Each year, as part of her scheduled repair programme, Logos Hope has to be taken out of the water to allow for a full exterior inspection. The ship's hull, propellers and stabilisers are examined. The seals on the propeller shafts are changed and the outside of the ship is scrubbed. A new coating is applied to prevent barnacles and algae growing on the hull. The majority of the vessel also receives a fresh coat of white paint.

Plenty of painting and removing rust on the 46-year-old ship is done during this month-long period of work, and interior offices will be spring-cleaned. The yearly maintenance is a legal requirement: “It is in order to renew our Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC),” said Tiemen Buurma (Netherlands), the vessel’s chief engineer. “The ship has to close to the public, we enter a shipyard and go into a dry dock, which drains water from around the vessel, so we can work on her.”

“We are doing a huge amount of work this year,” he continued, “Much more than we usually do and with a limited amount of resources. Our skilled volunteers are doing much of the work alongside local dock workers and many people are flying in from around the world to offer their expertise.”

Major work on the ship's generators will be done, which involves a lot of movement of other heavy equipment to get access, and the lifeboats and their apparatus also undergo important annual checks.

The audio-visual team serving on board will use the opportunity of a fairly empty vessel to install new equipment. The ship's electricians also plan to change the radio system throughout and the battery ‘temporary power supply,’ which provides emergency power, will be renewed.

“Seeing it go to completion will be amazing,” said Tiemen, who only recently took on the role of chief engineer. “And while we are working on board, the rest of the ship’s company is assigned to other projects in different communities ashore, even overseas, or they will receive training. Seeing everybody contributing in their own way is a privilege.”

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