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STERN TUBE SEAL REPAIRS ABOVE AND BELOW THE WATERLINE

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Recently Hydrex carried out six stern tube seal operations across Europe in a short time span, two of these were on a 268m conatiner ship in Flushing and a 185m general cargo vessel in Antwerp.

Because the container vessel had a very tight schedule, preparatory work includking removal of the rope guard was undertaken during an earlier stop in Dunkirk. The divers could then immediately start the operation when the ship arrived in Flushing. They installed the Hydrex flexible mobdock to allow for work in dry conditions. During the operation, divers removed the four damaged seals and replaced them with new ones. Working together with the OEM allowed provision of original spare parts to guarantee the best quality material.

The flexible mobdock technique allowed the team to carry out the entire repair on-site and underwater. Because all the required material is ready to be transported at all times, no time was lost making preparations. The ship then sailed to her next destination without delay to the schedule. During a stop in Le Havre Hydrex reinstalled the rope guard and finalised the repair.

Mobilisation for this operation employed a Hydrex workboat loaded with all the needed materials. The boats are fully equipped as dive support stations and can be used for a wide range of operations. They increase flexibility of operation, which is essential where speed is of the utmost importance.

The general cargo ship also suffered a leaking stern tube assembly. Because the vessel could be trimmed Hydrex suggested replacing the damaged seals above water during the ship’s stop in Ghent. Prior to the operation the vessel was trimmed to lift the working area above the water, and working from a scaffolding the repair team removed the rope guard, cleaned the entire area and performed an inspection. The assembly was then opened to give the OEM service engineer access to the seals.

After the seals had been replaced the assembly was closed again. Leakage tests were then successfully carried out, the rope guard repositioned and the scaffolding removed.

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