Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Everything Gets Tested During Sea Trials

Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam has returned to the Fincantieri yard where it is being built after a successful sea trial. During the sea trials, they test literally hundreds of systems aboard the vessel - from the most important such as engines, down to the smallest.

The line posted a couple of interesting videos on YouTube showing a couple of these tests.

The first is from one of the most dangerous tests where they are testing the ship's steering under extreme circumstances. In this test, the ship is traveling at 23 knots and they suddenly turn it hard to starboard and then hard to port. (It's kind of like driving your car along an open stretch of road and making turns without slowing down.)

The video below was shot in the port side Azipod room. (The Azipods are the propulsion assemblies with the propellers which hang down under the ship and turn to steer it like outboard motors. This is in the control and equipment room for the left Azipod right down near the bottom of the ship, below where any passenger would ever go.) If you watch the video without knowing what's happening, it looks kind of silly, but one you understand about the sudden, sharp turns the ship is making, it all makes sense as you watch the engineers leaning to compensate for the centrifugal forces. And yes, they are having fun too.

As we said, all systems get tested. That includes the ship's whistle (horn). In the second video, during a night test, they test it along with the ship's Morse (as in code) light, which is used in times of low visibility and during emergencies. And yes, again, they are probably having fun while they work.