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Hempel’s Underwater Hull Inspection Launch: No Divers Required

1 November 2020By Laura Shaughnessy
Courtesy of Hempel

Written by

Laura Shaughnessy

Laura Shaughnessy has been the managing editor at Dockwalk since February 2018. Having grown up among the cornfields, she is ecstatic to be among the boats in the yachting capital of the world. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in journalism, 15 years of experience with newspapers, magazines, and the online world, Laura has joined a great crew. When not writing about superyacht crew, she’s hanging out with her husband and their German Shepherd, working on house projects, or binging on Netflix.

On September 21, 2020, Hempel launched their underwater hull inspections powered by Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs). The coatings manufacturer can now provide a complete hull coating inspection while a vessel is in port or at anchor. Inspections are conducted by expert coatings advisers operating ROVs with remote thrusters.

In order to assess in real-time, the ROV captures high-res video footage and still images of the hull. Inspections are conducted by expert coatings advisors operating the ROVs with remote-controlled thrusters.

“We analyze underwater visuals from the ROV and combine it with vessel trading pattern information. This allows us to provide clear recommendations that help our customers make better decisions and optimize operations,” says Klaus Moeller.

Klaus Moeller, Group VP, head of services, Hempel, says they really stand out in the market for water inspections because of their coatings expertise. “We can link the visuals with our in-house knowledge on how coatings react in different environments and we are well-aware of the performance implications that different types of marine biofouling may have on the hull,” he says, adding that existing reporting formats for underwater inspections currently offered in the market can be difficult to interpret. “We analyze underwater visuals from the ROV and combine it with vessel trading pattern information. This allows us to provide clear recommendations that help our customers make better decisions and optimize operations.”

Moeller explains that diving operations can be expensive, time-consuming, and entail several safety concerns. “ROVs are easier to deploy and reduce the time required for an underwater inspection, which in turn allows for more frequent inspections and consequently more data collection to make better decisions,” he says.

Currently available in China and South Korea, it’s being rolled out at key ports across the Asia Pacific region. “We piloted the service prior to launch, with positive feedback, and since the launch, several shipowners are reaching out and are very confident about the future prospects. We will now focus on expanding the geographical footprint of this service,” Moeller says.

This column is taken from the November 2020 issue of Dockwalk.

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