By Dennis O’Neill

Taking advantage of the superyacht gathering during last week’s METS exhibition in Amsterdam, the Alblasserdam-based yard invited the media and interested parties to tour the new multi-million euro shed and dry dock which currently houses its first project – Y714 – a 110m motoryacht designed by Igor Lobanov and due to be launched late next year.

Plans for the new facility were first drawn up in 2011, as an initiative to meet clients’ demands for new builds up to 140m.

The entrance height of Oceanco’s original hall has become increasingly restrictive over the years, so the new facility stands at a significantly improved height of 33m. Set over six floors it uses three large elevators capable of handling fully loaded forklift trucks.

Access, logistics, and work in progress are all monitored via Radio Frequency identification (RFID), and the dry dock can be divided into several configurations using specially segmented doors. The shed also benefits from having a 100-tonne capacity crane and sectional doors that allow structurally complete projects to be floated directly into the building.

To optimise access and speed up logistics, horizontal travelling cranes are fixed to the walls, so that they flank projects underway.

Oceanco says the new building can accommodate more than 1,000 people at a time, including subcontractors, owners’ representatives and crew. It can also be divided into access-restricted zones to ensure safety, security and confidentiality.

Transport in and out of the building is through a controlled air lock, while climate control inside is similar to that found in leading museums. Uniform temperatures can be set throughout the hall or within specific areas, such as inside the yacht, so that appropriate levels of humidity can be maintained during construction.

When being used as a spray tent the hall can maintain a consistent temperature commensurate with the special requirements of modern paints and coatings, such as airflow velocity and air-volume refreshment rate. There is also an incorporated vacuum system to keep the area dust free and an isolated paint fumes extraction system.

All of the systems have been designed to be highly efficient and environmentally sensitive, including the use of a deep soil thermal heat/cooling exchanger.