I speak to senior crew member Andrew Wright about MV Mair and the maintenance programme required to keep the vessel seaworthy.
Ste Wright | 3 min read
Our coastline is constantly monitored and navigation aids rely on a small fleet of vessels that operate around the country to keep them in working order. Trinity House support vessel MV Mair based in the port of Barry is one such vessel. I’m lucky enough to speak to one of the senior crew members (mainly because he’s my dad) about MV Mair’s routine maintenance, Andrew Wright.
Mair carries out navigation buoy maintenance work for Trinity House Lighthouse Service. We are based in the Bristol Channel but can go anywhere on the coast of England and Wales. We have assisted in rebuilding beacons, modernisation on lighthouses.
We can spend up to three or four days at sea. We also work as far away as Dover on the south-east coast, around to the Scilly Isles and as far north as Workington in the Lake District.
We dry dock annually for two to three weeks. When we are in dry dock our area is covered by the THV Galatea or THV Patricia.
The vessel is painted from bottom to top in dry dock, depending on the condition of paintwork whether we do any shot blasting, this year we water blasted the entire accommodation block to bare metal, had some remedial welding done and a repaint. The sea valves in the bottom of the vessel are stripped and rebuilt whilst the vessel is dried out in the dock. Sometimes we see rust we don’t know about, this is treated or cut out and new metal welded in. Every five years the propellor shaft is drawn and inspected for wear.
We are constantly carrying out maintenance whenever work is quiet, which does not happen very often. Sometimes if we are standing by waiting for technicians working on lighthouses we get a chance to touch up paint or carry out periodic maintenance.
We are assisting with personnel transfers at Mumbles Lighthouse, during helicopter operations to transfer equipment to the station for a major modernisation on the lighthouse, accommodation pods and fuel, water are being airlifted on for technicians to live in during the work.
MV Mair is regularly spotted in the Bristol Channel. For more information on Trinity House and the work that they do with the support of vessels like MV Mair, visit their website.