21st to 23rd of May 2024
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MAY 2022

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The cruise from Barreras already “crossed” the Estuary

Blocks from the vessel being built by the shipyard from Vigo are sent by firms located in Moaña – Montajes Cancelas or A Xunqueira work for this and other factories.

The ultrapremium cruise being built by Barreras for the Ritz-Carlton is leaving a large number of contracts in the Galician naval sector. Some of them are linked to the block manufacturing for the crane. Industrias Navales A Xunqueira (INAX) is one of the companies in charge for the creation of these puzzle pieces from Moaña and send these blocks, of scores of tonnes, through the Estuary of Vigo. These blocks have a millimetric margin of error and a maneuver that requires more than a day of preparation. 

The construction of a vessel is a millimetric task, in regard to the fabrication itself as well as, specially, the timing. The mix of these two concepts implies boundless variables aimed to finish the vessel – if everything goes according to the plan - on time and correctly. Here come into play, apart from the shipyard that has the contract, the auxiliary companies of the naval sector that complete the process. This is the change whereby the shipyards ceased to have a large number of employees in staff in order to lean on these companies with regard to production. 

If some of them are in charge for modification, isolation and piping (to mention a few examples), others are subcontracted to directly participate in the hull production.  In this latter case the vessel becomes a puzzle, whose pieces arrive from different firms with high precision so that its assembly is as quick as possible. In Vigo, apart from over land, the blocks are moved going through the estuary itself. 

The ultrapremium cruise being built by Hijo de J. Barreras for the North-American firm The Ritz Carlton (The Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection) is, without a doubt, the best example. With tight deadlines and strict requirements from the shipowners, the vessel already counts with a more than visible skeleton in the factory of Plaza de la Conserva. Despite most of the blocks are built in the own shipyard, as stated by the enterprise committee, there are other ones that come from a score of companies facing its impressive 190 metres in length. 

From the other side of the estuary at least two are participating: Montajes Cancelas and Industrias Navales A Xunqueira (INAX), which use the sea to deliver their puzzle pieces to Barreras. 

Between Thrusday and Friday INAX, located in Meira (Moaña), carried out the whole maneuver to send a block from the fitting out zone of the cruise, where are going to be the cabins and other areas for the crew and the passage. Óscar Braña, member of the production control team of the firm managed by Manuel Parcero, explained the process: “The block is going to be lifted by a crane and perched in a pontoon. This way it crosses the estuary till the shipyard, where it is flipped and assembled to the rest”. 

It seems easy but the whole process lasts more than a day and costs around 111.000 euros. 

The first step is the installation of the crane, in this case from Doniz. “It arrived the previous night, to get into its position, and four special transport brought the balance weights”, commented Brañas. With a weight of 55 tonnes, the piece is not one of the biggest ones made for this vessel (they even sent a piece of 71 tonnes), but counts with considerable dimensions: 23,8 metres wide and 15,4 metres long. “The precision has to be millimetric, there is little room for error”, remains. 

While the cables and grips of the block are being prepared by the factory’s team for the flag-raising, a pontoon cruises all the estuary dragged by one of the ships of Botamavi, Rada primero, from the facilities of Freire shipyard, its owner.  Freire Uno is installed in parallel to the dock of A Xunqueira and starts the slow maneuver. “Whe may go step by step”, assures Brañas. In around half an hour the heavy piece lays on the pontoon, which will use other 30 minutes to cross the estuary and arrive at its destination. “There are not many companies in the estuary that can produce blocks of this size and move them through the sea”, explains Brañas. 

The cruise that is being built by Barreras is leaving a large number of contracts in the naval companies of the estuary. Apart from the companies responsible for the blocks, enabling companies as Navaliber (together with Martínez Otero) or Regenasa are in charge for the enabling for the passage and the crew, respectively. Not without reason, the vessel will have capacity for 544 people. 

(Source: Faro de Vigo)

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