What is it like in shipyard?

heatherpeterson Senior Director of Talent AcquisitionAdministrator Posts: 92
Are you scheduled to be on board this June and July? That means you will be on board during our annual maintenance, this year in the Canary Islands, Spain. While the hospital takes a breather, our diligent and skilled technical crew are hard at work, ticking off boxes on a long project list! In addition to our typical yearly projects (rennovations, working on generators, engines, etc.) we will also be in dry dock. "What is dry dock", you may ask? This video sums it up pretty well!

This is a critical part of what we do, as without regular planned maintenance the vessel would not be able to remain in service.  The environment onboard is dependent on the work being undertaken and there may be times when certain services are interrupted or not available. This year, that could mean:

Some days where there won’t be hot water.

There may be the possibility to have to be ashore for a full day while ships stability is checked

Air conditioning will be off during drydock but we will have some areas with vent fans running. During the days fans will be off, but we try to run in the evening for sleeping.

Some days the galley will be out of action and food may be ordered in locally

Some days there will be dust and dirt from certain areas of the public spaces and cabins where hot work and floor replacement is happening

Noise in the evening hours when the yard and subcontractors will be working

However, our dedication to the welfare of our crew does not change and working onboard during the technical period can be just as rewarding and enjoyable as at any other time!

Who do we need during ship yard? 
  • Welders
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • General laborors
As well as additional ...
  • Cooks 
  • Dining Room Staff
  • Housekeepers
Have any questions? Feel free to ask us in the comments!


  • AngieFadely
    AngieFadely Moderator Posts: 20
    Great summary Heather!  Africa Mercy crew, do you have any thing to add or comments to make regaridng life on board teh Africa Mercy while it is in the shipyard?
  • John Mather
    John Mather Member Posts: 7
    I've had the pleasure of being on board for both the field service and the annual maintenance phase (AMP)... while I may be a little biased (as the AMP is like the Super Bowl for my department), I much more enjoy the atmosphere of shipyard.  During field service, with the inclusion of day workers and hospital staff, the dining area can be a bit overwhelming when lunch time comes around.  Since there are a lot less people on board during shipyard, meal times are much more relaxed.  Also, with so many variables in play (as Heather mentioned), shipyard just feels like an "adventure."  And with the reduced number of personnel on board, it's an adventure we all feel like we're in together.

  • John Mather
    John Mather Member Posts: 7
    Oh yeah, and unless you generally work in the marine industry, how often do you get to see a 500' ship up out of the water like this, in person?  ...Probably never.  

    Africa Mercy in Drydock

  • Andrew Rothwell
    Andrew Rothwell Member Posts: 5

    It took a while to polish, but it came up pretty good. The hardest part was lifting it back on! laugh
  • John Mather
    John Mather Member Posts: 7
    Nice Andrew... all those times you watched Karate Kid finally paid off! 

    Image result for wax on wax off
  • sam-the-man
    sam-the-man Member Posts: 16

    My name is Sam Vincent and I have been accepted for the Gallery position on the ship. I was wondering does the Gallery team get to go home when the ship is in maintance

  • heatherpeterson
    heatherpeterson Senior Director of Talent Acquisition Administrator Posts: 92


    Most of the programmatic/medical crew take their leave during maintenance, but otherwise the Africa Mercy is operational during this time. We still need Galley Crew, Housekeepers, Dining Room Staff, administrators, and so much more in addition to our maintenance/technical crew!

  • kyliebest
    kyliebest Member Posts: 12


    I'm Kylie, a Recruiter here at Mercy Ships, and I'm happy to assist you. As @heatherpeterson previously mentioned, we still need Galley Crew (among other positions) to serve, as the Africa Mercy is still occupied with volunteers during the maintenance phase. Feel free to reach out to me at the email below, I'm happy to answer any questions you have regarding volunteering.

    [email protected]

    I'm looking forward to speaking with you about this opportunity!

    Kylie Best

    General Recruiter

  • sam-the-man
    sam-the-man Member Posts: 16

    Kylie Thank you for that information.I have a view more quetions to ask. 1. How much luggage can we bring on the ship? 2. Can we hang pictures on the walls? 3. Can we have a small book shelf in the room. Sam

  • kyliebest
    kyliebest Member Posts: 12
    edited July 2019

    @sam-the-man, thank you for your response! I would advise you to look over the Volunteer Guidebook, as well as the Shipyard Guidebook. I have included these in on this message. I hope you find these helpful, but please reach out to me should you not find what you are looking for! I have included my email below, feel free to reach out to me directly.


    Kyile Best

  • sam-the-man
    sam-the-man Member Posts: 16

    Thank you Kylie I will read those licks then get back with you if I have more questions to ask. Do you want me to use your email or will this work

  • sam-the-man
    sam-the-man Member Posts: 16

    Hello Kylie, I read the link that you sent me, reading them raised a view more questions to ask. 1. Do we get vacation time to come and see family? 2.Do we need to bring our own utensils to use in the gallery kitchen? 3.Do we need to bring a laundry basket? I am really excited to work on the ship, I can't wait. Sam

  • kyliebest
    kyliebest Member Posts: 12

    Hi @sam-the-man,

    These are all great questions! I'm happy to answer them for you. Would you mind sending me an email?

    Looking forward to speaking with you!


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