Propeller damage repair: the AEGIR-Marine approach

Nov 2016

AEGIR-Marine was commissioned with the repair of propeller damage of a Greek Panamax bulk carrier in Guangzhou, China. The service engineers of AEGIR-Marine were dealing with many challenges in the course of this project, and had to improvise on the spot.

On the morning of 10 June 2016, received a diving inspection report from a consultant on the propeller of the vessel in Guangzhou. During a laden voyage from Iran to China the vessel encountered excessive vibration on her propeller. The ship owner arranged for an underwater propeller inspection.

The consultant diagnosed a serious backward deflection of propeller blade B. According to a local propeller consulting company there were two options. The first to crop the propeller and to cut the bended section. The second option would be, cast an entire new propeller, based on the specifications of the existing unit. Both options would entail extensive docking of the ship; costly options. So, the AEGIR-Marine team set out and search for an alternative option.

Redmer Feenstra, Service Coordinator of AEGIR-Marine: “We asked for detailed drawings and pictures of the damage. In this way we were able to think of an approach, to assess the repair time and make an inventory of the necessary materials. We came to the conclusion that we were able to deviate from consultant’s advice. We advised just to repair the blades instead of cutting of all four tips or worse, renewing the propeller.” AEGIR-Marine discussed what its engineers would need on site. The shipyard in China would provide the required tools, due to import issues. The team would also get assistance from the yard, to save some money on the total docking.

Only three days after the initial email, on 13 Jun 2016, the AEGIR-Marine team took a flight to China. Feenstra: “As sometimes happens, at the shipyard we were confronted with more challenges. Assisting personnel just took off, and we had no authority to get them back. In the end we managed to arrange enough capacity, but it unavoidably resulted in extra repair time. Another logistics problem was the tooling needed for cutting, bending and welding the propeller. It appeared not to be available at the yard and had to be rented from a workshop close to the yard. Flying in engineers and equipment would be too costly for our customer.”

Eventually, the AEGIR-Marine team managed to fabricate repair tools from steel lying around the workshop at the yard. Feenstra: “The propeller of the vessel is in good condition again. The circumstances were far from ideal. The pride we take in these kind of projects is that we manage to get the job done, with limited means, high efficiency and flexibility and an enormous amount of creativity.”

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