Ecospeed: The Best ‘Coating’ for Protection & Performance


Ice class bulker Umiak I is protected with Ecospeed, reports Subsea Industries.

Ice bulker gets Ecospeed coating

In April 2021 the icebreaking bulk carrier Umiak I was coated with Ecospeed. Application was carried out at the leading European ship repair and conversion yard Remontowa Shiprepair Yard in Gdansk, Poland. The ship is owned by Fednav and managed by Canship Ugland Ltd.

Stronger than the rest

Umiak I was built in 2006 and is one of the most powerful of its kind. The vessel operates year round on the Labrador Coast, delivering supplies to the remote mine, and hauling nickel concentrate to southern facilities.

The hull is reinforced to navigate unassisted through ice that is 1.5 meters thick. On its regular run down the Labrador coast, Umiak I contends with some of the world’s most rugged ice conditions, including icebergs, from November to July each year.

While the open-water speed in a laden condition is some 13.5 knots, the bulk carrier is capable of making over three knots in level first year ice of 1.5-meter thickness. Capability for effective ice ramming goes hand-in-hand with the ICE-15 classification.

The ramming procedure entails sailing at a specified speed through the ice until the vessel is brought to a stop by the resistance of the ice. The vessel is then put astern to come free of the packed ice, and is then sailed full ahead, to break through the ice until brought up again by the force of resistance. The procedure is used for thick ice and ice ridges.

Only the best protection good enough

It is not difficult to see that a special hull coating is required to withstand this kind of impact and tremendous power.

During the 2016 dry docking, it was decided to apply two test patches of Ecospeed coating to areas most prone to damage. Over the next five winter seasons the condition of the Ecospeed test patches was examined and found to hold up to the very difficult conditions despite the continuous impact with ice. The decision was made to replace the entire underwater hull coating with Ecospeed at the next docking.

The application was completed during Umiak’s scheduled main survey and BWTS installation at Remontowa Shiprepair Yard. Another advantage of Ecospeed to both shipowner and shipyard is ease and flexibility of application. The entire system is applied in only two homogeneous coats and the overcoating time can be as short as three or four hours, all the way up to weeks or even months if needed.

Therefore, an Ecospeed application can easily be adapted to a shipyard’s schedule or to unpredictable weather conditions.

The ship’s rudder and nozzle were also protected with our coating system. First corrosion damage on the nozzle was repaired with Ecofix. This restored the surface back to its original shape with a smooth surface prior to recoating with Ecoshield.


Experience has shown that our coating stays on the hull longer and resists the ice far better than the most generally used specialized ice coatings. Ecospeed remains bonded to the ship’s plates even as they flex and bend under ice pressure and impact.

Ecospeed has been recognized by Lloyd’s Register as an abrasion resistant ice coating for ships. Its correct use on the ice belt specifically permits a reduction of the ice belt’s steel plating by up to 1mm.

Due to its unique composition, Ecospeed is not only the best protection available for underwater hulls of icebreakers and ice going vessels, the coating also provides the best hull performance and is the easiest ice going paint to apply and maintain.

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