Repairs alter tour of training ship - Soundings Online

Repairs alter tour of training ship

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Cadets participating in the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s semester-at-sea program this year will no longer visit Funchal, Madeira — one of three stops in Europe during their 45-day tour — after their training vessel was held up for a week in Norfolk, Va., for repairs.

Cadets participating in the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s semester-at-sea program this year will no longer visit Funchal, Madeira — one of three stops in Europe during their 45-day tour — after their training vessel was held up for a week in Norfolk, Va., for repairs. Two evaporators and a generator ceased functioning properly.

“There are a couple of evaporators on board that are original to the ship,” explains Capt. Allen Hansen, the academy’s vice president of student services. “Two pumps were not operating correctly and needed to be replaced. We knew we had a problem with them before leaving the academy, but also knew that we could get better and quicker service in Norfolk.”

The crew of the 550-foot training ship, Enterprise, later encountered an unexpected problem when the auxiliary diesel generator broke down. “The generator is efficient and produces as much as the ship’s primary generators, so the crew had been using it as their primary power source,” Hansen says. “But, en route to Norfolk, it developed a habit of going offline. The crew kept the generator offline and used its primary generators instead.”

The repairs were performed and the Enterprise and its crew set off again for Europe Jan. 21, Hansen says. “The delay was unfortunate and they had to call off going to Madeira,” Hansen says. “The up side is that the cadets didn’t miss any of their regular training while on board the ship.”

All first-year cadets participate in the semester-at-sea program and typically visit three European countries aboard Enterprise. Depending on their major, some cadets must complete up to four sea terms to be eligible for graduation. The three European stops on this year’s schedule included Civitavecchia, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Funchal, Madeira.

Enterprise, built in 1967 in New Orleans, is owned by the federal government’s Maritime Administration. The federal government spent $38 million renovating and improving the vessel over the past several years, the Boston Globe reported.