Last month one of our teams removed a bow thruster from a 229-meter bulk carrier. Two weeks later the overhauled unit was reinstalled. Both operations were done during stops in Algeciras, Spain and had to be carried out within the tight schedule available to the charterer.
All the necessary equipment was mobilized from our Algeciras fast response center. To keep the impact on the vessel’s schedule to the absolute minimum the divers performed an inspection of the bow thruster unit and tunnel, followed by some preliminary work while the vessel was berthed at a lay-by.
The vessel could then shift and start cargo operations while our men performed the rest of the operation without any hindrance to the loading schedule.
Our diver/technicians detached the blades one by one. In the meantime preparations were made in the bow thruster engine room for the removal of the unit so that there would be no ingress of water once it was taken out.
The next step was to secure the gearbox with hoisting equipment. The team then disconnected the unit from the bow thruster engine room and lowered it onto a cradle. This cradle was designed especially for such thruster operations.
Simultaneously the team sealed off the tunnel from the bow thruster room. Once the unit was lifted onto the quay it was prepared for transport to the workshop.
Creating dry underwater conditions
Two weeks after we removed the thruster unit our men once again mobilized to Algeciras. They reinstalled the overhauled unit underwater with the use of the our flexible mobdocks.
These were used to close off the thruster tunnel once the overhauled bow thruster had been brought inside. This technology has been used during thruster operations for over 20 years now and can be shipped anywhere in the world by plane.
All water was then removed from the tunnel. This created drydock like conditions for our divers despite the vessel staying afloat. Our team secured the unit and connected it to the engine room. Once this was done the thruster propeller blades were installed one by one. With the thruster blades in position the ship was ready to sail.
Fulfilling the needs of all parties involved
By performing the thruster removal and reinstallation underwater, our divers made it possible for the owner to keep the vessel out of drydock.
We worked in shifts around the clock and finished the job within the available time frame. This allowed the ship to sail on schedule, which was a key benefit for the charterer.
Performing a job like this takes a lot of planning. This can only be done successfully by staff who have familiarity with such operations and have the relevant know-how and equipment.
We can assist shipowners with almost any problem they encounter with their vessel’s thruster. A wide range of underwater repair or maintenance work can be carried out to all types of thrusters. An entire unit can be overhauled, propeller blades or seals can be replaced or repair work on a specific part of a thruster can be performed on-site.
Contact us for more information on any underwater problem. We are at 24/7 call.