A rope guard functions as a protective barrier for the propeller shaft, to protect them against rope and fishing net entanglement. Once ropes and fishing nets have fouled the propeller and or the propeller shaft, the rotation of the propeller may cause such fouling to abrade the stern shaft seal of the vessel causing oil leakage. And should such leakage not be stemmed, the propeller shaft may be running dry causing even more damage and may result in the vessel being immobilised.
Divetech Marine has received enquiries for 2 vessels that have reported their rope guards missing on their last inspections. To not have to dry dock the vessel causing a major disruption to the vessels’ operations, underwater installation of rope guards were ordered.
On the day of operations, Divetech Marine carried out thorough safety and toolbox meetings together with the vessel’s Captain, Chief Engineer and involved client’s representatives, to ensure that the work scopes were clear and the necessary safety measures were in place.
The newly fabricated halved rope guards and rope guard cutters were delivered onto our diving boat where the team welded the pad eyes onto each rope guard for lifting purposes. Pre-installation inspections of the stern tube area were carried out and vessel’s Captain, Chief Engineer and representatives were informed of the current condition of the stern tube area to discuss and finalise work scopes.
In the 1st case, what started out as an initial plan to install only the bottom portion of rope guard, which was reported missing, was made more complex when the pre-installation inspection found the vessel’s entire rope guard missing. Both top and bottom portions of rope guard were then successfully fabricated and installed with halves being fully welded underwater to avoid the rope guard from dislodging.
In the 2nd case, the vessel’s stern tube area of the vessel was noted to be badly corroded which increased the difficulty for installation by welding. Working around the issue, divers had to install securing flat bars from the rope guard to the stern tube to first support the structure before commencing the final installation.
In both cases, after the completion of rope guard installation. Rope cutters were also welded on the guards which will assist in the severance of future rope/line entanglements which will reduce the risk of such lines causing leakage to the stern tube.
The result: A cost effective solution for new rope guards and minimum downtime translates to happy clients.
We would like to express our heartfelt thank you to our clients who have supported us all these years and to parties who have in one way or another assisted us in these operations.
Before installation – newly fabricated rope guard (in halves)
Before installation – Welding of pad eyes onto each rope guard
Prior installation inspection – both top and bottom portions of rope guard were found missing
Prior installation of rope guard – stern tube noted badly corroded
Fitting of rope guard
Installation of rope guard by welding
Installation of rope guard – Rope guard was welded to the stern tube
Newly installed rope guard