Subsea Industries’ Ecospeed hull protection system will be applied to the hull of the 15,000 gt RRS Sir David Attenborough, the polar research ship under construction at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, Liverpool for British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
The decision to apply the Ecospeed hard coating to the hull of the new polar ship has been validated by the recent drydocking of sister vessel RRS Ernest Shackleton. The 80 m long vessel, coated with Ecospeed in 2009, drydocked last month at the Orskov shipyard, in Frederikshavn, Denmark, where the hull was found to be in “very good condition.”
“Shackleton’s hull condition is the best I have seen after typical ice year operations,” said BAS Superintendent Andrew Webb, “We tend to account for touch up coats every other year to areas impacted by the ice, but this year we needed to repair even less surface area than expected, despite the vessel encountering heavy Antarctic ice.”
The Orskov Shipyard had to touch up areas in the bow and rudder areas. A touch up coat was last applied in 2015. Only remedial coats are required as Ecospeed is a one-coat system and does not need to be removed or reapplied.
The durability of the coating and the ease with which repairs can be effected were the reasons why BAS/NERC selected Ecospeed for the newbuild RRS Sir David Attenborough.
“The shipyard initially wanted to apply its preferred supplier’s coating system, but based on our experience of this coating on the James Clark Ross and Ernest Shackleton we wanted Ecospeed,” said Mr. Webb. “We already had this system on the entire hulls below the water line of both research vessels and found it much easier to repair: it doesn’t need to be applied under such strict environmental conditions or require the hire of any specialist application equipment.”