Last year, Finnish shipping company Eckerö coated the open cargo deck of the ropax ‘Finbo Cargo’ with Subsea Industries’ Ecospeed.
This was undertaken to protect the deck against damage from cars and cargo.
A year later the deck was claimed to be in excellent condition, in contrast to previous years. As a result, Eckerö decided to coat the ice belt and most of the hull with Ecospeed to offer it the same lasting protection.
“We coated the weather deck with good result,” explained Mr Olsén, Technical Manager with Eckerö Group. “After one year in traffic and many thousands of cargo tonnes, there were no failures to the coating at all.”
Eckerö Line operates cargo services on the Helsinki/Tallinn route.
‘Finbo Cargo’ was upgraded to an Ice Class notation this year.
“We decided quite fast that we needed a coating that we knew could handle the ice conditions in the Baltic Sea,” Olsen said.
”Ecospeed’s resistance against ice is ideal to complement the ship’s new structural ice protection.”
For over 10 years ships coated with Ecospeed have been operating in the most northern parts of the Baltic Sea during the winter season when the sea is completely frozen.
Despite the frequent impact of large ice floes, none of these ships have required more than just a few touch-ups during their drydockings.
“We decided to choose a system that initially costs a bit more but in the end saves us a lot in maintenance cost,” Olsén added. “That is an important factor for us since our dockings are mainly done during the winter in bad weather conditions when the quality of repair work to the paint system cannot be guaranteed.”
For this reason it was essential to reduce the necessary maintenance and paint work during future drydockings.
The initial application of the Ecospeed underwater hull coating can easily be geared to the shipyard’s schedule. This flexibility can be achieved because the coating has versatile application potentials. Either of the two required layers can be applied at any time during the building process, even when there is a winter period or serious bad weather between applications.
The durability of Ecospeed makes the planning of future dockings far easier for the shipowner and the shipyard. No repainting beyond minor touch-ups will be required. These touch-ups can easily be done during a short visit, Subsea claimed.