The GMD Group - A Young, Ambitious Team

By Regina P. Ciardiello, managing editor

Priding itself on its drydock capabilities in both New York and New Jersey, the GMD Group is comprised of a young, ambitious team of individuals, who work together to provide ship owners with the quickest turnaround possible on each job that comes into its yards.

Comprised of GMD Shipyard in Brooklyn, N.Y., Bayonne Drydock & Repair Corp. in Bayonne, N.J. and JenMar Electric in Staten Island, N.Y., the parent company has all its bases covered in terms of full ship repair sen'ice for its clients, which range from cruise ship owners to local tug boat companies.

Situated on a piece of New York history is GMD Shipyard, which is housed in Building #595 of the historical Brooklyn Navy Yard. The yard, which was decommissioned in 1966, had been absent of vessels in drydock — until GMD came along and established its presence on the New York side of the Hudson River.

Seeing a need for an additional location on the New Jersey side of the Hudson, the GMD Group established Bayonne Drydock & Repair, to serve the more than 6,000 vessels that pass through the Port of New York/New Jersey each year. GMD is poised for growth, as its capabilities consist of (in Brooklyn) two 1,090 x 150-ft. (332.2 x 45.7 m) graving docks, in addition to 1,100 ft. (335.2 m) of wet berth. According to The GMD Group's marketing director, Kyriakos (Kerry) Demou, "The Port of New York/New Jersey is experiencing a great resurgence within the repair industry." The company's Bayonne yard, which recently completed a two-year renovation project, operates its facilities on the site of the former Military Ocean Terminal, holding a graving dock that measures 1,090 x 148 ft.

(332.2 x 45.1 m), with a dock floor load capacity of 99,000 tons. "Bayonne was acquired to handle New York's repair traffic," Demou said. "Since its acquisition, the yard has been involved in the repairs of various cruise vessels and containerships." In addition, just a stone's throw from Bayonne — in Staten Island, N.Y., is GMD Group's third company — JenMar Electric Service Corp. This electrical and topside repair company that was acquired one year ago by GMD specializes in 24-hour emergency services, such as overhauling of electrical motors, power panel troubleshooting and navigational electronic sales. "JenMar was established as a repair facility for our customers when less than ship yard capabilities were required," Demou said.

GMD to the Rescue While both of GMD Group's yards have performed a large selection of general maintenance repairs on vessels ranging from deep-sea, to tankers and cargo ships, the company has also been the saving grace for vessel owners, who have needed repairs in a pinch. Most recently, the motor tanker Leader arrived at GMD Shipyard for substantial emergency repairs. Another motor tanker. Sun, visited GMD for emergency repairs after it grounded off the Port of Philadelphia. The vessel, according to Demou, spent 26 days at the Brooklyn yard, departed during the first week of April as good as new.

With both yards holding the versatility to perform all types of repair jobs, according to Demou, "cruise ships and containerships are preferred at Bayonne. while Brooklyn is known for its alongside work capabilities." In fact, during the last 12 months, both yards of the GMD Group have made progress within the passenger vessel realm, mainly with a contract with Staten Island Ferries for work on fleet members Andrew Barberi and Herbert Lehman. Barberi. which was docked at the Brooklyn yard for approximately 2.5 months this past fall, underwent routine, long-term overhaul, and plating and steel work, which in turn extended the life of the vessel for more than 20 years. As a result. Staten Island Ferries has signed a commitment with the GMD Group for scheduled drydockings of an additional four ferries. The workflow remained steady on the passenger vessel side this fall at GMD when Holland America Line approached the Bayonne yard for work on its propellers. Apparently, the seals on the vesse'ls Azipod propulsion system were leaking and in need of replacement.

Holland America, along with the propellers' manufacturers, ABB, called on the GMD Group to fix the problem. According to Demou, a job of this magnitude would traditionally take more than two weeks, but GMD's Bayonne yard was able to get the vessel up and ready in nine days — a major bonus for a cruise ship.

Since GMD turned the vessel around quickly. Holland America agreed to hire the yard again, and did so by making a firm commitment for a scheduled drydocking of Rotterdam, which is due to arrive on May 1. "After three successful cruise ship dockings in the last two years," Demou said. "The GMD Group is looking forward to establishing relationships with the various cruise lines." An Ideal Situation "Based on location, speed and turn-around times, we are largely on target with our customers' budgets." Demou said. "More than 6.000 ships call on the Port of New York/New Jersey each year, which puts us in an ideal location." In addition to the larger vessels that call on the Port, the smaller vessels that help these vessels in and out of the port also need repair work too. GMD Group has a firm hold on the tug and barge industry within the area, performing routine repairs for owners such as K-Sea.

Penn Maritime, Allied and an oceangoing barge and tug for Leevac.

And things don't end there for the GMD Group, according to Demou, the company has several jobs pending and is currently enjoying a pre-booking status of up to 45 days.

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