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At sea, Shipyard

Testing the Waters: The Finncanopus Sea Trial

As the dock time for Superstar vessels nears its inevitable end, another superstar, Finncanopus, highlights this chapter’s conclusion through its sea trial, which we are now presenting.

Those who have been following our blog may remember what a sea trial means, as we only recently discussed Finnsirius’s sea trial in June. The sister star, Finncanopus, embarked on its sea trial with almost the same testing program, though lessons had been learned from the previous time, at least regarding the amount of coffee loaded into the kitchen container – this time, there was enough coffee.

Execution of the Test Program

Finnsirius had conducted common performance-related tests for the Superstar class of vessels, such as various maneuver tests, so the test program for the Finncanopus sea trial was slightly shorter than that of its sister vessel.

From Weihai, departing from the CMI Jinling shipyard, the journey began in calm weather, which was favorable for the outdoor noise tests scheduled for the first day of testing. These tests were conducted with the cargo deck ramps open. Finncanopus stopped a short distance from the shore, but far enough away that the noise from the shipyard and the city did not affect the noise measurements. The cargo deck ramps were opened, and the external noise produced by the vessel was measured. This test is related to harbor noise regulations.

After the first day of testing, we had to wait for an autumn storm to pass, which slightly stretched the planned schedule for the sea trial. However, once the storm was over, we were able to resume the tests.

During the test days, similar to Finnsirius, a comprehensive test program was conducted. The exhaust gas scrubber was tested, and various speed tests related to fuel consumption were carried out. Additionally, open-sea anchoring was tested. The test program also included extreme situation simulations, a blackout test, and an unmanned engine room test.

You rarely see these kinds of pictures, hardly ever after this, with Finncanopus floating in the middle of the sea with all ramps open.
The opening of the bow gate and ramps was related to the harbor noise test. The photos were taken from the vessel where the noise measurements were conducted.
Grimaldi Group’s Senior Engineering Executive, Giovanni Cuomo, and Senior Machinery Superintendent, Mikael ‘Micke’ Sjöblom, are holding a meeting in the engine room of Finncanopus.
Superstar new building Project Manager Juha Ahia (second from the left) is planning an upcoming speed test with Grimaldi Group’s Valerio Colasanti, shipyard representative Jay Yu, Senior Electrical Inspector Danut Hornea, and Rina Inspector Xuetian Qin.
The sea trials of Finncanopus were conducted in the northern part of the East China Sea, known as the Yellow Sea.

Unveiling the Intricacies of Ship Automation and Navigation

In addition to measuring the physical performance of Finncanopus, the sea trial also involved testing and adjusting the ship’s automation systems. In the crew meeting room, we met with the expert on the subject, Kalle Lindell, in front of the ‘mimics.’ Excuse me, what? Does this relate to pantomime? Not quite.

Kalle clarified what was currently in progress. On a large screen, the ship’s electrical system control picture, the ‘mimic,’ was displayed. This complex technical image depicted the operation of various ship systems using graphical symbols and images.

“Modern ship automation is a complex contraption,” Kalle summarized and devoted some of his time to our blog to explain what it’s all about.

Graphical visualization and information technology are also beneficial in the loading of the ship. Kalle took us to a workstation where he introduced us to an electronic loading computer developed by the Finnish company Napa Ltd. With this computer, the ship’s stability can be determined even before loading the cargo. The software is integrated into the ship’s automation system, from which it receives real-time data about the ship’s attitude, the levels in different tanks, or any potential leaks.

Napa has also supplied Superstar vessels with an electronic logbook, which saves time and reduces the chances of human error.

With Kalle, we also visited the outer deck to inspect the compass of Finncanopus, which underwent important calibration work during the trial voyage.

“The compass is an extremely simple instrument, familiar to everyone from school orienteering exercises,” Kalle reminded with a twinkle in his eye.

“The compass measures the angle of the Earth’s magnetic field relative to the ship, or more traditionally put, the ship’s compass direction. Because the ship is made of iron, the magnetic field distorts around the compass. The installation location, known as the standard compass bridge, is located outside above the main bridge. The installation site must be free from interfering magnetic objects and remain so throughout the ship’s lifetime. Changes should not be made there without a complete recalibration of the compass.”

Wärtsilä representative Hando Nurga and maritime electrical and automation systems expert Kalle Lindell reviewed the ship’s electrical system control picture, or mimic, in a slightly unfinished crew meeting room on deck ten.
Kalle Lindell introduced the NAPA loading computer developed in Finland, which is used to determine the ship’s stability. The loading computer is integrated into the ship’s automation system, from which it receives real-time data about tank levels, potential leaks, and the ship’s attitude.
Kalle Lindell presented the compass of the Superstars on deck thirteen. ‘When the ship is new, it undergoes basic calibration during the trial voyage, where the magnetic field changes caused by the ship are minimized with correction magnets, so that the ship’s compass always points as accurately as possible in the direction of the surrounding Earth’s magnetic field, meaning the compass always points north,’ explained Kalle.

Additional Work During the Sea Trial

During the sea trial, installation work on the hotel side was also progressed. This included the installation of all cash registers, i.e., POS devices.

During the sea trial of Finncanopus, the furnishings of the main bar, Barrel Bay, were still covered. The cash registers, seen in the picture, were installed during the sea trial.
Cash registers were also installed at the counters of Fisherman’s Bistro.
Electrical Supervisor Santeri Saarinoro is part of the shipyard’s site team, and he will stay on board as the electro-technical officer for Finncanopus. During the sea trial, Santeri installed, among other things, equipment in the main galley.

Back in Weihai

The storm delayed Finncanopus’s planned sea trial schedule by a couple of days, and the return to the Weihai shipyard was achieved on Sunday, November 19th. Next on the agenda is the final finishing work, which will take a few weeks. After that, Finncanopus is scheduled to begin its journey towards Finland, before Christmas.

The sea trial of Finncanopus and the autumn storms encountered during it are now in the past as the vessel, with its crew, approached Weihai once again.
The crew of Finncanopus had the opportunity for a group photo on the deck at sunset on Sunday, November 19, 2023.
A beautiful sunset illuminated Finncanopus’s return to the shore.
After a successful sea trial, it was time for fireworks and celebrations. Deputy General Manager Justin Liu, Kristiina Uppala, responsible for the passenger concept of Superstar vessels, and General Manager Frank Zheng.