Over the last two months, the rudders of several types of vessels were given an Ecospeed protective coating at yards in China and Estonia. In total eight vessels, including some newbuilds, belonging to five different owners were treated. Four of these owners were returning customers.
These owners had experienced firsthand the devastating effect of cavitation on rudders coated with a traditional coating system. For this reason they decided to use Ecospeed to ensure lasting protection against corrosion and erosion damage for the rudders of their vessels for the remainder of their service life.
Tests in a flow channel, carried out in Grenoble, have confirmed that Ecospeed performs extremely well under severe cavitation, which the company said has been backed up by many success stories. The rudder of the 195-meter container vessel, Marie Delmas, for instance, was still in excellent condition when the ship came into drydock after sailing for five years with Ecospeed.
Protection of your rudders is best begun at the newbuild phase
When a vessel comes into drydock, maintenance of its stern area, especially cavitation damage repair, can take a long time. There are strict procedures concerning blasting, painting, welding and propeller and stern tube seal work. Painting is then assigned to the end of the schedule. As a consequence it may be rushed or not get done at all or else prolongs the stay in drydock.
With an Ecospeed application one can avoid these problems from day one because the underwater hull will not need to be repainted during drydocking. Ecospeed will remain intact for the lifetime of the vessel and is guaranteed for ten years. At the most, touch-ups amounting to less than 1% of the surface area will be required. Planning the maintenance of the vessel’s stern area therefore becomes much easier.
The newbuild phase is the perfect time to apply Ecospeed, but the coating can also be used to protect vessels that have been in service for some time and are already facing cavitation and corrosion damage.
Ecospeed’s flexibility makes it easy to adapt the application schedule to the rest of the activities scheduled at the shipyard or drydock in a way which does not interfere with them. Overcoating time can be as short as three hours, which means that for smaller surfaces such as rudders or bow thrusters the two coats required can usually be applied in one single day.