The very first magazines >
This first issue was more of a leaflet than a real magazine. In the early years publication was very sporadic. The means we had at that time were limited and we did not have a separate promo division then. We created a newsletter when we had something really important to share.
At the end of the eighties we started to write more regular magazines. We wanted to increase our impact on the shipping industry in general and help the industry to become more ecological. To do this we needed to strengthen our position. The magazine was a key factor in achieving this. We increased the frequency from a quarterly publication to a monthly one by the end of the nineties. It has been published every month ever since.
Revolutionary techniques >
The early issues of the Hydrex magazine are unfortunately lost, but the pictures used remain. One of the very first operations that was written about was the prefabricated cofferdam repair on m/v Lunar Venture.
The ship had suffered a very large gash in its double bottom and Hydrex was asked to find an on-site solution. Because the available options were not good enough, a revolutionary new technique needed to be used: a prefabricated cofferdam.
In 1979 it might have looked like youthful arrogance to people in the shipping business but as with most ideas introduced by Hydrex, it led to the development of a repair technique still in general use today.
From black and white to color >
During the eighties the Hydrex magazine was printed only once a year, but by the time the nineties arrived it had changed into a quarterly publication. In 1993 color was introduced, first only now and then but soon the magazine was in full color.
The purpose remained the same: To inform our customers and prospects of the operations our teams performed around the world and to share with them all the latest news.
20 years of Hydrex >
In 1994 Hydrex celebrated its twentieth birthday. The magazine followed a year later. By then we had established ourselves as a world leader in underwater ship repair and maintenance services. Despite sending dive teams across the globe, we were never just a diving company.
This was once again clearly demonstrated by this article in the October 1994 issue of the magazine. In it we wrote about a very complex repair performed in Dunkirk. At that time, this was the biggest underwater welding operation of its kind that had ever been done.
Global recommendations >
Over the years we have received many recommendation letters from shipowners, classification societies and even the U.S. Coast Guard. The one on this page was sent to us in 1998 after a complex welding repair on a bulk carrier in Baltimore.
No one believed the operation could be done afloat, but after its successful completion they were more than willing to admit they had been wrong.
Big operations, big articles >
Looking for new opportunities >
At the start of the new century Hydrex had grown too big for the existing warehouse. A state-of-the-art fast response center was constructed to allow us to keep providing our customers with the best possible service.
This new warehouse included a dedicated location for our R&D division. One of the new technologies developed here is our cold propeller blade straightening machine. First introduced in our magazine in 2001, this method has gone through many iterations since then and is still in use twenty years later.
Time for a joke >
Throughout the years there has also regularly been room for a less serious moment in our magazine, as is illustrated by this cartoon from 2002. By then the magazine had become a monthly publication.
A wide range of operations >
In the last twenty years the Hydrex magazine has arrived on our customers’ desks every month. In this period we have written about many new technologies developed by our R&D department. Some have been tailor-made solutions for a specific problem, others are still used by our divers on a regular basis
A very good example of this is our flexible mobdock used to replace stern tube seals underwater. Introduced in 2002, this technology has been used on hundreds of seal assemblies since then. The image of one of our divers working inside the mobdock is well known to regular readers of our magazine.
Complex steel repairs >
The two covers below are both from 2011. Two tailor-made, complex hull repairs were carried out almost back-to-back. One of them was the replacement of an entire hull section – a feat never done before.
New welding techniques >
In 2018 we wrote an article about the history of underwater welding and the part Hydrex has played in this. We have been at the forefront of wet welding since 1974. In this period we have regularly introduced new welding techniques. We have also developed new equipment that makes it much easier to monitor and test the weld seams.
This has been done by our in-house R&D department who cooperate closely with our diving teams. Together they help us carry out the research required to keep evolving the available welding techniques.
This led to a new breakthrough in 2020 when we received a grade A wet welding certificate. The certificate was given for carrying out grade A groove welding underwater. Most companies with a wet welding certificate can only carry out fillet welds and this often only to grade B or C.
On to the next 300 magazines >
It has been 46 years since the first Hydrex magazine was published, but 300 issues later it is still going strong. A lot has changed from the early days when it was a black and white leaflet until the fully fledged magazine it is today, but for us the goal is still the same: To inform our customers, the market and everyone involved in a neutral way on the latest technological advances.
The photographs are all taken with a digital camera now and the entire process of creating the magazine is done with a computer, but once the final approval has been given the magazine is still send to a printer.
It is always nice to see our magazine lying around when we visit customers, whether it is in Hamburg, Hong Kong, Tokyo or New York. It means that it is being read all over the world.
We really hope you enjoyed this journey through the history of our magazine as much as we enjoyed going through the archives and putting it together.
Click on the PDF below to browse through Hydrex magazine 300.