Over the last two months the rudders of several types of vessels were given an Ecoshield protective coating at yards in China, the US, Poland and the UK. Among them were three container vessels, an oil tanker, a tug boat and a vehicle carrier.
Tests in a flow channel, carried out in Grenoble, have confirmed that Ecoshield performs extremely well under severe cavitation. The coating will prevent corrosion damage from reoccurring on an existing ship or can protect the rudder(s) of a newbuild vessel against cavitation and corrosion damage from the very start for the life of the vessel. It is the only known coating that can provide this type of full protection.
Protection from day one
Protection of your rudders is best begun at the newbuild phase. When a vessel comes into dry-dock, maintenance of its stern area, especially cavitation damage repair, can take a long time. There are strict procedures concerning blasting, painting, welding and propeller and stern tube seal work. Painting is then assigned to the end of the schedule. As a consequence it may be rushed or not get done at all or else prolongs the stay in drydock.
With an Ecoshield application one can avoid these problems from day one because the underwater gear will not need to be repainted during future drydockings. Ecoshield will remain intact for the lifetime of the vessel and is guaranteed for ten years. At the most, quick and easy touch-ups amounting to less than 1% of the surface area will be required. Planning the maintenance of the vessel’s stern area therefore becomes much easier.
The newbuild phase is the perfect time to apply Ecoshield, but the coating can also be used to protect vessels that have been in service for some time and are already facing cavitation and corrosion damage, like the ones coated over the last months.
Ecoshield’s flexibility makes it easy to adapt the application schedule to the rest of the activities scheduled at the shipyard or dry-dock in a way which does not interfere with them. Overcoating time can be as short as three hours, which means that for smaller surfaces such as rudders or bow thrusters the two coats required can usually be applied in one single day.
The investment in a coating system that offers full protection from day one is easily won back. This becomes very clear when one takes into account the costs of the temporary underwater repairs and the regular inspections required by a condition of class, not to mention the extra costs associated with rudder repair and recoating in drydock. For this reason a growing group of owners have Ecoshield applied on the rudders of a large part of their fleet or have it included in the rudder specs of their newbuild vessels. These owners invest in the right coating system for protection because they know the long-term savings they will achieve.