Ice Class Firefighter Tug Boat Given Ecospeed Protection
Last August, the 31-meter tug boat Ocean Raymond Lemay was coated with Ecospeed on the Isle-aux-Coudres in Quebec, Canada. The vessel is owned by Ocean Group Inc., who, among many other services, offers efficient and safe harbor towing services in the ports of Quebec, Montreal, Toronto and a number of smaller harbors.
M/V Ocean Raymond Lemay is both an Ice Class and a Firefighting Class vessel, which means she can be used in a wide range of operations. Besides various harbor maneuvers such as moving a ship from one place to another by hauling it with its towing lines, the vessel is used during emergencies or to provide prevention services. The ship is also used to open up the frozen passageways in ports during the winter season.
During such operations, M/V Ocean Raymond Lemay has to use her weight to ram into thick ice and force a passage. She is constantly hit by chunks of ice which may be 50 centimeters or more in thickness. Not only is the ice highly abrasive, there is the additional factor that the steel of the hull flexes under the impact. When the metal sheets that form the hull flex and bend under the impact, the paint that is supposed to protect them does one of two things: it either is flexible and adheres so well to the metal that it is virtually part of the steel itself and thus survives; or it is less flexible than the hull and cannot flex with the steel, in which case the paint gradually, or not so gradually, is forced away from the hull and rubbed away under the impact. It is a problem which is unique to ships faced with ice impact.
Ecospeed demonstrates excellent attachment to the hull and successful resistance to extremely icy conditions. The coating has proven its ability to withstand the harshest winter conditions on numerous occasions.