The average life span of a modern vessel is about twenty-five (25) to thirty (30) years depending on its material, construction, build, design, engine, buoyancy, and more. To maximize the life of the ships, it is a must to perform surveys, repairs, and maintenance.
Generally, a cargo ship should be checked two times within the five (5) year period. The same thing applies to tankers or bulk carrier vessels. As much as possible, the ship should not be more than fifteen (15) years old, and the owner must not paint the hull with black color. In this way, the divers can assess the bottom condition of the ship, and they can enable them to execute proper surveying.
There are several types of surveying and checking methodologies for ships and cargo vessels. To name a few, these examinations include periodic inspections, annual surveys, dry-dock or intermediate checks, safety construction surveys, equipment checks, in-water ship surveys, and more.
In this article, we will emphasize the importance of the in-water ship method and how it will affect the life span of the ships and other cargo vessels. We will provide some insights into the in-water surveys in Victoria and how Southern Divers Melbourne
specialists conduct their services.
Overview of the In-Water Ship Survey
An in-water ship survey refers to a method of surveying and checking underwater parts of the ship while it's still afloat. The hull components of the vessel include rudder, rudder post, propeller, propeller shaft, double bottom, fuel oil tank, ballast tank, hull, bow, and more.
Regular inspection of the bottom parts is the best approach to assess the ship's condition. They can determine if the vessel has any leaks, damages, or deterioration. The hull is an important feature to examine because it directly affects the fuel consumption and power of the vessel’s main engine. By doing this procedure, the surveyors and crews can detect the current condition of the ship and advise the client on how to manage and fix the issues.
What are the requirements for the in-water survey?
Before conducting the in-water survey, the equipment, devices, tools, and procedures should be written in a contract and agreed upon by the parties involved. The diving firm and hull repair specialists must have certificates, and they should be accredited and belong to a member association body. In this way, the company can verify its legitimacy by searching their names and firms in the government or private sector website.
If the assessment reveals any damages that require urgent attention, the surveyor must advise the team to move the ship at a dry-docked to carry out the necessary procedures. Aside from these matters, the following items should be submitted as prerequisites:
● Details that summarizes the explanation on how to measure the bush clearances and rudder pintle
● Details that show how the pintles and bush clearances will be measured
● Confirmation if the hull contains any high resistant paint
● Determine the hull roughness of the ship using an analyzer or other similar instrument
Once the requirements are met, and the party agreed with the written contract, the diving firm can now start doing their assessment procedures.
Overview of the In-Water Repairs and Maintenance
Ship repairs and maintenance are safety protocols that should be complied with according to the legal compliance set by the governing body. The company owning the vessels must submit an approved clearance that the ships underwent a professional, accredited, and quality surveying, repairs, and maintenance.
Usually, a team conducts the surveying and assessment that includes the skilled hull repair specialists, professional divers, qualified surveyors, company owners, and the diving firm. Some of the services performed are the following procedures:
● Using advanced imaging equipment and wired communication
● Use ROV equipment
● Performs hull erosion cleaning, repair, and inspection
● Execute hull bio-security inspection and cleaning
● Check the propeller and shaft
● Clean and polish the propeller and shaft
● Perform Non-destructive testing
● Perform underwater epoxy paint
● Execute wet welding and engineering
● Perform anode inspection and replacement
● Utilize Underwater camera and video system with high-resolution images
● Supervisors will liaise between the diving crews and clients for efficient communication regarding the inspection directives following the surveyor and client’s instructions
● Perform suction grates and vent cleaning
As the ships ferry across the ocean and seas, the vessel withstands all the weather conditions and catastrophic events. It is a must to perform surveys, repairs, and maintenance as necessary as possible to keep track of the ship’s condition. These preventive measures are important mechanisms to prolong the life of the vessel.
According to the Southern Divers, the high-quality equipment and workmanship are the key factors to deliver promising results for an in-water survey, repairs, and maintenance. Furthermore, the periodic inspection and maintenance of the ships will ensure the company and the crews to operate the vessel safely.