Mexican Ship Operator Employs British Company To Supervise Construction In Japanese Yard

Ocean Fleets Limited's Naval Architects and Engineering Departments, Liverpool, England, have won a contract from a Mexican company to supervise the building of three ships in a Japanese shipyard.

The ships are being built for Transportation Maritime Mexicana at Hitachi Shipyard, Innoshima, which is situated on a small island south of Kobe. The vessels' engines will be built in Osaka.

Marshall Meek, director and chief naval architect of Ocean Fleets, signed the contract in Mexico City in April.

Work has already begun on the first ship and on the manufacturing of the engines.

During the next 15 months, a team of Ocean Fleets staff will be closely involved with the project.

The senior shipbuilding superintendent for the contract is Maurice Peacock.

The three ships are similar to Ocean's "M" class combination ships.

They have an overall length of 178 meters (about 584 feet), and tonnage of 18,860 dwt (metric). The molded breadth is 26.5 meters (87 feet), the molded depth is 14.2 meters (47 feet), and the design draft 9.5 meters (31 feet).

The main engine on each vessel will be a Hitachi Burmeister & Wain 8L67GF diesel engine, 15,000 bhp at 119 rpm, and the ships will operate at a service speed of 18.5 knots.

One unusual feature of the design is a monster crane. Each ship will be fitted with a 250-ton Suelcken-type derrick.

In addition, there will be on each vessel a single 20-ton crane, and two versatile twin cranes, consisting of two sets of single 20.5- ton cranes which can be swung through 90 degrees.

Ocean Fleets is one of the few shipping companies with its own staff of naval architects and engineering designers. The team has designed many classes of ships and was responsible for pioneering the largest containerships in the world, built for the Ocean Group associate Overseas Containers Limited.

Ocean Fleets Limited is the ship management company of Ocean Transport & Trading Limited, one of Britain's largest shipping, transportation and distribution groups.

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