The operator of a 208 m cruise ship sailing in the Caribbean was faced with a dilemma when one of the vessel’s two bow thrusters malfunctioned.
A solution was needed that could be carried out on-site without interrupting the vessel’s schedule.
The company opted for Hydrex’ underwater repair facility – mobdock.
Hydrex claimed that the repair was straightforward, but an eight-hour window in various locations added an altogether different dimension.
Hydrex production executive, Dave Bleyenberg, explained; “The repair itself was one our teams had done on many occasions, but the ship’s timetable was the tricky part. Its cruise itinerary included several short port-stays, so we had to devise an effective repair plan that would allow us to the carry out the thruster replacement in eight-hour stages, across several different ports. It was a logistical challenge.”
No sooner had the cruise ship berthed, Hydrex divers started to remove the bow thruster unit and blades underwater, ensuring everything was watertight before the vessel sailed to her next port of call, where the new bow thruster would be installed.
“By the time the vessel had arrived at port, our mobdock team had also arrived and swiftly got to work erecting the flexible habitat in-situ, closing off the thruster tunnel. This part of the repair can only be carried out in a clean, dry environment to avoid water ingress to the new thruster unit,” said Bleyenberg.
The Hydrex-designed mobdock technology differs from other rigid underwater solutions by providing a more lightweight, flexible structure that can be rapidly deployed and erected, the company claimed. Hydrex has been using the technology to undertake a wide range of underwater repair or maintenance work for over 20 years.
“The mobdock and our underwater repair knowhow saves shipowners considerable time and money,” claimed Bleyenberg. “I can’t imagine the financial losses incurred should a vessel have to cancel its itinerary, but we completed that job across multiple sites in just eight hours…and the passengers were none the wiser.”