SMS Avonmouth; New Premises and a Major Aggregates Refit

SMS Avonmouth relocates to bigger premises and completes the largest alongside refit of the year as Bristol port.

“SMS Avonmouth, the South West’s leading ship repairer, part of the Southampton based SMS Group, has completed a major refit alongside in Bristol Port for Tarmac, and relocated to larger premises to meet localised demand”.


SMS, has an enviable reputation as specialists in ship repair, marine engineering and major fabrication projects in the commercial marine, defence and Superyachts sectors.  Last month the business completed a major refit onboard the hopper dredger the ‘City of Cardiff’ for Tarmac whilst simultaneously relocating to a new, larger, footprint to help meet localised demand.


The ‘City of Cardiff’ was built in 1997 and has been maintained to the high standard by Tarmac ever since; the refit was completed in a dedicated, controlled berth alongside in Bristol Port.  SMS took Ownership of the site, to include permits-to-work and site security, as well as the program of repair works - at all times adhering to Tarmac’s stringent, professional and proven health and safety policy.


Access works included removing and repairing hatches to machinery spaces, arranging a scaffold staircase into the hold and fabrication of a walkway around the upper funnel.  SMS then U/T’d the cargo drainer sumps, overhauled the dredge pipe sliding piece and renewed the travelling discharge hopper. The company arranged scaffolding and U/T’d the discharger gantry thereafter repairing the discovered defects.


In the same time frame SMS repaired the mooring bollards and various ships side handrails.  Works included renewing gland water pipe work, repairing the discharger torque arm, assisting with the dredge pump service/overhaul, repairing the trunnion carriage, replacing the discharge grab closing winch drum and de-scaling the calorifiers and overhauling the associated valves and pipe work.


A separate team overhauled the windlass brake, changed out the intermediate gantry hydraulic cylinder (with the pins and cheek plates renewed), changed out the drag head hydraulic cylinder with pins and renewed the cheek plate.  Installed new EMS cables and installed new energy chain cables.  Load tested fixed lifting points, renewed bulkhead skirting in the accommodation and bridge, serviced the rescue boat outboard motor, renewed F/W filling pipework and valves, made paint repairs to ballast tanks and renewed the hydraulic.


Chris Lynch, the General Manager of SMS Avonmouth, comments: “this is a great example of the turn-key type refit projects that we can deliver - by calling upon the multiple trades that we have in house - hydraulics, electrical, structural and mechanical engineering, all working together, we can offer our customer a competitive, efficient, solution for a small or large refit wherever they are”.


He goes on to say: “Tarmac as a customer are fantastic, and working with Bristol Port is a well-rehearsed exercise for our team in Avonmouth; all parties work well together and with our team and Bristol Port’s infrastructure we can turn-on alongside refits in a fast and cost effective fashion.  The refit was a huge success and we’re very grateful for both the custom and the continued support of our expanding local customer base”.


He concludes by saying: “it’s that local customer base that has given us the opportunity to relocate to larger premises just neighbouring the Port.  The move to the 11,500sqft facility has given us the scope to handle both stores for our customer base and further growth in our core ship repair revenues.  As Bristol Port continues on its successful journey SMS will do the same in parallel”.


Duncan Payne, Ship Manager, Tarmac Marine Ltd, comments: “working with Chris and the SMS team has again been a pleasure.  Given the challenges of the project we’re very pleased with the outcome and look forward to future works with the SMS Group”.


SMS Avonmouth is now located at:


SMS Avonmouth, Unit B, Motorway Distribution Centre, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9YT.

T:              +44 (0) 117 239 4813

M:            +44 (0) 7843 350 633


Vessel Particulars ‘City of Cardiff’:


Length Overall 72 m

Breadth 15 m

Draft 4 m                   

Flag United Kingdom

IMO Number 9141754

Gross Tonnage 2074 GRT

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client testimonials

You should be very proud of all that you do, it is wonderful.
Classic Yacht Owner
Many thanks for your rapid work today; we are back in action again
Chief Engineer, Solent Ship Operator
Please pass on my thanks and also the thanks from my Chief Executive and Operations Director, the support of the SMS team is very much appreciated
Head of Engineering, Solent Ferry Operator
Many thanks for your teams hard graft, the work was completed and as always I am extremely happy with the quality
Colour Sergeant, Royal Marines HM Naval Base Devonport
Thank the welders, the work that they produced was to the highest standard and were great to work with
Project Manager, UK Shipyard
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