Q & A with DATUM RMS President Andrew Lynskey

Q & A with DATUM RMS President Andrew Lynskey

“Any significant refit that involves running gear needs DATUM’s help.” -- Andrew Lynskey

RMK Merrill-Stevens is one of the largest and most capable shipyards in South Florida. A vital part of our capabilities relies on trusted partners, like DATUM Rotating Machinery Services (DATUM RMS).

Our Marketing Team recently sat down with DATUM RMS President Andrew (Andy) Lynskey to discuss how our partnership was formed, learn about DATUM’s approach to projects, and what makes DATUM unique.

Andy, a former Mechanical Engineer for the British Royal Navy, has nearly 30 years of experience working in and on large vessels. “When you serve on large ships, you do everything,” says Andy. Andy worked on water purification, sewage treatments, marine propulsion, and more while in the Navy. After spending 14 years as an engineer in the Navy, he began working on world-renowned shipyards. This experience led to the launch of DATUM RMS 9 years ago.

Here are the highlights of our discussion with Andy.

Question: What is DATUM RMS?

Andrew (Andy) Lynskey: DATUM RMS is a marine propulsion service company, specializing in marine propulsion service, alignment, and vibration analysis. We have a staff of 23 people split between South Florida and Savannah, Georgia.

Q: What are your qualifications and what services do you provide to large vessels?

A: Personally, I am a certified ASNT level 3 – ISO category III. I’m a vibration analyst with certifications in Field Dynamic Balancing of rotating machinery and Cathodic Protection.

As a team, DATUM RMS works on shafting, rutters, engine mounts, and machinery alignment. We work on refits, which are planned, and emergencies. Ideally, we avoid emergencies by collecting the right data through vibration surveys. We can pinpoint an engine misfiring, a damaged propeller, and even aging engine mounts.

Q: What separates DATUM RMS from competitors?

Andy: We won’t sell you stuff you don’t need and we’ll be transparent to a fault. Not every yard or service provider takes this approach. We also take pride in making DATUM RMS a good place to work. You spend more of your life at work than anything else, and it needs to not be a hateful place. We have a really tight group and we have each other's backs.

We’re also reasonably priced for the technical level of what we do, and we stand by our work. If something isn’t quite right, we take care of it.

Q: Does giving full transparency to owners and captains ever backfire?

Andy: For the most part, people appreciate honesty and transparency, although some of us don’t like being told no even if it’s the truth. Both DATUM and RMK MS are aligned that the truth is always the right answer, and most people appreciate being told the truth. We work on vessels that have schedules to meet. If you BS them about their schedule, you are putting their business and plans at risk.

Q: Why did DATUM Rotating Machinery Services partner with RMK Merrill-Stevens?

Andy: We’re a good fit. When RMK MS was putting the lift (2700LT Pearlson ship lift) together and refurbishing the yard, they approached us. They said, “We’ll need a company like yours for support, how can you help?” After several conversations and test projects, it was clear that we could add value to each other.

Q: What is the most satisfying part of your job?

Andy: I like to see projects come to fruition. There’s nothing better than seeing everyone happy on sea trial day and knowing that the vessel is leaving the yard on-time and on-budget -- this is where we like to be.

Q: What has been the key to a successful partnership between DATUM RMS and RMK MS?

Andy: The key to our partnership is honesty from both sides. RMK MS has to be honest about their needs and expectations for a project, and we have to be honest about what and when we can deliver. If the shipyard wants a project completed in a week and the vessel is not mechanically in a state where that’s possible, we will be honest about it. We also need honesty from the owner about the vessel’s schedule.

Q: Are there any quick tips you would give vessel owners based on your experience?

Andy: Don’t let the maintenance slide!

If you’re in the yard and you have the opportunity to take care of things, that’s the time to do it. Don’t put maintenance off. (If you put maintenance off) Bearings or seals are almost guaranteed to fail during the on-season when you want to enjoy time with your family.

Learn more about DATUM Rotating Machinery Services here!