SMS Monthly Roundup – May

Oil rig and thruster

This May was like no other. As we start to see some return to normality, we are continuing our service work in the UK and Ireland and are delighted to say that Project Curacao is continuing and progressing well.

The Caribbean Project Continues

Our engineers Phil and Sean are out in Curacao working on the thruster exchange programme with Subsea Global Solutions. This month we spoke with Sean Moir who gave us a brief insight into life out in the Caribbean.

“As exciting as it sounds, we are pretty much just doing 12-hour shifts. As with the UK, the island has also been on lockdown”

We asked Sean what he had been up to outwith working hours.

“Recently the island has just started to get back to normal and in our downtime, we are trying to see as much of the island as we can. Its a fantastic part of the world and although the days are long we do try to enjoy what rest time we have”.

The project is estimated to complete around July time which will have seen our engineers complete all 6 thrusters over a 11 week period.

Seals Solutions

With only necessary travel permitted in the UK, we have been kept busy at work on emergency repairs and planned dockings. Our first stop this month was Hull, where we were required to carry out a seal change on two Schottel SRP 330 units.

As demonstrated by the images, our service engineer carried out a full inspection and noted that the steering seals were leaking; he got to work by removing the propellers, liner and seals. We then bonded and inspected the new seals before completing the 12-hour static test to ensure that there were no leakages present.

Whether your vessel is in drydock or afloat, we can provide you with the technical and product support to ensure that you have the critical parts and personnel needed to keep your vessels operational.

Remote ‘Guidance’ Attendance

Remote guidance is our new service introduced to support vessel owners and ship management companies through these challenging times. Our onshore experts have been kept busy providing guidance on repairs and servicing this month.

In partnership with our sister company Stone Marine Shipcare, we worked remotely together on a customer’s vessel which was unable to operate the thruster. Our remote engineer instructed the onboard crew with the necessary checks which resulted in diagnosing the thruster problem efficiently. Once the problem had been established, our team rectified the issue with minimal operational downtime.

SMS Africa | Walvis Bay Thruster Overhaul

Our team in West Africa was busy this month overhauling Nakashima TCT 165 thrusters. At the docks in Walvis Bay, we were tasked with overhauling two bow thrusters and below is a brief description of the work involved.

Upon arrival, our engineer inspected the chain, removed the gratings and gathered the oil samples. The units were completely stripped before the NDT inspection. After the NDT testing, we found that the gear set was pitted and there were marks in the centre of the pinion shaft gear. 

We got the necessary spare parts sourced but due to the delay for new gear sets, we decided to clean and reuse the existing set. The assembly of both thrusters began by installing the shafts, pressure springs and o-rings. We then transported the units to the vessel and fitted the blades and seals.

The images illustrate a snippet of the overhaul process involved in the OD box and units. Again, the job was comfortably completed within the scheduled timeline and resulted in another happy customer.

COVID-19 Update

With travel and service attendances limited we understand the frustrations that this presents our industry. We anticipate that marine servicing will be in high demand and to be assured of attendance, please get in touch to let us know of upcoming dockings.


Contact our specialised team today to find out more about any of the services we offer.