MAIN ENGINE BREAKDOWN TIES OTTÓ N THORLÁKSSON UP
Wetfish trawler Otto N Thorláksson RE is expected to be docked for two to three months due to a main engine breakdown. The problem occurred before last Sunday's exceptionally bad weather, and was fortunately noticed before the ship was due to sail.
According to HB Grandi’s marine superintendent Gísli Jónmundsson, the fault lies in the main engine’s main bearing. It is unclear what other damage this has caused, but the crankshaft and other components could have suffered damage.
‘We’ve brought in Stálsmidjan-Framtak to repair the engine and the opinion is that it needs to be taken out before being dismantled. They’re aiming to start work tomorrow and until the engine has been taken apart, it won’t be possible to assess the damage,’ he said, adding that it will take at least six weeks to overhaul the engine, assuming there are no other surprises. With Christmas and New Year's not far away, the estimate is that the job could be finished around the end of January.
It’s no understatement to say that the breakdown is a blow to HB Grandi’s schedule of raw material supply to its shore-based processing plants in Reykjavík and Akranes, and not least for the crew of Ottó N Thorláksson. HB Grandi operates three other wetfish trawlers and the company hopes to be able to adapt their fishing schedules while the fourth trawler is temporarily laid up.
Ottó N Thorláksson was built in Gardabær in 1981 and it has continued to perform remarkably well in spite of its age. Gísli Jónmundsson said that the maintenance schedule has been strictly followed and the main engine was overhauled this summer, with all of the bearings replaced. The reason for the breakdown remains a mystery and answers are hoped to be found in the coming weeks.