Last month the rudders of three ships were coated with Ecospeed at shipyards in China. A 217-meter heavy lift vessel was treated in Guangzhou, while a 200-meter roro ship and a 137-meter LPG-tanker had their respective rudders coated in Zhousan and Nantong.
The three vessels are owned by different owners, but they experienced the same problems. Cavitation corrosion damage had appeared on the rudders of their ships. If a rudder is not given the proper protection against cavitation and the resulting erosion and corrosion damage, the financial consequences can be substantial for the owner. Ecospeed will prevent similar damage from reoccurring.
The coating can be applied to any type of rudder and will provide it with an impenetrable protective layer. At the same time its toughness and flexibility enable absorption of the forces that are produced by cavitation. This prevents the damage normally caused by this phenomenon.
With an Ecospeed application no repaint will be needed during drydocking. Ecospeed is guaranteed for ten years. At most, minor touch-ups will be needed. Planning the maintenance of the vessel’s stern area therefore becomes much easier. The smoothness attained by the coating also provides optimum hydrodynamic conditions. This allows rudders to operate at maximum efficiency. The ship’s performance therefore remains stable.
This is illustrated by an amusing recent anecdote. A shipowner had bought a container vessel. When the ship was scheduled to go to drydock, the owner wanted to have Ecospeed applied to the rudder on his vessel and placed an order. When the ship came out of the water, he called us to cancel the order because the coating on the rudder was still in perfect condition. It turned out that the rudder had been coated with Ecospeed five years earlier by its previous owner.
If one takes into account the costs of the temporary underwater repairs and the regular inspections required by a condition of class until the next drydocking, it becomes clear that the investment in a coating system that offers extra protection from day one is easily won back. For this reason more and more owners have Ecospeed applied on the rudders of a large part of their fleet or have it put in the rudder specs of their newbuild vessels. These owners invest in the right coating system for protection because they know that the savings will be there.