Underwater inspections

Building upon conventional technical skills and know-how while also taking advantage of the latest technology, Hydrex offers a unique hull monitoring service to its customers. This gives shipowners total control of their ship's hull condition and consequently its performance, with only a minimum of work on their part.

Underwater inspections represent a small investment and, if properly done, have the potential to save an owner/operator a great deal of money.


Competent underwater inspections, particularly if carried out regularly can detect

1. Problems with the propeller such as bent or damaged blades (which can put undue strain on bearings), roughness due to fouling, cavitation damage or bad polishing which can reduce the propeller’s efficiency

2. Anodes which have worn away, rendering the cathodic protection system unworkable, leading to corrosion and added hull friction

3. Hull cracks or other damage which, if not rapidly arrested, can worsen and increase the cost of any subsequent repair

4. Ropes inside the stern tube assembly which may cause seal problems if neglected

5. Leaking stern tube or thruster seals which can cause an environmental problem in port and lead to costly changes to a ship’s schedule if not caught quickly and repaired

6. Clogged sea chest grids (preventing proper cooling of the ship’s engines), or loose or damaged grids

7. Loose or broken grids on thruster tunnels which can result in damage to thruster propellers

8. Damaged, bent, broken or detached bilge keels which again can become much worse if not caught early

9. A damaged rudder which will continue to deteriorate if not addressed rapidly, resulting in the need for much more costly repairs and representing a safety hazard in extreme cases.

Regular inspections carried out by competent divers and followed by comprehensive and accurate reports can detect any of these or other problems so that they can be corrected early and prevent the more costly repair which neglect and further damage would incur.

Inspections before drydocking
There is another important way for underwater inspections to be used to save costs. A thorough inspection carried out a week or two before a ship is due to go to drydock can save a great deal of money in drydock. An accurate estimate of work required can lead to efficient scheduling. If thrusters are to be repaired in drydock they can be removed prior to the ship’s dry-docking and can be repaired and ready for reinstallation when the ship is in drydock, rather than waiting until the docking to find out and then having to extend time in drydock in order to repair and replace the thruster.

An accurate report on the state of the rudder can lead to effective repair and recoating of the rudder so that it does not suffer further damage.

The all-too-frequent scenario of a low estimate for drydocking which grows exponentially once the drydock gate has closed and the ship is out of the water can thus be avoided.

Hydrex diver/technicians can carry out inspections underwater and on-site very swiftly without disturbing the vessel’s sailing schedule.

With fuel costs amounting to 40% of operational expenses and continuing to rise, reducing fuel consumption is a vital concern of ship owners. This is the reason why hull monitoring pays for itself. Underwater hull roughness, marine fouling, bent propellers and poor paint condition are all factors that will increase fuel usage due to the drag or inefficiency created by the damaged or affected area. The data gathered can then be used for a wide range of actions.

Our diver/technicians are trained for a wide range of operations and they can carry out the inspections in port or at anchor.

Contact us directly about Underwater inspections