Stabilizers play in an important role on cruise vessels. They help keep the “cargo” from complaining and help keep the martinis on the table tops as the vessel cruises the high seas. However, when seals leak on the stabilizers, no one is happy. While operating in the Mediterranean, a stabilizer on a cruise vessel experienced excessive sea water ingress. This forced the unit to be taken out of service and housed. The Lube Oil system was contaminated with sea water causing concerns of mechanical damage to the Stabilizer drive system and concerns of oil release to the environment. With a full itinerary and no scheduled dry docking on the horizon the client contacted Subsea Global Solutions to evaluate options.
Subsea Global Solutions is the leader in the development of flexible Hyperbaric Cofferdams for various applications which require a temporary dry environment formed in a normally wet area of a vessel. Considering the seal type installed on this stabilizer and to perform a permanent Class and OEM approved repair, a Hyperbaric dry environment needed to be developed so that new seal rings could be installed. This required Subsea Global Solutions to engineer a flexible Hyperbaric cofferdam that would encapsulate the stabilizer seal pocket. With in-house engineering staff and specialized 3-D design and modeling software, Subsea Global Solutions engineered the necessary Flexible Hyperbaric cofferdam for this type of application. Since this repair has never been executed underwater before a proper engineered solution was required. Subsea Global Solutions together with the stabilizer and seal manufacturer evaluated the technical details of this repair and determined that a safe and efficient process of repair could be performed . Subsea Global Solutions is the preferred and approved underwater service company globally approved by the OEM to bond these seal rings underwater. With this in mind, a repair procedure was developed together with a detailed time line in order to perform the work without taking the vessel out of service or affecting the vessels itinerary.
In the port prior to the underwater intervention, Subsea Global Solutions loaded all of the gear onboard and set up the gear for the intervention. With the gear and dive station prepared in advance, immediately upon arrival to the repair port of call, diver technicians entered the water. Utilizing Subsea Global Solutions‘ “A” class wet welding procedures, all attachment points for the flexible Hyperbaric cofferdam were properly positioned and installed. Once the flexible Hyperbaric Cofferdam was installed, the diver technicians dewatered the space and went to work in a dry and controlled environment. The existing seal assembly was disassembled and the problem was immediately identified. Defective rubber seal rings were removed and brought to the surface for evaluation. With the problem isolated and new seal rings in hand, Subsea Global Solutions bonded the new seal rings in accordance with the OEM’s approved vulcanizing process. Utilizing the same bonding equipment, adhesives and process used in the dry dock by the OEM, Subsea Global Solutions performed the work with it’s factory trained and certified OEM diver technicians, Subsea Global Solutions completed the work without delay or schedule changes for the client. This repair was performed in accordance with the OEM’s approved process and received Class’ approval as the repair being considered permanent.
Start to finish, the team performed the entire seal renewal in less than the thirty (30) hour port stay of the vessel. This allowed the vessel to remain in service and not be delayed on it’s cruise. With the stabilizer back in service, the cargo could enjoy a nice smooth ride and the martinis stayed put! Making the impossible possible is what Subsea Global Solutions is all about. We remain on the forefront of developing new repair alternatives. Bring your problem to us and let’s see what we can develop for you!