Underwater Bow Thruster Reinstallation in Italy


A month after the hydrex workers removed the bow thruster of a 300-meter container vessel their men once again mobilized to Italy. They reinstalled the overhauled unit underwater with the use of our flexible mobdock technique, an analytical report published on the Hydrex website shows.

How do they gauge the difficulty level?

The available time window for the removal of the bow thruster in October was very short because of the tight schedule of the vessel’s charterer. The time required to perform the operation, therefore, needed to be brought back to the absolute minimum. For this reason, the job was split into parts, performed in different ports. This is a good example of how they look at the precise circumstances of each operation and find a way to tailor the operation to fit the customer’s specific needs.

The time frame for the reinstallation was slightly larger, allowing the team to carry out the job during a single stop of the vessel.

The Repairing Procedure

In-house technology and years of experience, lead to the development of a special R&D department who are continuously looking for new ways to streamline the repair procedures used by our teams. One of the results of this research is their mobdocks.

  • They were used to close off the thruster tunnel once the overhauled bow thruster had been brought into the tunnel.
  • These lightweight mobdocks have been used during thruster operations for over 20 years now.
  • They can be shipped to anywhere in the world by plane.
  • All water was then removed from the tunnel.
  • This created drydock like conditions for our divers despite the vessel staying afloat.
  • The team then secured the unit and connected it to the engine room.
  • Once this was done the thruster propeller blades were installed one by one.
  • With the thruster blades in position, the ship was ready to sail, on schedule.

Need- Specific Solutions

Ever since Hydrex was founded in 1974 they have strived to keep the impact of their repairs for the owner as minimal as possible.

Performing operations afloat and underwater is a very important factor in doing this. Over the years they have developed techniques to perform on-site repairs to every part of the underwater ship. From damaged hulls, over leaking seals and deformed propeller blades to malfunctioning thrusters, they have a repair solution that avoids unscheduled drydock visits.

On-site Repairs

Carrying out repairs on-site alone is of course not enough. Their teams can perform all operations afloat. They do this in the fastest possible time and to drydock standards. They offer solutions to a wide range of underwater problems without sacrificing the high quality or safety standards we are known for.

Sometimes a very straightforward repair is needed. In other cases, a specific, tailor-made solution is designed by their R&D department. In the case of a cruise vessel in the Caribbean, the repair itself was one their teams had done on many occasions, but the ship’s time table was the tricky part. Because of the nature of the vessel, its strict schedule included many shortstops. The technical department, therefore, proposed a scope of work that would allow us to perform the replacement in stages in several different ports.

Their Strength

  • They can assist shipowners with almost any problem they encounter with their vessel’s thruster.
  • A wide range of underwater repair or maintenance work can be carried out to all types of thrusters.
  • An entire unit can be overhauled, propeller blades or seals can be replaced or repair work on a specific part of a thruster can be performed on-site.
  • The team members are trained to be flexible and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.
  • They work in shifts around the clock to finish any job as fast as possible.
  • As a result, the charterer of the container vessel did not have to worry about his vessel’s schedule.

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Source: Hydrex


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