• Underwater bow thruster blade replacement in Barcelona keeps ship out of drydock

    Underwater bow thruster blade replacement in Barcelona keeps ship out of drydock

    03/04/2014

    Earlier this month Hydrex carried out bow thruster blade replacements on a 270-meter container ship in Barcelona. A condition of class was issued after cracks were detected in the old blades, forcing the vessel to go off hire until a solution was found.  Hydrex therefore mobilized a team to Barcelona and performed the operation on-site and underwater using the company’s flexible mobdocks.

    As soon as our technical department received the call from the owner, a team and all the required equipment was mobilized to the vessel’s location. When the diver/technicians arrived, the replacement blades were on board the container vessel. The new blades were prepared for installation while the rest of the Hydrex team readied the bow thruster tunnel for the operation.

    The Hydrex flexible mobdocks were then installed on both sides of the thruster tunnel. Next the team could evacuate all water from the tunnel. In this manner a dry working environment was created.

    The diver/technicians then removed the first blade of the bow thruster. They brought it to the surface. Next a replacement blade was lowered into the water and taken into the thruster tunnel. The team positioned the new blade on the bow thruster and bolted it on. This procedure was repeated for the other blades.

    After the blades had been replaced they were put on torque. Leakage tests were carried out successfully and the divers removed the flexible mobdocks.

    During the replacements the superintendent of the vessel was present. He followed the operation and gave his approval.

    Summary
    The Hydrex team worked in shifts around the clock to finish the job as soon as possible. By performing the operation on-site and underwater, Hydrex made it possible for the owner to have the condition of class removed without going to drydock.

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