Leaky Hatch Covers? Sureshot way to Detect it!


For many years, damage to the cargo in the hold has never stopped.  We have produced below extracts from the Gard & Swedish P&I club.  Likewise, similar circulars are issued by other P&I clubs too, on a regular basis – all with regards to Cargo loss as hatch covers leak.

From Gard – P&I Club



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There are instruments available to pinpoint hatch cover leaks accurately.  Condition monitoring experts use Porta-scanner to identify hatch cover leaks.  The other instrument used is UE 10000 Ultraprobe for the same purpose.

The basic procedure comprises placing the transmitter in the cargo hold, switching it on, properly closing and securing the hatch covers or access equipment to seaworthy requirements.  The ultrasonic waves emitted by the transmitter within the enclosed space will leak through the smallest of apertures.  Location of leaked emissions in the way of hatch covers will be precisely detected from outside the hold by moving the hand-held detector along the periphery and cross seams of the covers.  Evaluation of the extent of leakage can be established from a reading of the digital scale.  During testing by any of the above-noted methods a record of the location can be marked and corrective action taken – this simple ultrasound detection would mitigate such heavy cargo loss or damage.


Highlights as given by the maker of Portascanner:

FUNCTION: To verify the watertight integrity of sealed compartments; its main application is testing watertight/weathertight doors, hatch covers.

WORLD-CLASS ACCURACY: The most mathematically perfect unit of its type is locating a leak site via visual and audible readings and identifying its extent with a definitive numerical result.  0-5 means “watertight” > 100 means “weathertight” – anything above needs to be checked.

QUICK & EASY TO USE: It is a simple solution with few limitations and is easy to learn how to operate.  Testing can be completed far more quickly, by just one person, in comparison to labour and time intensive hose testing.

ENHANCES SAFETY: Tests can be conducted more frequently and can contribute to safety management and preventive maintenance procedures onboard.  Protecting the valuable cargo, the vessel’s structural integrity and thus also the crew.

  • IDEAL FOR inspecting hatch covers, watertight doors, cable transits, scuttles, bulkheads and any watertight compartment
  • PORTABLE and very lightweight, allowing equipment to be transported, carried and operated with ease
  • ULTRASONIC GENERATOR fitted with magnets, so operators do not have to climb down ladders to place generator on the tank top

Please feel free to Consult SVL services for FREE when consulted through MFAME.

About the Author:

image002Mr. Rajagopalan, is the CEO of SVL Singapore services, who has a combined Marine experience of 72 years.  The company is specialized in Thermal Imaging, Ultrasound, Vibration & Noise control audits and the company strongly believes that condition based maintenance is always cost effective and can predict faults well before catastrophic failures.

MFAME readers have the privilege to consult Mr. Rajagopalan for FREE.  Please contact Mr. Raja or SVL Singapore Services by writing to: experts@mfame.guru

Disclaimer: The image used in this article is for representation purpose only.  The opinions expressed here are author’s own and not necessarily MFAME’s prespective.


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