Triple Blessing for Crew Boat
In some parts of Southeast Asia when a tree is to be carved into a dugout canoe, it is customary to invite the spirit to leave the tree before it is cut. Once the log has been crafted into a canoe, the spirit is invited back into the boat as its protector. Such blessing ceremonies are involved in the building and launching of boats around the world. But few offer such comprehensive blessings as was done this March in Singapore for a new 40-meter aluminum crew boat.
In the multi-cultural environment of Singapore there are multiple religious traditions. To honour this reality, Strategic Marine organized a triple blessing for the keel laying ceremony of their latest vessel that included the rights of Christian, Muslim and Taoist religions. Most of the aluminum for the 40.25x7.5-meter boat was cut in Australia and shipped in containers to the company shipyard in Singapore for assembly. This results in a rapid and efficient construction schedule that saw much of the framing in place for the blessing.
Strategic Marine Singapore Pte. Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian parent company. The parent firm has delivered over 150 high speed aluminum vessels with 40 percent of their production going to the international market. The vessel being blessed at the Singapore yard is the second to be built there to the same specs by Southerly Design of Australia. They feature tankage for 55,000 liters of diesel fuel and 25,000 liters of fresh water. Accommodation is provided for ten crew and 80 passengers. The 89 square meter after deck has a 50 ton cargo capacity.
The boat being blessed and scheduled for a November 2005 delivery will be powered by three V12 1350 HP (1007 kW) at 1950 RPM Cummins KTA38 M2 main engines turning into Twin Disc MG 6690SC with 2.47:1 reduction. Her sister ship, with all the same specs except for a V16 Cummins KTA50 M2 generating 1800 HP (1343 kW) at 1900 RPM as the center of the three engines, will deliver to Syarikat Borcos Shipping Sdn Bhd. this July. Auxiliary power on both vessels is provided by Cummins 6BT-powered 68Kwe, 3 Phase, 415 volt, 50 hz generators. Design speed for the boat with three KTA38 engines is 25.0 knots at 85% output.
The Christian blessing, read by Rev. Peter Goh, was followed by the Muslim blessing read by Haji Ali. Finally the Taoist blessing was conducted by Rev. Han Beng Kuang.
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Jamie F. Anderson