• Permanent underwater hull repairs carried out in less than a day

    Permanent underwater hull repairs carried out in less than a day


    Last month a Hydrex team mobilized from our office in Clearwater, Florida, to a 170-meter roro vessel berthed close by in Port Everglades to perform underwater hull repairs. Despite the relatively small scale of this operation, it was nonetheless vital for the shipowner. It allowed him to keep his vessel out of drydock and avoid having to go off hire.

    Hydrex on-site hull repair services include the renewal of both small and large areas of damaged hull plating. These repairs can be carried out above or below water, according to the circumstances, with tailor-made mobdocks. Normal commercial activities can therefore continue without disruption. These operations follow the Hydrex procedure for welding cracks and inserts in the vessel's shell plating and they are approved by the major classification societies.

    Permanent insert repair in Port Everglades

    A cavitation hole needed to be repaired in the bottom plating of the ship. A Hydrex diver/technician team therefore carried out a detailed inspection of both the onboard as well as the water side of the affected plating.

    Next the team installed a cofferdam over the area.  The cofferdam was modified to fit perfectly over the rounded shape of the hull.

    This allowed them to remove the longitudinal frame covering the damage. The diver/technicians could then cut away the damage and the surrounding area. Next they positioned a new insert plate, measuring 300 x 300 mm. The insert was then secured following the Hydrex class-approved procedure for insert plates, using a full penetration weld.

    An independent tester carried out ultrasonic testing and the repair was approved by the classification surveyor who was present during the operation. The diver/technicians then refitted the frame and removed the cofferdam, concluding the repair.

    Repairs of this kind can only be done rapidly and successfully by trained divers/technicians who are familiar with the procedures and who have the relevant know-how to resolve all of the technical difficulties encountered during underwater operations. For this reason all Hydrex technical staff from all offices undergo stringent training, enabling them to perform a wide range of operations. Hydrex diver/technician teams carry out these on-site hull repairs all over the world.

    Throughout the operation diver/technicians stayed in close communication with each other and with the technical department in the office. This allowed them to finish this job within the shortest possible time frame without any compromise of the high quality standards for which Hydrex is known.