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Captain Mike standing infront of the Nautilus Explorer

Is shipyard refit just like child-birth??

July 10, 2015 Written by

Let’s be honest. It’s unlikely that most people experience simultaneous child-birth every July but that is sort of what it feels like during annual shipyard refit ie. we are never as ready as we would like to be. The process takes a lot of hard work (although we don’t believe in drugs) We are perpetually short on sleep. Our babies look BEAUTIFUL afterwards. And after a while, we forget about the pain and only remember all the positives..

This year is a bit more challenging than normal as it is a double refit for both our much-loved Explorer and our beautiful new Belle. Much loved is exactly the right description for the Explorer as we truly love our ships. I love them. Our crew love them. Our ships are very much beautiful ladies that deserve our love.

the Nautilus Explorer at the shipyard for it's annual refit!

The Nautilus Explorer is currently “on the hard” at the Marine Group shipyard in San Diego. This year’s refit includes a complete exterior and dive deck repaint, removal and overhaul of prop shafts, props and overside discharges, overhaul of one main engine and one genset, new air conditioning, new lighting, new fixtures and lights in all the staterooms, new carpet, gut and rebuild 1 suite, 2 staterooms and the lounge in the Emerald suite, beautiful new 23 foot inflatables replacing our older 18 footers and a host of updates, replacement of 1 of the compressors, new eco-friendly bottom paint (mucho expensive but the right way to go), fixes and improvements as well as survey by Bureau Veritas (BV classification society) of ship safety, renewal of our International Load line and audits of our ISM Safety Management System and ISPS security processes.

The Nautilus Belle Amie at Sandiego for Refit!
The Belle Amie is “on the hard” at Gran Peninsula Shipyard in Ensenada after her first 4 months of service as a new ship. Things didn’t go perfectly at first for our beautiful Belle but we have her pretty much sorted out now and refit gives us the opportunity to make the last tweaks and tunes. We are ditching our high speed 25 foot RHiBs and switching over to more conventional tank racks, dive ladder on the aft deck and 3 brand new 23 foot inflatables. The interior feels too modern and almost stark so we are doing loads of interior cabinetry and joinery to match the more traditional interior on the Explorer. Props are coming off for tuning. Lots more paint going on. Missing equipment such as hot-tub and nitrox system is being fitted.

Safe diving.

Captain Mike



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1 Comment

  • Jo Lessard says:

    Love seeing the Explorer and glad she is doing well. I have very fond memories of my Canada dive trips aboard her with Sunset Sports/Sheryl Todd from Oregon. I now spend winters living in Northern Baja and hope to one day soon get south and see you all.
    Happy & Safe diving to all.

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