Underwater Bow Thruster Repairs Keep Ships out of Drydock

Monday, September 23, 2013
Photo: Hydrex

Hydrex said it can assist shipowners with almost any problem they encounter with their vessel’s thruster. A wide range of repair or maintenance work can be carried out on all types of thrusters. An entire unit can be overhauled, propeller blades or seals can be replaced or repair work on a specific part of a thruster can be performed by Hydrex diver/technicians on-site. And all of these repairs can be carried out without the need to drydock the vessel.

Hydrex claims to be the first company to show that it was possible to remove and then replace thrusters by creating a dry environment underwater. Using the Hydrex-developed steel mobdocks to seal off the thruster tunnel, with an access shaft protruding above the water, work teams accessed the thruster tunnel and removed or repaired the thruster within the tunnel in complete safety. This was done in conditions similar to those above water.

Hydrex has since then developed this technology further using lightweight flexible mobdocks. These modernized mobdocks, which are designed to be easily transported around the world, are used to close off the thruster tunnel on both sides. This allows divers to work in a dry environment around the unit.

Hydrex has also developed a permanent thruster repair and replacement system. This system has been developed so it can be tailored to most vessels. It can be included in the planning for a newbuild, installed on a unit going to drydock or constructed and brought onboard at any other suitable time. With such a system on standby, any repair work to the thruster that may arise can be dealt with much faster and more easily.

There is no need to send the vessel to drydock as all operations can be carried out in port or while the vessel is stationary at sea. Normal commercial activities can therefore continue without disruption.


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