HMAS Vampire, our 50-year old Daring Class former RAN destroyer is undergoing a three week refit and docking in the capable hands of Thales in the inner Captain Cook graving dock at Garden Island.
Preservation of such a large asset as Vampire is complex and as one can imagine a requirement to ensure the continued life of such an iconic vessel.
The hull, having been initially pressure-washed and cleaned to remove marine encrustation, is currently being prepped for repainting with modern anti foul. Works on the hull, below the water line, are going well including preservation and repairs to areas where there is an excessive build-up of corrosion.
Ultrasonic test analysis has been carried out to determine the condition and thickness of the hull plating, it’s all good news and she is in great shape!
Thales are also undertaking repairs to the interior of Vampire, including the aft passageway, known as 2 Lima and Wardroom flat 1 Foxtrot during the docking period. On vessels such as Vampire it is common for all areas to be known by an ‘address’. This address is a two-digit signifier consisting of a numerical descriptor that is unique for each deck followed by a letter that describes the area between each bulkhead compartment. This address allows areas to be easily and precisely identified in the event of fire or damage.
All work is still on schedule to be completed for Vampire to return to Darling Harbour’s Australian National Maritime Museum in all her glory on Tuesday July 13.
— Kat Lindsay