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Southampton-based ship repairer refits Senses


A Southampton-based ship repairer has successfully completed a £1 million pound refit of superyacht Senses. Testbank Ship Repair spent three months renewing the 194 ft German built luxury superyacht. The bulk of the refit was done at Testbank’s ship repair facility in Portsmouth’s historic harbour using the company’s 1,000 tonne Rolls Royce syncrolift, one of the biggest of its kind in the South of England. Final checks and trials were completed at Southampton Docks.

Up to 30 Testbank staff were at work on the refit at any given time led by Technical Director Brian Needle and Works Manager Steve Beck. After enclosing the superstructure, aft deck and boat house, the team replaced fittings and carried out a series of protective measures with repairs to caulking and teak deck boards. All areas were sanded down, refilled and repainted while every corroded feature including a black water tank was renewed.

Testbank Managing Director Jason Coltman said: “It is without doubt the biggest yacht we have ever worked on at Portsmouth harbour. The skipper and the owners’ representative were over the moon with both the facility and the Testbank staff and were delighted that everything went so well.

The Senses work caps a busy year since Testbank reopened the ship lift facility on the Portchester waterside after five years of decommissioning. Thirty-five vessels have so far been hoisted beginning with the Serco Denholm cargo ship Teesdale in June 2009. The Trafalgar Wharf company, led by Managing Director Jonny Boys, has been developing the ex-Vosper Thornycroft site over the past two years with the aim of creating a world-class marine centre.

At the same time, Testbank has been promoting the ship lift as ideal for refitting and repairing superyachts, pilot boats, tugs, commercial ferries and naval vessels.

Testbank will be exhibiting at the Seawork 2010 International expo and conference at the ABP Port of Southampton from 15 to 17 June. Testbank has its head office in Southampton’s Western Docks. The company has a £7m turnover and employs 65 permanent staff.

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