NIWA’s research ship Tangaroa has spent the last few weeks in dry dock at the Devonport Naval Base where it is receiving an overhaul that will set it up well for many more voyages of discovery.
But the inclement weather in Auckland has hampered efforts to get a fresh coat of paint onto Tangaroa’s bottom.
Said NIWA’s operations manager John Hadfield:
“Fortunately the antifouling paint on the under hull (the part that sits under the water) was in very good condition and required minimal preparation before re-coating. However, above the water line, on the topsides, we get marking and minor damage to the coatings from, wharves and scientific gear that is deployed over the side. This requires remedial work to be carried out.
“We are still hopeful that weather conditions will allow us to get a full coat on the blue topsides before Tangaroa departs the dock on the 15th July.
“We have had a paint expert from Altex Coatings calling the shots on when we can paint to ensure it bonds and then lasts. If the wind gets up we can’t spray paint and even on a fine day, if there is high humidity we can’t paint.”
Along with a new paint job and other maintenance, a $1 million sub-bottom profiler is being mounted in a pod on Tangaroa’s hull. The expensive piece of equipment, known as TOPAS PS 18, allows scientists to identify marine sediment layers up to 200 metres below the sea bed.
Tangaroa leaves dry dock on July 15 before heading for the Tasman Sea.