Sailing Ship for the Vietnamese Navy Goes Through The Sea Trials Programme In The Waters Of The Gdansk Bay

Image Credit: A. Nitka
Image Credit: A. Nitka

Sea trials of the Lê Quý Đôn training sailing ship for the Nha Trang Vietnamese Naval Academy (Học viện Hải Quân Việt Nam) have been conducted within the waters of the Gdansk Bay since mid-July The second part of the test programme took place between 8th and 10th August 2015.

Vietnamese sailing vessel is a three-mast Barque, named after a Vietnamese 18th Century philosopher and poet. The ship was designed by the Choreń Design & Consulting design bureau, while the construction works were executed by the Gdansk based Marine Projects Ltd. Sp. z o.o. shipyard. The vessel was ordered by Polski Holding Obronny [Polish Defence Holding].

Keel laying ceremony took place on 2nd July 2014. The completed hull was, on 1st June this year, transferred from the shipyard’s production pier in the Gdansk Stogi district, to a pontoon belonging to the facility. Next, the ship was towed through Martwa and Śmiała Wisła, Górki Zachodnie and around the Port Północny [Northern Harbour], to the Gdansk Port Wewnętrzny [Inner Harbour]. There, within the area of the ex-Gdansk Shipyard, the hull was moved to a floating dock owned by Baltic Engineering Sp. z o.o. The launch ceremony ultimately took place on 2nd June. Then the hull was towed back to the shipyard of origin, in order to carry out the finishing works.

The new Vietnamese ship has a displacement of 950 tonnes, its full length is 67 meters (together with the bowsprit), whereas the hull itself has dimensions of 58.3 x 10 x 4 meters. Ship’s engine room is fitted with the Caterpillar C32 engine which allows the vessel to reach speeds of 12 knots, without using the sails. Vessel’s manoeuvrability is enhanced by a bow thruster which is powered, similarly as the on-board appliances, by two Caterpillar C9 generators. What’s understandable, 1400 square meters of sails may also be used to propel the ship. Sails are hanging on three masts, each of which is almost 41 meters tall. The sailing vessel is manned by a crew of 30, additionally 80 recruits may stay on board in 12-14 persons cabins. The ship also features a training room equipped with a proper IT infrastructure. Ship’s autonomy is defined as 45 days.

The Lê Quý Đôn vessel is going to be received by the final customer at the end of August this year. Then, the ship is going to make its maiden journey to Vietnam, during which it is going to be manned by a mixed Polish-Vietnamese crew, commanded by Captain Piotr Leszczynski. The crew is going to include 60 persons, along with 20 Poles, the journey around Africa is expected to last at least 3 months.

The author would like to thank Tadeusz Zielinski and Piotr Leszczynski for being given an opportunity of participating in the sea trials. More acknowledgements go to the Lê Quý Đôn crew – for hospitality on-board.

Andrzej Nitka