Pacific Tracker – MSD Tank Renewal & System Overhaul

In Q1 of 2023 Vanport undertook a major project for our customers of the Pacific Tracker. Our objective was to renew the primary MSD Holding Tank Reservoir, fully service the MSD Wet Well, and perform piping upgrades. The work was to be performed in a manner that caused minimal disruptions to shipboard habitability throughout the project’s duration.

Vanport selected (2) primary subcontractors to partner up with on this undertaking. HCI (Marine Preservation Company), and a fellow by the name of Jim Allred (FAST Systems Rep & Wastewater Treatment Expert). With this team, all necessary areas of expertise were adequately covered.

Vanport began the project by setting up a temporary pumping arrangement in the lower engine room that would allow incoming blackwater to bypass the MSD system and go directly to the shoreside connection. This allowed the ship to remain habitable throughout our working duration.

Our first objective was to remove the large holding tank but before doing so a bit of cleaning was necessary. With the assistance of Jim Allred we performed a chemical sanitization of the tank to kill bacteria and pathogens. After doing so we opened up the tank lid and allowed a local tank cleaning company access to pressure wash all interior surfaces. With the components as clean as they could possibly be we began the process of scrapping the tank. Once the old tank was gone it was now time to build the new tank. Due to the size of the tank and location in the ship the tank had to be built in-place. The total dimensions of the tank were approximately 11ft L x 7ft W x 7ft T. With our exceptionally well-rounded tradesmen, the objective of rigging the steel panels from the pier into the lower engine room was quick and easy work. The tank panels were fit-up, welded out, air-lanced, and dye-penetrant tested. Once our steel work was effectively complete, we turned over the space to our subcontractor HCI for sandblast and preservation. HCI performed preservations of the new MSD Holding Tank and existing MSD Wet Well. Their preservation work was closely monitored by the customer’s paint representative, Kelsey Jo West of Blackbird Inspection Company. Kelsey is well known and respected by Vanport as she applies practical experienced-based discretion while not conceding any short cuts (a trait our companies share).

While the coatings were curing, Vanport undertook some piping objectives that were discovered through the course of the work. Much of the interconnecting piping between the various MSD components was SCH80 Carbon Steel and was showing signs that it was near failure. Per the direction of the Chief Engineer, he wanted the piping redone and upgraded. We addressed his concerns by replacing all concerning piping with SCH80 316 Stainless Steel Pipe/Fittings, incorporating new 316 SS Valves, and integrating two new suction strainers into the configuration to add some protection on the vessel’s discharge pumps.

The project was completed on time with no injuries. All operational testing was found to be satisfactory to the customer, manufacturer’s representative, and local attending ABS Surveyor.

Customer: Tote Services
Industry: Maritime
Type: Ship Repair, General Contracting
Projects: Renew MSD Tank, Perform 100% Preservation of Internal Tank Surfaces, Renew & Modify Piping.
Year: 2023
Vessel Type: Missile Range Instrumentation Ship
Location: Portland, OR