installed MERUS on the Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mary II, and it is also being used on Hapag-Lloyd vessels and some ferries in the U.K. — all with great success and praise.” George also notes that the system is chemical-free, requires no power and no maintenance. As a believer in continually upgrading skills to match new technology, George’s involvement with these companies provides that opportunity. “I’d love to be able to focus more on research and development in the future,” he says. “but right now, partnering with international companies who are on the leading edge of technology is a great way to continually stay abreast of new ideas and products.”
In addition to Geco Marine, George teaches a marine firefighting course at the Justice Institute. And, of course, he spends as much time as he can with wife Meagan, son Andrew and daughter Isabella. BCSN
July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 31
Uncommon sense strategies to develop and keep your people By Patti Cross-Bishop, Westwind Performance
he shipping industry in Canada is experiencing heightened challenges due to an aging workforce, a shortage of workers and a challenging demographic going forward. Coupling these realities with increased competition for talent and the need to successfully implement technology and process improvements suggests that those companies not addressing existing engagement and leadership gaps will be left behind. A paper released recently by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that improving skills and workplace training should become a national priority, and recommends more companies make a “strategic decision to take a direct role in creating the skilled workforces and talent pipelines they need”. The following findings in a survey done by Ken Blanchard Companies underscore the case for improved leadership development: • At least nine per cent, and possibly as much as 32 per cent, of an organization’s voluntary turnover can be avoided through better leadership skills. • Better leadership can generate a three to four per cent improvement in customer satisfaction scores and a corresponding 1.5 per cent increase in revenue growth. • Most organizations are operating with a five to 10 per cent productivity drag that better leadership practices could eliminate. • Less-than-optimal leadership practices cost the typical organization an amount equal to seven per cent of their total annual sales. Based on Westwind Performance’s first-hand experience in a variety of industries (mining, forestry, steel fabrication, financial services, distribution), it has been clearly demonstrated
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that the biggest opportunity currently available for organizations to gain a competitive advantage in today’s rapidly changing workplace is to ramp up workforce engagement and to develop leadership.
One-on-one candid discussions about your operation with your whole team give critical insight and build trust. Four practical strategies Westwind Performance uses to engage the workforce and to ramp up the leadership skills of those in key roles — from front line supervisors to the executive — are as follows: Ask your people what is possible. Interview a good percentage of your people on possible improvements. Often, management is quick to implement new ideas and changes to processes without involving the workers that are affected — i.e., the employees that are working on the front line for eight to 10 hours per day. Needless to say this results in little or no buy-in to new initiatives. One-on-one candid discussions about your operation with your whole team give critical insight and build trust. As an unbiased outside party, Westwind has found it is able to gather honest feedback from its clients’ employees. Key areas of importance are performance metrics, communication effectiveness, innovation capacity and leadership strength. This assessment gives a clear picture of the current climate — and identifies key ways to improve it. Setting the right priorities. The next step is to clearly establish the over-arching goals and priorities that define success. The key priorities
in an organization must be critical to all levels. For example, if an employee is assigned a priority but his boss doesn’t pay attention, the initiative has little likelihood of success. Common sense tells us that effective employees pay attention to their bosses. Establish dynamic, priority-setting sessions. With your leadership team, including frontline leaders, list and rank the priorities that will have the biggest positive impact — the operational drivers that will move your business toward achieving your goal. The team has a real voice in this process, which goes a long way to building alignment and buy-in over the long run. Establish focus groups to drive the priorities. Now that the over-arching goal and priorities have been identified, it’s time to refine your approach. Meeting as equals, multi-level and multi-disciplinary focus groups work together to identify and understand the current challenges and opportunities in order to tackle the chosen priorities. By harnessing your workers’ ‘power of observation’, superior results will happen. An example of this happened when a company started a process to order a new $15 million machine without asking the operator what he thought. When finally asked, he had ideas on how to make the old machine efficient. By inviting the operator to openly communicate his power of observation, the operator saved the company the $15 million. This process will help your leaders take on future priorities using the same logic, and with a powerful team approach. Your team assesses each opportunity strategically, fiscally, and pragmatically, keeping the
workforce focus on the specific drivers that will make the biggest difference. Clarity is established. Coach behavior change. Once the priorities have been established. Productive behaviors need to be identified as they impact the priority. One-on-one leadership coaching and development ensures that your key initiatives take root in your organization. This is only achieved by rigorous ongoing coaching. An effective coaching tool is the power of the ‘pause’. It is a valuable tool in almost any circumstance of communication. It is extremely useful when giving an employee feedback or redirection. “I notice you shut the machine off three times this morning...pause...” The pause allows you some space and gives the employee the respect and opportunity to explain their actions. People at all levels of an organization that have embraced the ‘pause’ concept
as a tool have noticed that they have become better listeners and as a result are developing better relationships. Small changes can result in a seismic shift in morale, communication and operational performance. These four practical strategies, when implemented properly, ignite changes that can be felt at every level of your company. Which means these changes will last.
An engaged workforce starts at the top. Without engaged leadership, an engaged workforce is virtually impossible. An engaged workforce starts at the top. Without engaged leadership, an engaged workforce is virtually impossible. Senior management and line leaders need to be actively involved — and committed to going the extra mile for their organizations and their
employees. Incorporating engagement and leadership development with the work that needs to be done will empower, and equip individuals, managers, and executives to drive engagement and results every day. Newly trained leaders are motivated to change behaviors and practice new skills on tasks that are important to daily work. Relevance and confidence have a significant impact on results. Their behavioral change affects the extent of improvements seen on the job and maximizes the positive impact of leadership development efforts. Ensuring an organizational culture that not only supports but also maximizes development will guarantee that leaders are continually improving and providing value to the organization. These changes are deep-rooted behaviors that will alter the entire landscape of your operation in a very sustainable way.
July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 33
search and rescue
West Coast SAR... Part Two: The key role of Victoria’s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre
By K. Joseph Spears and Michael J. Dorey
earch and Rescue (SAR) is a federal responsibility for marine and aviation incidents domestically and internationally. This article examines Canada’s SAR obligations on the West Coast. There are many challenges to our search and rescue response given the distances, lack of infrastructure, exposed coastline, complexity and uneven density of marine traffic, lack of navigational aids and sparse search and rescue assets to cover a large, northsouth distance of 800 kilometres, an indented remote coastline of 25,000 km and 6,000 islands all subject to tidal currents and open ocean conditions. The Victoria Search and Rescue Region (SRR) is one of three regions in Canada. Pursuant to an international agreement on search and rescue, the world is divided into areas of national search and rescue responsibility. Seaward Canada’s international SAR obligations extend out 600 nautical miles. The Victoria SRR consists of an area of approximately 920,000 square kilometres of mainly mountainous terrain in the Yukon and B.C. and 560,000 km² of the Pacific Ocean. To say the Victoria (SRR) is presented with challenging conditions is an understatement. Recent incidents both here in Canada, such as the Queen of the North ferry sinking, and
34 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
internationally, the grounding of the large cruise ship Costa Concordia carrying 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew off the Italian coast, call into question our ability as a nation to handle a mass casualty and our need to re-assess and continually review our SAR capability — especially in light of changing vessel types, increasing passenger capacity and new marine activities. Discussion and debate on this issue is of concern to all mariners and search and rescue professionals of the Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR formerly CCGA-P), Civil Aviation Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) and commercial and pleasure craft mariners.
...the B.C. coastline...is often inaccessible...because of weather conditions and lack of an existing land-based transportation infrastructure. While much discussion has focused on Arctic search and rescue in a vast and remote region, and the Burton Winters case in Labrador, the B.C. coastline is a rocky and remote area that is often inaccessible for much of the year because
of weather conditions and lack of an existing land-based transportation infrastructure. It is not unlike the Arctic in its challenges to search and rescue operations. Every day decisions need to be made for the deployment of scarce SAR resources to ensure ongoing SAR coverage for marine incidents. During many times of the year, the only way a swift and proper SAR response can occur is with the use of either fixed and/or rotary wing assets because there are no other options. There is no road access on much of the coast and the marine assets, given their speed, would take much longer to arrive (unless, of course, they are already nearby as was the case the CCG Wilfred Laurier during the Queen of the North incident). On the coast, we have a variety of marine vessels operating yearround with large number of passengers on both commercial and pleasure vessels — there is both high-traffic density and a high volume of passengers. In the summer we see over 30 cruise ships in Canadian waters, each carrying an average of 2,500 passengers. We have the potential requirement for mass casualty evacuations in some very inaccessible and remote areas of our coastline. Should the vessel ground and the passengers are required to be evacuated,
search and rescue for non-maritime incidents. It is always a balancing act to ensure coverage for maritime and aviation incidents when scarce SAR assets are deployed for other incidents. Communications and co-ordination are key in order to provide a robust SAR response capability and the allocation of scarce SAR resources. Canada is a very large country and the limited search and rescue resources need to be prioritized. That is one of the key roles that the controllers of the JRCC play. The JRCC is commanded by an experienced Air Force officer, usually at the rank of major, with extensive practical, local and operational experience as either a command pilot or navigator. Air controllers are responsible for the aeronautical side of search and rescue and marine controllers from the Canadian Coast Guard co-ordinate marine responses. At any one time there are at least two marine controllers along with an air controller on duty. Once the JRCC is notified of an incident (they do not monitor marine radio communications as that is a Coast Guard function), the SAR co-ordinator begins to organize the rescue. All available information concerning the incident is gathered and recorded and the positions of potential assisting resources are determined.
the large numbers create special problems. In addition, the B.C. ferry fleet operates year-round on seven specific routes moving in excess of 22 million passengers a year. From a marine safety management standpoint, which we have discussed in other articles — search and rescue is at the right-hand side of the risk management continuum, requiring a timely response in order to prevent the loss of life and prevention of pollution. Search and rescue takes place at both the protection and response stages of risk management as, or after, incidents have occurred.
The foundation of Canada’s search and rescue response is co-ordination of SAR resources.
Photo credit: HBMG/Silvester Law
The foundation of Canada’s search and rescue response is the co-ordination of SAR resources. Most mariners do not realize the critical importance that the Victoria Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC), located at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, plays to ensure a proper and measured SAR response to both aeronautical and maritime incidents. In addition, the JRCC coordinates search and rescue responses for humanitarian purposes in accordance with national policy and regional directives. Canada’s National SAR program has been in place since 1986. The RCAF first commenced dedicated SAR operations in 1947. The Chief of the Air Staff is responsible for a strategic Canadian Forces’ SAR Policy. Canada Command has operational control of Canada’s SAR resources for marine and aviation incidents. The lead minister is the Minister of National Defence. The Canadian Coast Guard provides marine assets. For example, ground search and rescue is a provincial responsibility under the Criminal Code of Canada but federal search and rescue assets can be employed if available and if requested by the RCMP working in cooperation with the British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program (PEP)
SAR co-ordinators are trained to evaluate various situations and deploy the most effective resources to deal with the particular incident. In a complex and major incident, many resources are sent and additional assets that could be tasked are put on standby. Technology has made the search function more rapid and location of a distress call more accurate with the satellite technology and a global network of COSPAS-SARSAT satellites receiving signals from EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) but it is far from routine in the Victoria SSR. All the co-ordination comes together in the JRCC. The thing about the JRCC is that it works and is a highly unique agency bringing together military, government, volunteer and civilian assets. The free and constant flow of information from formal and informal sources, both through formal agreements and partnerships and built up over time, is the real strength of this little known unit. The JRCC has an extremely important function. Experienced SAR controllers of the JRCC have a solid working knowledge of the potential assets, their limitations and an understanding of the most effective deployment of these resources. A key element of co-ordination is
442 Transport and Rescue Squadron’s Cormorant helicopter — a key SAR asset for the West Coast. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 35
search and rescue Under section 130 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, a designated SAR controller can order any vessel to assist another in distress. This statutory authority is rarely used as it a custom of the sea that mariners always help one another. It is a code of the sea which is not based in statute and is very much alive and well on the West Coast. Mariners working with the Victoria JRCC can serve a very important function. They have done so for many years and will continue on into the future. Canada has international obligations
the incident response criteria. When an incident occurs, the controller selects the best, most suitable and nearest resource. This is based on a solid working knowledge of the coast and experience. For example, if an aviation ELT (emergency locater transmitter) is detected by COSPAS-SARSAT in northern British Columbia, the JRCC may task a CASARA aircraft. The same is true for a marine incident. In the case of a missing boat on the north coast, a RCM-SAR vessel would be immediately tasked. JRCC makes use of all SAR assets, not just governmental. The JRCC would not wait for the nearest government asset but would also use vessels of opportunity. Many of our mariner readers have assisted in marine SAR incidents.
As the number and size of passenger vessels increase, we will need to be able to respond to larger numbers of marine traffic as well as the potential for marine
The IMO has done a great deal of
mass casualty incidents.
work to standardize SAR procedures
for search and rescue. Each section of the world is divided into search and rescue regions that are commanded by SAR-SRR commanders. In this case, marine and aviation search and rescue is the responsibility of the Minister of National Defence. This can be traced back to an Order-in-Council that made the Royal Canadian Air Force responsible for SAR at the end of World War II when international air flights were in their infancy. Over time, this early use of the know-how of bush flying
worldwide and to develop international agreements.
36 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
Photo credit: Duncan Ayre, MARPAC PA
In addition, JRCC personnel have access to a variety of highly advanced computer modelling systems with respect to oceanographic drift, weather conditions and human survivability. Without a doubt, the Canadian JRCCs are world leaders in the co-ordination of marine rescue in a harsh environment. They work in close proximity with neighbouring search and rescue coordination centres in the U.S. and other parts of the world. The International Marine Organization has done a great deal of work to standardize SAR procedures worldwide and to develop international agreements. In the Arctic, a SAR agreement was signed in 2010 to increase co-operation under the auspices of the Arctic Council. Canada and the U.S. have a long history of working together on search and rescue matters and sharing and deploying SAR assets. There is an excellent working relationship with adjoining RCCs in Juneau and Elmendorf, AK; Langley, VA; and Seattle, WA.
— well-known to anyone who has spent time on the coast of B.C. — has morphed into a highly evolved choreography of dedicated marine and aviation SAR assets which can be deployed over a vast region. In the last issue, Part One of this SAR series, we looked at the importance of community involvement and the RCM-SAR. All Canadian SAR resources in Canada are tasked by the appropriate JRCC. The SAR co-ordinators have the ability to contract various nongovernmental search and rescue assets including civilian aircraft and/or vessels as required on a case-by-case basis. The SRR commander in Victoria SAR region is the Rear Admiral, currently RAdm. William Truelove following the recent retirement of Rear Admiral Nigel Greenwood. In his capacity as the SRR commander, he is exercising authority under the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, 1979, which is independent from obligations under the National Defence Act and the National SAR policy and is exercising international obligations from conventions and agreements on an operational basis 24/7, 365 days a year which provides one component of global search and rescue coverage under the international agreements and protocols between maritime nations. There are three JRCCs in Canada: Victoria in the West, covering the Victoria search and rescue zone; Trenton in central Canada
Two air controllers in the Victoria’s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
search and rescue
Assets available for deployment by the JRCC include the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. co-ordination and communication is key and must be constantly exercised. Search and rescue is an integral part of Canada’s ocean management and safety management regime. We owe it to the two Royal Canadian Marine search and rescue members who tragically died on June 3 during training to ensure that we have a robust SAR system and be guided by the motto of search and rescue — “so others may live”. On Canada’s West Coast, we must be forever vigilant. Mike Dorey retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Air Force. He is a Helicopter pilot with 5,600 hours including flying with 442 Squadron, flight
instructor and a chief check pilot. He was OIC of Halifax RCC, Commanding Officer of both 413 SAR and Transport Squadron and the 103 Rescue Unit, and an Air Attaché in Washington, DC amongst other postings in a 38-year career. Joe Spears has been involved in SAR for many years and is a 1976 graduate of the Canadian Forces Air Crew Survival Training School and is a DND wilderness survival instructor. He has been involved in numerous SAR incidents in all of Canada’s oceans and has assisted the National SAR Secretariat and is a former CCG Rescue Coxswain.
Photo courtesy of Department of National Defence
with coverage into the high Arctic; and Halifax, extending along the Atlantic Coast into the eastern Arctic and out to the North Atlantic. (These are set out in Figure One.) All of the JRCCs work together to co-ordinate Canada`s response. With a primary responsibility of providing aviation resources in the Victoria SRR, 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron is located at 19 Wing Comox with its primary responsibility of SAR in the Victoria SRR. To perform this challenging role, they are equipped with the Cormorant helicopter and the Buffalo aircraft. 442 Squadron is the only unit that utilizes the Buffalo aircraft because it is the only aircraft suited to operate in the sometimes treacherous Rocky Mountains. The other SAR squadrons fly the C130 Hercules. A Cormorant and Buffalo crew maintain standby 24/7, 365 days of the year and they are able to fly in severe weather to all extremes of the Victoria SRR. On a SAR launch, besides the standard crew, each aircraft carries two SAR Techs. These multi-talented individuals are able to conduct a rescue in almost any type of environment from a mountain peak to the deck of a stricken vessel. They can be hoisted by Cormorant or parachute from the Buffalo to quickly provide medical aid to those in distress. Behind the scenes skilled technicians keep the aircraft flying and enable the Squadron aircrew to do this important life-saving work throughout British Columbia and the adjoining regions. Search and rescue on Canada’s West Coast is an evolving subject and search and rescue professionals have always responded to new challenges. As the number and size of passenger vessels increase, we will need to be able to respond to larger numbers of marine traffic as well as the potential for marine mass casualty incidents. We have seen various marine incidents occur on this coast and we have been able to have a robust, prompt response. As a function of the rescue centre has shown, this
Figure One: Canada’s three Search and Rescue Regions. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 37
search and rescue
New name, look, station and vessel for SAR team
hile they may now be called the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR), the mission of saving lives on the water continues to drive the volunteer marine rescue organization formerly known as the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary-Pacific. The name change was announced during a special marine search and rescue event on May 26 at the Horseshoe Bay Municipal Pier, home of the new West Vancouver station and moorage for the new 36-foot search and rescue vessel, the Craig Rea Spirit. Regarding the name change, RCMSAR President Randy Strandt said: “We work very closely with the Canadian Coast Guard but we are a separate organization. Our new name recognizes the distinct identity of our service, and helps emphasize the strong links we have to the communities that depend on us, and on which we depend for fundraising.” The name change affects more than 1,000 members in British Columbia but does not apply to other CCGAs across
Canada. “Each of the five regions are independent legal entities and operate in different ways,” said Strandt. “Only Pacific has any significant fundraising and is the only one that has moved to an entirely dedicated rescue boat model. The rest rely mostly on privately owned pleasure craft or fishing vessels. As a result, only Pacific had a significant issue with being confused with Coast Guard.” Last year, RCM-SAR volunteers took part in more than 700 missions and assisted more than 850 people. Serving 46 communities, their area of operation covers more than 27,000 square kilometres of B.C. coastline. As noted, the event was held at the West Vancouver Rescue Station on the Horseshoe Bay Municipal Pier. The new station was the result of efforts over two years by local volunteers who worked with municipal staff and West Vancouver City Council to turn a disused warehouse into the station for the RCM-SAR’s use. The agreement included moorage for the new vessel, the Craig Rea Spirit, named in honour of long-time volunteer Craig Rea who was passed away prior to seeing the vessel delivered. In a moving dedication, the family of Craig Rea, represented by daughter
RCM-SAR volunteers stand onboard the Craig Rea Spirit. 38 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
Justine, described Craig’s passion and determination to raise $1 million for two new vessels to replace the aging lifeboats of Station 1, Station 2 and the North Shore Lifeboat Society (NSLS). Rea, a very enthusiastic Station 1 member and director of the NSLS was relentless in his pursuit of funding for the new vessels which were designed specifically for search and rescue activities. He found a sympathetic ear in a Station 1 member who felt that this was a project that a charitable foundation started by his company would consider sponsoring. With a great deal of hard work they persuaded that foundation to become the sponsor of the first of the NSLS boats. Executive Officer Stan Warlow was instrumental in arranging significant support from the Province for the second boat. On March 23, 2012 Craig’s dream was realized with the arrival of the second new vessel for Station 1. Due to the support from the RCM-SAR and the North Shore Lifeboat Society, Station 2 was able to donate their old Auxiliary 2 to the new station in Sicamous. The boat was pulled from service on March 30, given a refit and delivered to an enthusiastic reception at its new home on Shuswap Lake on April 18. BCSN
The Craig Rea Spirit.
search and rescue
Effective prevention patrols on the Fraser
More photos online at www.bcshippingnews.com
The Canadian Lifeboat Institution’s 52-foot patrol vessel. in commercial ships getting tangled up in fishing nets which cross the main channel and potentially ramming and sinking the fishing vessel,” said Captain Horton. “We try to patrol ahead of as much of the commercial traffic as we can during fishery openings to be able to give better warning to a fisherman and avoid an incident.” The CLI also provides safety patrol services for events such as the Southern Straits Yacht Race and the Tall Ships Festival. Pleasure craft and First Nations fishing vessels also make up a large part of those that require
assistance. “Over the past 30 years, we have participated in over 3,000 rescues and have provided escorts to as many as 40 vessels in a 12-hour period,” said Captain Horton. “We also help youth groups, such as the Sea Scouts, to gain onboard experience.” The CLI relies on private donations for vessel maintenance and operations. As a charitable organization, CLI accepts donations through Canada Helps (www.canadahelps.org) as well as donated boats that they can resell. For more information, please visit: www.canadianlifeboatinstitution.org.
Photos courtesy of Brian McLean, Canadian Lifeboat Institution
ince 1981, the Canadian Lifeboat Institution has been patrolling the waters between New Westminster and the gulf of the Fraser River in a 52-foot vessel to assist those in distress. While the volunteer crew work closely with other search and rescue organizations to provide additional response resources, their focus on preventative patrols has likely saved more lives than realized. “Our main role is in attending dedicated events — at the top of that is the commercial fishery,” said Captain John Horton, one of 80 members of the CLI. “In the late 1970s, there was a major accident here on the river which involved a tug and barge running over a father and son in a gillnetter. At that time I was part of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and our standard practice was to stay alongside the dock until there was a distress call. We quickly realized that we needed to be out in the water with the vessels to be able to cut down response times. With the experience we had built up, we could predict where the major concentration of vessels were likely to be and we would position ourselves close to that.” Branching off from the CCGA, the CLI has modelled itself after the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The vessel is fully equipped with modern navigation aids and communications systems, medical supplies, and firefighting and spill response equipment. It also carries a 10.5-foot rigid inflatable boat that extends their capabilities to shallow waters. While crew are mostly experienced mariners who have served in naval or commercial operations, training seminars and exercises are held on a regular basis to ensure skills are kept sharp. Even though the number of fishing vessels on the Fraser River has decreased, commercial traffic has increased significantly and is predicted to grow even more. “The big danger is
Demonstrating the danger — without the CLI’s advance patrol, incidents between large commercial vessels and small fishing boats would dramatically increase. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 39
ICMA a valuable forum for arbitrators
The ICMA XVIII Vancouver Host Committee.
Kaity Arsoniadis-Stein and Peter Leckie Wright.
The presentation of the talking stick at the opening session of ICMA XVIII.
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www.atpi.com 40 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
he Vancouver Maritime Arbitrators Association played host to over 150 attendees at the 18th International Congress of Maritime Arbitrators this past May. Chair of the Host Committee and President of the VMAA, Peter Swanson, welcomed guests to the Pan Pacific Hotel where sessions focused on issues related to charter party contracts, arbitral developments and arbitration procedure and enforcement, shipbuilding/ship management disputes and piracy, just to name a few. Speakers provided unique and informative perspectives on their topics and engaged in an exchange of ideas with attendees to create a valuable learning and discussion forum. A few highlights of particular note include: • the decision to hold the ICMA XVIV in Shanghai in 2015; • the Cedric Barclay Memorial Lecture provided by Dr. Francesco Berlingieri through a satellite feed from Italy; • the presentation of the Vancouver Maritime Arbitrators Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Peter Leckie Wright; and • as is the tradition of West Coast First Nations, the presentation of a talking stick at the beginning of the conference to set a tone of respect, co-operation and collaboration. In addition to the regular professional development sessions, the Conference featured a number of opportunities for guests to get out and enjoy Vancouver and surrounding attractions. The social programme included golf at Furry Creek as well as a day trip to Whistler or Victoria. A reception at the Bill Reid Gallery as well as a formal Gala dinner and dance on the last evening both provided a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere for conference attendees and their significant others to socialize. And last but not least, congratulations to LeRoy Lambert for winning the ICMA Golf Tournament Championship at the Furry Creek Golf Course. BCSN More photos online at www.bcshippingnews.com
Commercial fishing licences: The fallout from the Saulnier decision By Paul D. Mooney
A Vancouver lawyer with Bernard & Partners
r. Justice Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada commented on the commercial realities of the fisheries in the recent decision of Saulnier v. Royal Bank of Canada 2008 SCC 58 as follows: “A commercial fisher with a ramshackle boat and a licence to fish is much better off financially than a fisher with a great boat tied up at the wharf with no licence. Financial institutions looking for readily marketable loan collateral want to snap up licences issued under the federal Regulations, which in the case of the lobster fishery can have a dockside value that fluctuates up to a half a million dollars or more. Fishers want to offer as much collateral as they can to obtain the loans needed to acquire the equipment to enable them to put to sea.”1 Fishing licences have historically been viewed by the Courts not as property but rather as a privilege to harvest fish. This meant that licence holders could not effectively use their licences as collateral to secure financing. In fact, in cases where licences were issued to vessels, creditors registering security interests would actually be registering against the vessels themselves. Additionally, where licences were issued to individual holders, creditors seeking to secure debts could not register true
security interests solely against the licences in such places as the Personal Property Registry. However, such a system was not in line with the present day commercial realities noted by Binnie.
Fishing licences have historically been viewed by the Courts not as property but rather as a privilege to harvest fish. In 2006, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court examined the issue of whether a party could register a true security interest against commercial fishing licences in Royal Bank of Canada v. Saulnier, 2006 NSSC 34. Saulnier was a fisherman who held four fishing licences for lobster, herring, swordfish and mackerel. On July 8, 2004, he made an assignment into bankruptcy. The Royal Bank held a general security agreement against some of Saulnier’s assets which included “all present and after acquired personal property”, a term common in most security agreements intended to be registered under the Nova Scotia Personal Property Security Act (PPSA). Upon the assignment being made, the Royal Bank brought an application for a declaration that Saulnier’s
fishing licences constituted “property” in the form of an “intangible” under the PPSA’s definition of “property” and as such could therefore be subject to the provisions of the security agreement. If the licences were deemed to be “property” under the PPSA, then the Bank could compel their sale to satisfy the amount owed by Saulnier. The Trustee in Bankruptcy also brought an application for a declaration that the licences were “property” under the Federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) so that it could require Saulnier to sign any documents necessary to sell the licences. Saulnier in turn argued that the licences fell under the traditional characterization of a privilege rather than a form of property. If the licences were not deemed to be “property” under the two statutes then Saulnier could sell his licences at any time without the Bank being a secured creditor. The Nova Scotia PPSA defines “personal property” as “goods, a document of title, chattel paper, a security, an instrument, money or an intangible”. An “intangible” is defined as “personal property that is not goods, a document of title, chattel paper, a security, an instrument or money”. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 41
legal affairs “Property” under the BIA is defined as including “money, goods, things in action, land and every description of property, whether real or person al, legal or equitable, as well as obligations, easements and every description of estate, interest and profit, present or future, vested or contingent, in, arising out of or incident to property”.
The Nova Scotia Court [decided] that fishing licences could meet the definition of “property” under the [Personal Property Security Act]...
Photo credit: BC Shipping News
In determining the issue, the Nova Scotia Court first looked at how licences had been previously characterized by Canadian courts but then decided that the “fair and correct approach” was to characterize fishing licences based on the reality of the commercial arena. In doing so, the Court relied upon the decision in Sugarman v. Duca Community Credit Union Ltd. (1998), 12 P.P.S.A.C. (2d) 117, aff’d (1999) 44 O.R. (3d) 257 (Ont. C.A.) which set out a comprehensive analysis of the court’s view of licences as property and noted a growing shift away from the reasoning in Bouckhuyt. In Sugarman, the trial judge
focused on current commercial realities when deciding on the nature of a security interest and stated: “While the jurisprudence has, for the most part, emphasized the concept and degree of transferability, when assessing the nature and extent of a security interest, this focus, while perhaps relevant to a consideration of a chattel mortgage, is inappropriate in respect of other security interests. Transferability per se is not required for the creation of security interests in intangibles under a general security agreement. With a chattel mortgage, there is an express transfer, or legal assignment by the mortgagor. In contrast, a security interest in an intangible does not involve an express transfer but rather is an acknowledgement that the holder has a bundle of rights which may be exercised in respect of some specified collateral. To the extent that there may be limitations on the security holder’s exercise of those rights because of regulatory controls, that is a risk that the security holder is prepared to and must take.” The Nova Scotia Court in deciding that fishing licences could meet the definition of “property” under the PPSA focused on the following commercial realities:
The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision to uphold the Saulnier decision changes the definition of fishing licences to “property”. 42 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
“ That evidence confirms my understanding, that on the east coast of Canada fishing licences, particularly for lobster, are commonly exchanged between fishermen for a great deal of money.  Fishing vessels of questionable value are traded for small fortunes because of the licences that are anticipated to come with them.  To accept the argument of the respondent that there can be no property in these licences in the hands of the holder, because of ministerial control would, I conclude, foster an unrealistic legal condition based on an historic definition of property that ignores what is actually happening in the commercial world that the law must serve.  It is important that the law address and reflect the obvious, that although those licences do not give exclusive control to the holder, they do in fact provide a bundle of rights which constitute marketable property capable of providing security.  There are lending institutions apparently prepared to accept the holder’s interest in these licences as intangible personal property with potential as security.  The Minister may not agree to the strategy for realizing such security upon default, however that is a risk that the lender accepts.  To ignore commercial reality would be to deny creditors access to something of significant value in the hands of the bankrupt. That would be both artificial and potentially inequitable.” This decision was upheld by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal2 and eventually was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada (the “SCC”). The SCC first focused on the statutory interpretation of the word “property” within the confines of the BIA and the PPSA. It focused on the purpose of each statute and the definition of “property” contained therein. The Court then examined the interest conferred by a fishing licence. Of note, the Court found that “[i]t was extremely doubtful that a
legal affairs simple licence could itself be considered property at common law”3. However, the Court could not discount the fact that a fishing licence was unquestionably a major commercial asset. In completing its analysis, the SCC examined a number of different approaches — the traditional “property” approach, the regulatory approach and the commercial realties approach. Ultimately, the Court found that the preferred approach was to look at the substance of what was conferred — “namely a licence to participate in the fishery coupled with a proprietary interest in the fish caught according to [the licence’s] terms and subject to the Minister’s regulation.”4 Using this approach, a fishing licence could fall within the definitions of “property” in both the BIA and the PPSA. The SCC accordingly upheld the Nova Scotia trial decision. It should be noted that B.C.’s Personal Property and Security Act has a definition for “intangible [property]” that varies slightly in wording from the definition in the Nova Scotia PPSA. The provincial government however has taken note of the Saulnier decision and has decided to amend the statute to fall in line with the Court’s ruling. Bill 5 – 2011, the Personal Property Security Amendment Act now expands
the definition of “licence” under B.C.’s own PPSA to include “a right, whether or not exclusive, that may be transferred by the holder with or without restriction or the consent of the grantor that entitles the holder to do any of the following: (a) manufacture, produce, sell, transport, grow, harvest or otherwise deal with personal property”. This expansive definition will allow fishing licences to fall within this category. Note that these amendments are not yet in force and need to be proclaimed by regulation to be effective. It is anticipated that the amendments will be proclaimed before the end of 2012. Additionally, in light of the Saulnier decision, DFO has now developed a “Notice and Acknowledgement” system for financial agreements entered into by a lender and licence holders. The notice form serves to notify DFO of any financial arrangements between a licence holder and a lender. Information about this system can be obtained through the following link: http://www.dfompo.gc.ca/fm-gp/initiatives/piifcafpifpcca/nas-instructions-saa-eng.htm. Lastly, licence holders should be aware that this decision does not serve to create a true property interest in a licence itself. While a licence may have a “bundle of rights” akin to property rights, it is not the exclusive property
of the licence holder. In fact, licence holders need to be aware that the issuance of a licence in no way fetters the Minister’s discretion under the Fisheries Act to issue, renew or cancel a fishing licence, according to the exigencies of the management of the fisheries.5 (Endnotes) 1 Saulnier v. Royal Bank of Canada 2008 SCC 58 at paragraph 13. 2 2006 NSCA 91 3 2008 SCC 58 at paragraph 23. 4 2008 SCC 58 at paragraph 46 5 2008 SCC 58 at preamble and paragraph 48
Paul Mooney is an associate lawyer with Bernard & Partners. His practice includes enforcement of maritime liens, debt collection, vessel arrest and security, carriage of cargo, collision, marine insurance, bodily injury, and constitutional issues arising in a marine context. Paul can be reached at email@example.com
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Legal Affairs columns 2011: April: Canadian Coasting Trade Act May: Carbon tax June: Stowaways and deserters July/August: Vessel and person safety September: Federal powers relating to navigation and shipping October: Limitation of liability in maritime claims November: A further look at the Coasting Trade Act December: Federal Court Law of Appeal
2012: February: Workers Compensation developments March: Pleasure craft and charters April: Seafarer criminalization in pollution incidents May: Salvage laws June: Issues arising from multi-modal shipment of goods
July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 43
SHIPYARD TECHNOLOGY Siemens
The next generation of innovation in the digital shipyard By Diane Ryan, Business Consultant, Maritime Solutions Siemens PLM Software Inc.
ver the course of several decades, technology has helped address the increased needs of industries to implement production efficiencies and improve productivity. Industries are faced with an ever-increasing complexity to their products and processes. These complexities are not just from the products they develop, but from environment, safety, government regulations, and the changing nature of the workforce. As we look at these industries; ranging from high-tech electronics to aerospace, varying forms of technological innovations have been implemented to compete in a global market, providing better and more cost-effective products. Today’s maritime industry is no different. Navies and commercial fleets around the world are investing in new technologies, either to retrofit existing ships or in the commissioning of more modern ships that can be outfitted to support more flexible applications. However, in many cases, they must deliver these enhancements with less funding. The need for improvement and adoption of new technology has prompted suppliers to refine the process of building and maintaining a
44 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
ship. Many shipyards have begun to view innovative technology as ‘a must’ in order to survive the growing global competition, and to ensure that they are building the ship on-time and onbudget with the available workforce.
The need for improvement and adoption of new technology has prompted suppliers to refine the process of building and maintaining a ship. However, where many industries are ‘stock to order’ or ‘configure to order’, a key aspect to the building of a ship is that it is an ‘engineer to order’ process. This difference can be defined as a low volume-high variance industry. In order to address the ‘engineer to order’ process, the adoption of a digital shipyard has to include capabilities that expand beyond a schematic diagram of the facility to visualize and manage the production flow. New processes must adapt new ways of doing business that encompass the full life cycle of each vessel. Increasingly complex design, construction, integration, and maintenance processes must maintain an efficient, integrated network of both
customers and suppliers. New methods of doing business, along with technology strategies such as Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) can help mitigate the costs of increasing complexity. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems provide collaborative data environments that manages the intellectual property associated with the ship’s evolving engineering, construction, and maintenance definition. PLM systems provide an accurate technical knowledge foundation and detailed history of the ship configuration throughout the entire life cycle, from concept to disposal, while continuously co-ordinating complex interdependent changes initiated by various technical and business stakeholders. In addition, strong relationships between PLM, MES (Manufacturing Execution System), and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) offers modern shipyards the ability to build a comprehensive closed loop information system. It must be emphasized that the modern digital shipyard cannot be achieved through technology alone, but should be implemented in conjunction with the adoption of new methodologies in doing business. This paper will focus on three key areas that address
SHIPYARD TECHNOLOGY this combination of new methodologies with technology: 1. Communication and collaboration at the shipyard 2. Standardized processes and the capture of best practices 3. Optimizing shipyard productivity Communication and collaboration at the shipyard How do various departments communicate technical information throughout the shipyard? How should data and documentation associated with building or maintaining a ship be handled? Without an enterprisewide process, internal organizations tend to create virtual silos of information. Information silos separate design, engineering, planning, accounting, purchasing, scheduling, and production along departmental boundaries, creating challenges when integrating work and managing continuous changes. Although individuals in each department are all working towards the same end, the separation of systems and data inhibits the ability for the organization to make integrated decisions that achieve the best overall results. When building a new class of ships, extending the number of hulls for an existing class, or modernizing older ships to extend service lives, shipyards must be able to make integrated
decisions that optimize all aspects of the ship’s life cycle. Shipyard optimization opportunities and productivity is lost because of these silos.
One of the primary steps to achieving a digital shipyard is to dismantle these silos in order to share data in a more timely and interactive way... One of the primary steps to achieving a digital shipyard is to dismantle these silos in order to share data in a more timely and interactive way, creating a single source of truth. To do this, departments have to modify how they interact and manage the technical data associated with each ship program. New software and communications technologies help break down these information silos, unify technical data, and fundamentally change collaboration mechanisms. PLM collaboration technology streamlines the ability to securely share technical data amongst groups of people. PLM also provides a transparency to who is doing what, when, where, and how to the ship’s configuration and technical documentation throughout the entire life cycle. An example of this is by implementing electronic workflows that provide
Figure 1: Diagramming data relationship in various markets from Manufacture to Order through to Engineer to Order.
visibility and traceability of daily tasks at the individual, group, and shipyard level, enabling better communication from the top floor to the shop floor. In order to best implement and utilize these tools, it is important to diagram the current “as-is” business processes. These processes can then be analyzed to determine those that are value added and non-value added. Process steps that are no longer applicable can be removed. For instance, manual administrative steps for collecting and distributing information can be eliminated with the replacement of an electronic automated process that shares electronic data sets. When redesigning processes, it is useful to leverage the expertise from industry technology vendors who can provide insight about best practices and new capabilities that become available. In addition, strong partnerships ensure that new process design is aligned to successful implementation of technology enablers. Certain processes can be mapped into electronic workflows that manage the routing of data and tasks. This can be a time-consuming process, but if done properly, will provide the solid foundation for transforming to an efficient and collaborative digital shipyard. And, over time, workflow data that measures process performance can then be further analyzed to identify additional areas of improvement. Since many organizations have adopted Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing principles, this is an important first step in the continuous improvement process. As departments start to communicate more effectively, they can then better integrate their inputs into the evolution of the entire ship and shipyard data set, improving the life cycle management. This data comes in various forms ranging from individual requirements, specifications, 3D CAD, digital mock-ups, drawing files, spreadsheets, regulatory compliance data, along with accounting and timetracking information. Data can be broken into two key areas: intellectual property and financial information. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 45
SHIPYARD TECHNOLOGY Today, data is managed in varying systems, ranging from databases to spreadsheets, in shared file drives or on individual computers or in file drawers. In conjunction with breaking departmental silos, we can also collaborate by maintaining our intellectual property in a secure, searchable, single source database environment. Digital workflows that manage our daily tasks are based in the same environment with our data and therefore able to better control and manage the data needed to build and maintain various vessels. One single system can rarely support all business needs; however, understanding the value and function of key technologies and how they interface will support the digital shipyard. For example, accounting and financial information is managed in an ERP system that captures transactions that support the financial aspects of business operations (i.e. purchasing, order issuance, time management). An event-driven MES system provides the execution of orders to track work completion, discrepancies, and change. Data-driven PLM systems manage the intellectual property of the vessel, so that the design, engineering and work packages are configuration-controlled and managed in a single source environment (Figure 2). As stated in the introduction, the shipbuilding industry is a low volume-high variance ‘engineer to order’ business. Change is constant in this environment and unless managed properly, is one of the most costly aspects to building and maintaining various ships. Managing communication is a key component to managing change. Changes that require engineering, design, purchasing, or production input can be tracked, supporting documentation can be captured electronically, task progress can be monitored, and reviews can be performed at any time via virtual review boards and status checks. Virtual departmental, cross-departmental, supply chain, and/ or customer meetings save time and reduce travel costs significantly. 46 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
The richness of IP (intellectual property) should be managed and leveraged throughout the life cycle of the ship. A comprehensive PLM solution allows companies to manage the entire life cycle of a product efficiently and costeffectively, from initial requirements, design and manufacture, through service and disposal. Computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), computer-aided engineering (CAE), product data management (PDM) and digital manufacturing converge through PLM into an open and scalable information system.
A comprehensive PLM solution allows companies to manage the entire life cycle of a product efficiently and costeffectively... For example, a request for a design change can leverage workflow logic that determines all stakeholders who will be affected and notifies them to gather their input. They can then perform various analyses against the change to see how it impacts vessel performance, costing, production planning, suppliers, and future maintenance. Digital collaboration between customers and suppliers enables early review of the proposed implementation
plan and optimizes final technical and business decisions. Hence, good business practices can be leveraged via automated digital workflows that provide early notification, facilitate collaboration and decision-making, and improve the speed and integration of change requests or task assignments. The following abstract is from a recent case study by Royal Schelde Naval Shipyards regarding their decision to invest in a PLM system based on their need to better support their business:1 Royal Schelde previously used an inhouse application for vessel configuration management that had several drawbacks. Engineering applications weren’t integrated and there was no ERP integration either. And even though change processes were well organized, the transfer from engineering to production was done manually. The application also lacked flexibility and did not allow for a swift reaction to market developments. This started the company on a quest for a product life cycle management (PLM) solution that would resolve these issues and provide additional functionality as well. “We expect the… implementation to pay off just by finding and distributing 1 Siemens PLM Software. (2010). Case Study: Digital lifecycle management at the shipyard of the future. Retrieved February 2012, from Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. Web Site: http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/about_us/success/case_study. cfm?Com ponent=30579&ComponentTemplate=1481
Figure 2: Main focus areas for ERP, PLM and MES.
SHIPYARD TECHNOLOGY information. The savings have been estimated at a conservative three per cent but the sums involved are considerable.” Robert Boudens, Project Manager, Royal Schelde Naval Shipyards PLM is unique from other enterprise software solutions because it can improve top-line revenue. By providing the application depth and breadth needed to digitally author, validate and manage the detailed product and process data, PLM supports continuous innovation. The end result is an accurate representation of the as-designed, as-planned, as-built and as-maintained configuration of the ship. To fully leverage today’s technology, shipyards need to incorporate the three key components to an enterprise solution. Standalone PLM, MES, or ERP systems can only achieve a portion of productivity improvements; however, the integration of the three enables maximum benefit realization. Figure 3 depicts the flow of data between PLM, MES, and ERP systems that create a closed-loop information system in a digital shipyard. Standardized processes and the capture of best practices The next step to achieving a digital shipyard is the capturing and standardizing on best practices. In most instances, each group and each individual has his or her own way of writing, diagramming or doing an activity. And as time goes on, this way of working is shared with subordinates. This is commonly referred to as tribal knowledge; the experience and expertise that have been passed down from one generation of workers to the next. However, retirement and/or turnover create challenges to retaining this knowledge base. By consolidating and storing these practices in a re-usable library, organizations can begin to capture their best practices. Not all practices are ‘best’ practices. However, storing and managing records in a single, indexed environment allows documentation and context data to be analyzed to determine which ones should become
Figure 3: Data exchange between PLM, MES and ERP in a closed-loop information system. standards that can be trained against, re-used, and, over time, improved upon. PLM solutions provide the ability to store, manage and re-use these practices. These can range from sequencing of processes to ensure fit, form, and function, to best techniques in welding, assembly, or the movement of equipment. This also allows for the simulation and analysis of these processes to determine re-work or retrofitting of new equipment.
When starting a new ship design or performing a retrofit to an existing ship it is crucial to determine the best assembly process. When starting a new ship design or performing a retrofit to an existing ship it is crucial to determine the best assembly process. By being able to simulate the sequence of assembly, accessibility to surrounding equipment, and or the time assumed to perform the task, planners can ensure that when it is time to perform the actual work, the right equipment, personnel, and process steps are accurately defined and validated. The output from these simulations can then be used to support training or construction narratives.
This does not just apply to the outfitting and assembly work, but also to machining. Code simulation validates the cutting, machining, or bending against the right machine and right material. Optimized code that can be re-used is also stored in the information library. It is through these simulations and the definition of processes for re-use that are the foundation for our work packages. Since intellectual property is managed in a PLM solution, production planners have work packages that contain all the necessary bill of material information, electronically validated process steps with associated resources, timing, and sequencing. When the various trades are ready to perform the job, a rich set of information is pushed to the MES system for precise execution, eliminating the need to search drawing files for the accurate sheet, or CNC code for the necessary machine. Included amongst the data set is a validated equipment list and required classification or certification levels of the individuals needed to perform each task. The relationship between the PLM, MES, and ERP systems can maximize throughput and efficiency. As work orders are issued from the ERP based on the master schedule, MES is triggered as jobs are ready to begin. The PLM July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 47
Figure 4: Simplistic view of how the PLM, MES, and ERP systems communicate in ‘engineer to order’ environments. system distributes the rich technical data and work instructions to the shop floor, and accurate as-planned configuration data to both the ERP and MES systems. Then, the MES system captures as-built information and populates the PLM system with serialized data that can be used for future operations and maintenance. In addition, the ERP system can receive updated inventories on components that drive future purchasing plans. Developing methods and tools that improve data accuracy is imperative for a successful and efficient digital shipyard. As shipyards define their PLM, MES, and ERP processes, they must ensure that the data shared is as accurate as possible. Simply migrating legacy data into new systems is not the answer since data should be validated and cleansed prior to the migration process. Optimizing shipyard productivity In conjunction with shipyards becoming more proficient in their adoption of enterprise information systems to communicate, manage and share data, they can begin to expand into managing the overall shipyard operations. There are different elements to managing shipyard production. And it is the incorporation of all these elements that provide a true digital shipyard. The key elements are: 48 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
• • • •
Layout of the facility Material flow Scheduling of production Inventory control By connecting these elements, a topdown view of the shipyard will allow industrial engineers and production planners to capture what is happening at any given time and explore what-if scenarios for future projects. The shipyard can use new software technologies to optimize facility layout. The drivers for this can range from determining scenarios for yard expansion, modernizing existing facilities, or re-architecting where various equipment and inventory is stored. This can be done by implementing aspects of PLM that provide for the capacity and throughput optimization of the facility. Once there is an accurate model of the facility, it can interface to inventory systems, scheduling systems and execution systems which at the end will support a real-time look at the production environment. From this data industrial engineers can start to experiment on the shipyard model to determine where they can make improvements. Executive management can use the models to determine if and when they can incorporate additional programs or projects. They can see what equipment is available to support
existing and future work. In addition, production bottlenecks can be identified early and the best course of action to mitigate them can be determined up front, avoiding costly physical reconfigurations of the shipyard. For example, the number of workers in a shift can be modified, processes can be reorganized, and decisions about major capital expenditures can be optimized. Additionally, management can use the model to make decisions based on performing work in-house or outsourcing to supply chain partners. One of the best examples of a shipyard using technology to manage their production environment is Flensburger Shipbuilders (Flensburger SchiffbauGesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, 2012)2 Beginning in 1997, Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft implemented simulation technology very successfully as a tool to plan the future development of production. To do so, the simulation model for production is configured according to the new layout which is being developed. A ship which is typical for FSG’s product range is then selected to be a reference product and made available to the simulation model for data input in highly detailed form, all the way down to the individual parts. Based upon production logistics and performance of this reference ship, modifications in the layout are evaluated. The actual process of shipyard development in terms of production technology is carried out by a team of employees from planning and production, and continually integrated into the simulation process and evaluated. With the aid of simulation, precise analysis of the process of production – logistics and performance in a modified production setting is now possible. A vital parameter in evaluating the simulation runs may be the cycle time for the reference ship. For this time factor, a target time may be defined in accordance with project goals and any further shipyard developments. The achievement of this target figure may now be checked 2 Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG. (2012). R&D: Simulation. Retrieved February 2012, from Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG Web Site: http://www. fsg-ship.de/60-1-Simulation.html
SHIPYARD TECHNOLOGY and substantiated through the further development of the shipyard layout. On the way to achieving the targeted cycle, the use of the individual production stations to full capacity will provide information regarding any bottlenecks which may still exist. These discoveries will then provide a starting point for further improvement of the layout involving the entire project team. Thanks to the work involved in the integration of simulation technology in the process of production planning and the hence developed interface for the CAD-data, it is now possible to test new production concepts, including the involvement of other ships. Simulation technology has been employed in planning all of the investment projects which have been completed in recent years. The beginning of this was marked by the integration of a new profile production in the year of 1997/98. The greatest projects so far have been the design of a new panel production system to double capacity, and the development of a new production system for parts and subassemblies.
Finally, implementing information technology without developing incentives to promote the transition will limit the organizationâ€™s ability to migrate to new digital shipyard architectures. Information technology will be adopted on a limited basis, missing the return on investment opportunity. It is important that leaders adapt to new ways of doing business by
promoting innovation in information infrastructure so that the full benefits of a digital shipyard are realized. Diane Ryan served eight years in the U.S. Army. She graduated from Oakland University in 1998 and started with Siemens PLM Software Ltd. in the area of digital manufacturing in 2002. For the last seven years, she focused on shipbuilding and U.S. Navy shipyard sustainment.
Conclusion Implementing enterprise information systems enables the maritime industry to develop more efficient shipyards and adopt new, innovative ways to capture and execute shipbuilding and ship maintenance contracts. PLM provides a comprehensive collaboration foundation which will remove inter-departmental and crossdepartmental silos that inhibit efficient collaboration. In conjunction with other enterprise solutions, PLM provides the innovative tools and mechanisms needed to secure and leverage complex ship architecture, engineering, and production process knowledge. Closed loop PLM-MES-ERP information systems enable the co-ordination of development and construction efforts throughout the entire shipâ€™s life cycle, enabling integrated digital shipyards to operate more effectively and efficiently than their predecessors. July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 49
The ongoing history of the aircraft carrier By Daniel Baart, Asia-Pacific Analyst, Department of National Defence
Royal Roads University, the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, and Maritime Forces Pacific will be hosting their biennial Maritime Security Challenges conference in October. One of our panel discussions will be on the status of several ongoing aircraft carrier building programs. This article is intended to introduce the subject by giving some historic and strategic context to the discussion.
he planning, selection, and construction of new military hardware is an increasingly drawn-out process that requires defence planners to strike a balance between strategic responsibilities, the risk of technological obsolescence and financial and resource limitations. This is particularly true in the case of planning a nation’s largest defence investments, such as its warships which, due to their long service lives and high price-tags, demand exceptional powers of forethought. Because predicting the future state of the strategic environment is such a daunting task, the long design and construction period of large warships is made even longer by a drawn out period during which planners must decide what capabilities are required to fulfill their navy’s strategic responsibilities. At the same time, few states can afford to address all maritime commitments and desired capabilities, and sacrifices must be made to ensure that sufficient resources exist to support these decisions. This is particularly important when considering a fleet’s primary units, which, in today’s largest navies, are aircraft carriers. Small budgets; big ships Commentators on the British Royal Navy (RN) have long protested that the
maritime force is continually asked to provide high levels of defence capability, despite ever-shrinking budgets worsened by the recent recession and austerity drive. This reality had a severe impact on the 2008 decision to procure two new and larger Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, though the country’s 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review recommended bringing only one carrier into active service while maintaining the second vessel in a state of reduced readiness. This scarcity of budgetary resources emerged despite a fairly clear strategic need for a strong naval capability given the extent of Britain’s remaining overseas interests, and Whitehall’s desire to maintain the ability to mount unilateral expeditionary operations.
The RN is a case where the political will to create the capability exists, though perhaps it is insufficient to ensure that the capability is maintained... The RN is a case where the political will to create the capability exists, though perhaps it is insufficient to ensure that the capability is maintained or funded to its full effect. Associated debates as to the flight configuration
of these carriers has also led to charges that a failure to invest in the full potential of the capability — by selecting the short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) configuration rather than the more efficient catapult takeoff and barrier arrested recovery system (CATOBAR) — has further undermined their strategic value. While the installation of CATOBAR on the RN carriers would allow the ships to launch and recover aircraft with a longer service range and a heavier weapon load, it is not clear that installing these systems would be worth the additional cost given the ship’s likely strategic role, and the likely diversion of funds from the Navy’s other projects. Not all navies need carriers Aircraft carriers come in a variety of sizes and configurations, and are often built to fulfill a certain purpose; this means that decisions are not limited to whether to build carriers, but also which type of carrier to build. This boils down to the balance between resources and strategic need. The strategic value of the aircraft carrier lies in its ability to maximize the potential of a naval force, particularly in terms of the natural limits of naval warfare. War at sea differs from war on land in that the ocean itself cannot be occupied or held. Thus, naval warfare
Photo above: PUGET SOUND, Wash. (May 24, 2012) Sailors man the rails as tiger cruise participants gather to commemorate their voyage with a spell-out on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Riley/Released). 50 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
maritime security Photo Credit: Corporal Rick Ayer, Formation Imaging Services, Halifax, Nova Scotia
is characterized by attempts to limit an enemy’s capacity to manoeuvre and operate, while preserving that ability for your own forces. Aircraft carriers are able to partially overcome this by deploying patrol and strike aircraft that can locate targets hundreds of nautical miles away from the carrier, thereby expanding this sea denial capability beyond the range of escorting surface units. In the past, naval forces were also limited in their strategic importance by the fact that most conflicts were decided by ground forces, and maritime theatres were generally subsidiary in importance. The aircraft carrier has changed this slightly by providing massive air support to battlefronts far inland, merging the benefits of airpower and seapower into a more effective force. While this is certainly not true of all carriers — smaller aviation-capable ships are much more limited in their aviation operations — it does describe the apex of modern carrier development embodied in the U.S. Navy’s (USN) Nimitz-class super-carriers.
There is currently a glut of analysis being produced on the Chinese strategic rationale behind their pursuit of a carrier force. In broad terms, these are the primary functions of large aviation-capable warships though more specialized tasks have been identified throughout their history. Early aircraft carriers were used extensively in strike or escort roles and during the Cold War many were deployed as anti-submarine warfare vessels. The emphasis has now shifted somewhat from utilizing carrier-based aircraft against other ships — a role that has been replaced by the advent of the long-range anti-ship missile — to using them as mobile airfields, capable of delivering airpower to regions where friendly ground facilities are at a premium or vulnerable. While these are all powerful tools, not all states require these capabilities to the same degree,
Above: Royal Navy Invincible-class aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal in the Halifax Harbour during the International Fleet Review in 2010. Below: A concept drawing of the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier.
July/August 2012 BC Shipping News 51
MARITIME SECURITY and to pursue them without strategic need would be foolish. There is currently a glut of analysis being produced on the Chinese strategic rationale behind their pursuit of a carrier force. While many commentators agree that the acquisition of the former Soviet carrier Varyag is a step towards developing a larger, more potent capability, there has been some controversy regarding what the ultimate purpose of such a force would be. While it would be a stretch to conceive of a situation in the coming decades in which China would find itself in need of very long range power projection capabilities, the acquisition of a modest carrier-aviation ability would certainly increase the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) influence in their own region. China — unlike the United States — faces its greatest challenges in its own backyard. The South China Sea dispute, the unresolved status of Taiwan, and the need to limit the ability of the USN to
52 BC Shipping News July/August 2012
intervene in future conflicts over these issues are likely considerations driving the Chinese carrier programme. Some analysts have noted that, though many of these ‘hotspots’ and strategic sea lanes are located within range of mainland Chinese airfields, carrier-based aircraft would enhance the air defence of deployed fleet assets, as well as the armed forces’ growing amphibious assault capability. Commentators have also pointed out that carrier aviation would add a new dimension to China’s ability to conduct anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) operations throughout the Western Pacific Ocean and Southeast Asia, though these are not likely to be of a high enough standard to challenge U.S. and allied abilities to operate in the region for at least the next few decades. Long live the carrier Consideration of the drawn-out planning phase brings us to the question of technological development — specifically, what would happen if a new
technology were to suddenly make the carrier obsolete? Many have argued that emerging supersonic and ballistic anti-ship missiles and improved torpedo designs are rendering large surface vessels increasingly vulnerable to devastating attack, though planners with larger navies seem quite confident that the carrier era is not yet over. The fact that several large navies are either building or pursuing new carrier capabilities is evidence to support this continued confidence in the design, though a measure of caution is always warranted. The aircraft carrier — the current holder of the position of world’s most powerful naval vessel — wrested that title from the big gun battleship during the short period between November 1940 and December 1941; beginning with the British carrier-borne attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, and ending with the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse by aerial bombs just three days after the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor. At
maritime security committed to the aircraft carrier while hedging against future developments. The USN is currently building two carriers of the Gerald R. Ford-class which will eventually replace the current Nimitz-class. The fact that these ships are nearly identical to their predecessors — apart from upgrades such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) that will replace the Nimitz’s steam-catapults — is testament to U.S. confidence in the continued importance of the carrier concept. This also points to the fact that a carrier itself is only as capable as the aircraft it deploys; the most advanced aircraft carrier in the world is worth nothing if its jets are outclassed. This is why the most interesting recent developments in the U.S. carrier programme have been related to its airwing, with increased emphasis on the eventual introduction of carrier-based drone aircraft for reconnaissance and
strike purposes. While the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will form the core of the USN’s air capability starting sometime in the next decade, plans are in the works to see these manned fighters supported and later replaced by high performance unmanned units. Though the age of the carrier is apparently not over, history shows that we cannot always be so confident. This is particularly true when considering an investment as large and complex as an aircraft carrier. Their continued strategic applicability means more countries are likely to pursue carrier capabilities despite the large investment and associated risks. For this reason, the carrier is, and will remain, the most powerful class of naval vessel in the world. For more information on the Maritime Security Challenges Conference, please visit www.mscconference.com.
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that time, the newer technology was not really that new — aircraft carriers in some form had existed since the early days of the First World War — but their full capabilities had not yet been proven in battle. This is not to suggest that the known technologies of the supersonic or ballistic missile are likely to sink the concept of the aircraft carrier, but only that navies cannot afford to find themselves on the wrong side of a technological shift of that magnitude. Few are waiting for that eventuality. It could be argued that militaries — along with societies in general — are embracing new technologies at a faster rate than ever, and new offensive technologies are rapidly met with credible countermeasures. We should not always assume that technology will win the battle, but it certainly helps. The USN, the force often at the forefront of technological development, is perhaps the best example of a force that remains
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Shipbuilding and future naval requirements
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BC Shipping News: Volume 2, Issue 6 - July/August 2012