Bahamian corvette HMBS Nassau arrives in the Netherlands for overhaul

HMBS Nassau. Photo: Damen
HMBS Nassau. Photo: Damen

The 60-meter Royal Bahamas Defence Force Corvette HMBS Nassau (P-61) has arrived at Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam in the Netherlands for an extensive refit.

According to the Dutch company, the 17-year old vessel will receive an overhaul that comprises full systems and instrumentation replacement. Additional work also includes steelwork, repainting and full replacement of the vessel inventory.

Refit of the P-61 is part of a contract between Damen Shipyards Group and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force: the ‘Sandy Bottom Project’ that the two parties signed in 2014.

This includes the delivery of nine Damen vessels, disaster relief equipment, a bridge simulator, upgrade of various local ports in conjunction with Van Oord and the refit of two Corvettes. Damen is currently finalizing the refit of the first Corvette – the HMBS Bahamas P-60 – at a local yard in the Bahamas.

“The P-61 is 17 years old and is in need of a complete refit. So this is going to be a complete renovation project,” notes Tom Mastenbroek, Damen’s regional service manager for the Caribbean. “The yard will overhaul all the ship’s systems; replacing components where necessary. The main engines will be overhauled by Pon Power. The vessel’s bridge will also be completely renewed.”

After their refits, both Corvettes will be very similar – in terms of systems and instrumentation – to the nine new build vessels that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force has purchased from Damen. These include the Stan Patrol 3007, Stan Patrol 4207 and Stan Lander 5612.

Damen also noted that the bridge simulator, expected to be delivered at the end of the year, will make crew training more efficient.

Commander Warren Bain from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force has been based in the Netherlands for the entire ‘Sandy Bottom Project’. Referring to the cooperation with Damen throughout the contract, he says: “Damen has been very willing to listen to what we’ve had to say and to share ideas. I also have a small technical team here with me, so we’ve been able to be involved in the entire process – down to the smallest detail.”

According to the company, the P-61 refit is expected to take approximately 9 months. On completion, the vessel will return to the Bahamas on her own keel.