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Zr. Ms. Pelikaan

The Zr. Ms. Pelikaan of the Royal Dutch Navy is a support vessel stationed in the Caribbean and is mainly used for humanitarian aid in the area and in need of a midlife update.

Midlife update

The Zr. Ms. Pelikaan of the Royal Dutch Navy is a support vessel stationed in the Caribbean and is mainly used for humanitarian aid in the area. Soon the vessel will reach half of the intended lifespan, therefore a midlife upgrade program is planned to take place in the Netherlands. Due to the nature of the deployment in the Caribbean, the vessel will only be available for a short timespan before having to return.


Vessel survey
Saltwater started with an investigative phase of the engineering process, the work mainly consisted of transferring the requests and wishes provided by the Navy to workable and acceptable proposal engineering drawings. To ensure the quality of the engineering work, two engineers traveled to Curaçao to review the proposal engineering on-site and discuss the proposals with the marines stationed on the vessel. The discussions with the marines and other involved parties gave the engineers good insights in their wishes allowing them to fine tune the proposal drawings to suit the needs.


Sightseeing Curaçao
The two engineers that traveled to Curaçao used their opportunity to relax on the local beaches, tour the island and enjoy all that the island has to offer.

Zr. Ms. Pelikaan
ZR. MS. Pelikaan

Inclination test
Due to the changes that will occur during the midlife upgrade, it is important to determine the status of the ship stability, center of gravity and lightship weight. During the upgrade, a lot of weight will be added and removed, these changes will obviously affect the values. We provided the first inclination test to find the correct values of the lightship weight and center of gravity. Another inclination test was carried out by us at the end of the midlife upgrade. The values of the last inclination test will result in new stability, lightship weight and center of gravity.


During the midlife upgrade, the vessel will undergo different kinds of structural modifications and new operational equipment. And some minor changes in the interior so the crew has a separate living space on board and the vessel will be gender-neutral.

Some other examples of these adjustments were:

  • The engineering of a new foundation for a water transport pump
  • A new staircase between the deckhouse and the hold
  • Placement of a 500-liter buffer tank
  • Creating new spaces in the accommodation for the crew and visitors
  • Placement of a new deck crane


Deck crane
One of the most challenging tasks, was the engineering of the new deck crane that had to be placed on board of the vessel. The new FRISCs that needed to be stored onboard are bigger than the earlier models. Therefore, a new crane is necessary with a larger capacity while having a bigger outreach. To guide the FRISCs safely onboard, some structural changes were needed like replacing the life rafts. And adjustments to the hull, providing the railing with bumpers and placing extra deck lashings for the sea fastening of the cargo. FEM analysis were made to check the forces that will occur in the pedestal, deckhouse, and surrounding structure to guarantee the structural strength of the vessel. We provided the production, demolition and assembly drawings for all adjustments described above. When needed a FEM analysis was made.


Document control and As Built
During the midlife upgrade Saltwater provided the document control. All necessary items were approved by Lloyds Register. Together with the new drawings, all the existing documents were updated according to the modifications made during the upgrade. Saltwater executed an As-Built check. Multiple engineers have been on board to find possible differences between the drawings and the parts that were built.


Final phase of the Zr. Ms. Pelikaan
Following a two-year process of careful planning and execution, the midlife upgrade is finished. During this period Saltwater has provided procurement support, proposal engineering, detail engineering, stability calculations and document control. Recently the deck crane is tested for final usage. For now, the Navy and the crew of the Zr. Ms. Pelikaan can start with the trial run and training with the new equipment on board.


Specific project data

Project information

Scope of work:

  • Vessel survey
  • Inclination test & stability booklet
  • Engineering for the midlife upgrade
  • Document control
  • As-Built survey


  • Survey the vessel to review the as-is state
  • Verify proposal engineering on board
  • Providing adequate technical advice
  • Providing production drawings
  • Providing demolition drawings
  • FEM analysis to check structural integrity
  • Deck strength calculations
Zr. Ms. Pelikaan
Zr. Ms. Pelikaan
Zr. Ms. Pelikaan
Zr. Ms. Pelikaan
Zr. Ms. Pelikaan