Tunnel Thrusters- Repairs and Exchanges by the Handful!

SSA Flexible cofferdamAll 8 Subsea Global Solutions locations in Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean were busy repairing or replacing tunnel thrusters all around the world. Tunnel thruster removals took place in Europe (2), in the South Pacific Islands (1), on the West Coast of the USA (1) and in the Caribbean (1).  Two tunnel thrusters were installed in the Caribbean and several thruster repairs were performed in both wet and dry hyperbaric environments.

Tunnel thruster repairs were executed on several units on both commercial ships and cruise vessels.  7 tunnel thruster repairs took place over the past couple of weeks.  These repairs included a tunnel thruster shaft seal repair, blade seal replacements, CPP blade replacements, blade bolt replacements and weld repairs to permanently repair cracks and to install rope guards.

DCIM100GOPROTunnel thruster propeller blade, CPP blade seal and blade bolt replacements took place in a dry hyperbaric environment using SGS’ flexible dry door technology.  Properly spaced and rated attachment points were welded into place using Subsea Global Solutions class approved “A” class wet welding procedures. All wet welds were performed by certified welder / divers so that “rated” attachment points could be utilized.  With the fit for purpose and design rated flex door system installed the tunnel thruster tunnel was efficiently de-watered and repairs were completed efficiently.  No delays or changes to any vessel’s schedules took place during these repairs.

Wet tunnel thruster repairs were performed on several units to keep them operational and within the class acceptance criterion.  One tunnel thruster exhibited oil leakage from its bellows type shaft seal while in operation.  After consultation with the thruster manufacturer and seal supplier, a specialized adapter ring was engineered, fabricated and installed by Subsea Global Solutions.  With this fit for purpose ring installed the leakage stopped and the thruster could be put back into operation.  Allowing the vessel to remain coast guard compliant and in service is what makes Subsea Global Solutions’ the trusted resource for fleets around the globe.

Tunnel thrusters remain a critical and cost effective solution for large container and cruise vessels entering our congested harbors around the world.  Their proper operation is required and as such Subsea Global Solutions rises to the challenge of our clientele to keep them in service day in and day out.

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