Kimo Mackey is a busy guy. He, and his "SWAT" team of divers are ready at a moment's notice to respond to calls from shipowners and operators around the world, answering the calls for help with a complete propeller repair solution.
Mr. Mackey would have it no other way. Lips Subsea — based in Poulsbo, Wash. — was formed to provide a quick, correct and cost-effective solution to propeller damage. The underwater repair team can be most anywhere in the world within 48 hours, and it provides services consistent with each individual situation.
The team promises to deliver most any major propeller repair work, including the straightening of major bends. The company reports that the repairs are often considered by the major class societies to be 100 percent complete.
Even the most seasoned owner/operator knows that pulling a ship from service for repairs is a trying time — both mentally and financially.
Lost time equals lost business, and coupled with escalating repair costs and razor-thin margins prevalent in the industry today, the event can lead to real financial disaster. Propeller damage seems to be particularly prevalent in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., a factor which led to the base of the company.
Engineering A Solution Key to the team's success has been the development of equipment which makes it possible to straighten major propeller bends, as well as equipment designed to dramatically shorten the time it takes to cut and grind blades.
In addition, specialized equipment and techniques were developed which enabled Lips technicians to measure propeller geometry underwater, reportedly with degrees of accuracy comparable to onshore shops. Of course, every propeller cannot be straightened, as cold straightening to class standards is only possible when there is no associated cracking. But Lips believes its specialized training provides an advantage, as its team is capable of looking for and evaluating any additional defects.
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