Our Similan liveaboard’s first trip is scheduled for 1 December 2013. Before that our Similan liveaboard has to be removed from the water into the ship yard for necessary repairs and maintenance. Thailand Dive and Sail and Andaman Scuba have a lot to do before the boat is ship-shape and ready for her Similan diving season.
Here’s our guide to how to get a Similan liveaboard out of the water and into the ship yard.
When to put a Similan Liveaboard in the Ship Yard
Timing is very important when planning when to remove your liveaboard from the water. Before the start of the Similan diving season ship yards in Phuket and Tab Lamu, near Khao Lak, get very busy. Removing the boat at high tide is essential to the entire operation. We had booked our Similan liveaboard to be taken out of the water on 31st October 2013 during the high tide at around 8:00am in the morning.
So with a fair amount of excitement we left Khao Lak early in the morning to head to Sikit Ship Yard in Phuket Town.
After a few commands issued in Thai, the rail dolly was released and it rolled down into the water with it it’s cargo of wooden blocks that would be used to wedge the boat to hold an upright position. The rail dolly entered the water with a satisfying splash and was submerged at the end of the slip way. Then using a combination of the ship’s engine and ropes attached to the starboard and port stern from the shore, the MY Bunmee 2 was positioned facing straight up the slipway above the rail dolly.
Positioning the Similan Liveaboard in the Ship Yard
Once the boat had reached the top of the slipway, the rollers on the rail dolly had to be turned 90 degrees to allow the dolly to be slid into the boat’s alloted space for work. This was done with portable bottle jacks which were placed near the rollers under the rail dolly. As the weight of the boat was taken up by the jacks, the rollers could be turned along with a small section of the rails. When completed, all rollers now ran on a set of rails than ran perpendicular to the main slipway rails.
The ship yard workers completed the task in a well practised and efficient manner. They made removing a 90 tonne Similan liveaboard from the water look relatively easy.