WHAT LURKS BENEATH
ere in Singapore, the sight of countless large ships moored or docked in our waters is a sight we rarely take notice of – it’s simply part of our daily environment and the basic fabric of our economy. Most observers won’t be aware of the countless thousands of marine professionals who sustain these ships, whether they’re sitting at computers overseeing dashboards of complex logistics, manning cranes and warehouses at or hidden out of sight deep below water.
What we do understand well, having worked beneath Singapore’s waters for the last 45 years, is the unseen but critical role we play in ensuring the safety and operational efficiency of these diverse vessels.
Ship owners and managers are well aware of what it takes to keep ships in the prime condition necessary to safely transport their crew and cargo from one side of the world to the other; attending to the the ‘healthcare’ of their arriving ship is an undeniable marine priority for those responsible. So, when ships reach our shore, we are on-hand to take action in attending to the check-ups needed for continued smooth sailing.
The role we play
DM Group Services is an umbrella of three marine companies, each focused on a particular specialism It’s accurate to say that Dive Marine Services is amongst the best of the best when it comes to underwater ship repair and maintenance. We’ve had a long time to perfect what we do and we’re available 24 x 7 to support the ships that stop in our waters.
Underwater Hull Cleaning
We’re experts in underwater hull cleaning, assessing with the ship’s crew what is needed, in what timeframe and with which service. We know it’s normal for marine growth, biofouling and AIS to occur when ships are in and out of many ports as they journey to their destination, but removing this accumulation is hugely important to avoid drag, manoeuvrability, operability, and durability of the ships.
Dive Marine Services uses a variety of complementary approaches, including manual, ROV and technology solutions which all comply with local regulations and international best practice. These include the Typhoon MC311 and the BrushKart which we use alongside our innovative underwater hull cleaning solutions to ensure debris is sustainably collected and filtered.
Ship Propeller Cleaning and Polishing
Ship propellers may occupy a relatively small surface area compared with an entire hull, but they are subject to the similar challenges as hulls; the inevitable build-up of marine matter etc., and the deconditioning impact of high pressure water-flow on metal (cavitation) takes a marked toll on overall ship performance. Ship propellers are also prone to chalk and calcium build-up which adds further to the roughening of the propeller surface.
When all of these elements combine, ship speed can be significantly reduced which means more fuel is consumed to propel the vessel at its optimum speed. This drives up operating costs and contributes further to avoidable carbon emissions (link to hull cleaning blog)
Maintaining optimum propeller health through regular underwater cleaning and polishing can mitigate against costly performance issues whilst ensuring the operational efficiency of ships.
We use lightweight underwater propeller polishing technology including hydraulic powered polishers with 3M marine stain removal pads which gives an ultra glossy and smooth surface. A ship propeller roughness gauge, such as the Rupert Scale, can then assess and confirm the restored condition of the propeller. Divers take great care to ensure that the integrity of the propeller shape is not harmed during this cleaning process. This attention and skill helps avoid any distortions occuring which could lead to an imbalance, vibration, loss of thrust and unnecessary wear and tear on bearings.
Plugging and Blanking
With countless hard-working valves and pipes in place on any vessel, it is no surprise that these important elements also need regular maintenance and renewal. Since dry docking can prove to be expensive for ship owners and managers, Dive Marine Services provides underwater temporary sealing-off to facilitate the repair or maintenance work through either plugging, blanking or cofferdam (Eugene – correct term?) for more demanding operations.
Echo Sounder and Doppler Speed Log
This is an area we know really well. For the last 10 years, we’ve worked on the renewal, repair and installation of Japan Radio Company (JRC) and equivalent echo sounders and Doppler Speed logs. Our dive teams undergo continuous training on new and innovative developments to ensure we’re always current of what’s best for the ships on which we work.
Like all structures, ships operate at their best when they are well and regularly maintained. Neglect creates untold safety and operational problems which can easily be avoided by having a schedule of maintenance work in-built to a ship’s management plan.
Our expert team in Singapore and across the region is on hand to help safeguard the continued strong, safe performance of ships. You can reach us here to discuss how we can support your requirements or visit our website for more information.