Why Do Ships Need Hull Cleaning? - Offshore Technology | Oil and Gas News and Market Analysis
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Why Do Ships Need Hull Cleaning?

Towards the end of the 20th century, a chemical called Tributyltin was introduced into many hull paints with an illusory promise that ship hull cleaning would no longer be necessary. Like in many other areas in life, substituting hard work and manpower for chemicals was not the answer. Not only did this chemical not work in keeping hulls permanently clean, but it has also been found to be extremely toxic to our oceans, causing extensive marine damage. This is why you need to choose a hull paint free from this chemical and make use of a subsea hull cleaning service regularly.

Why hull cleaning is important

Regardless of the bottom paint, you have on your hull, at the very least a layer of biofilm will develop. These are microorganisms, usually bacteria, which clump together and then attach themselves as a group to a nearby surface. This biofilm then develops a slimy surface in order to protect itself. In severe cases, ship hulls can also collect seaweed and barnacles.

If you’ve ever picked up a piece of seaweed on the beach, you know how heavy it can be. Barnacles also carry a hefty weight, as does the lovely layer of bacteria that will inevitably develop on your hull. This, combined with the weight of a rough hull coating, leads to unnecessary increased drag that results in a fuel penalty of 20% or more.

Therefore, the underwater surfaces of your vessels need to be kept clean to keep them operating efficiently. This will not only save you money on fuel but will also reduce your carbon footprint, allowing you to play your part in the fight against climate change.

OSC Marine does it better

Did you know that many ports have banned conventional hull cleaning methods? These invasive ways of getting the job done pollute the water with paint debris and contaminate local waters with alien marine species and bacteria.

At OSC Marine, our vision is to protect our local shores and any others your vessel may visit from negative environmental impacts. Our E300 Hull Cleaning System can ensure that having your hull cleaned with us will optimise the performance of your vessel, whether your vessel is a resident here in South Africa or a visitor.

Our subsea hull cleaning services include:

  • Slime and biofouling removal
  • Removal of biofouling growth after periods of low activity or lay-up
  • Foul release and scrub-able coating maintenance
  • Containing and removing potentially invasive marine species
  • Urgent management of gross general fouling at the arrival of a vessel at the first port of entry
  • Management of patchy fouling at the arrival of a vessel
  • Routine cleaning and maintenance

Our services are available in Cape Town, Durban, Saldanha, Richards Bay, Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth. We are able to service most class societies for all vessels and rig husbandry.

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