Focus On: Underwater Seal Replacement
Over the past few months of 2019, Subsea Global Solutions (SGS) has performed a number of high capacity underwater repairs across the globe. A great number of these repairs have focused on seal replacement.
Face and Lip type seals can be completely renewed and serviced with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Class approved procedures. Face type seals can be completely rebuilt “wet”, where lip type seals can be renewed, including the bonding of new seal rings, completely underwater using the TransHab – the transportable habitat designed by SGS. Bonding new seal rings, removal or installation of spacer rings, and even complete replacements can be performed at anchor or during cargo handling operations without interference with the vessel’s schedule.
TransHab is a lightweight, inflatable habitat that is fitted around the stern seal between the stern tube and propeller, thereby providing a dry environment large enough for two technicians to carry out repairs. Using stock adapters TransHab is designed to fit any seal arrangement, including azipod drives, with liner sizes from 480mm – 1200mm.
In the far east, SGS Busan answered the call of a cruise vessel. Being a cruise vessel, keeping the schedule was of obvious concern and importance. The port time allocated for Busan was only 32 hours, though crews generally need 48 hours to complete the repair – especially on both port and starboard shafts. To save time, SGS dive technicians met the vessel in Hong Kong first to remove the rope guard and take stern arrangement measurements, before meeting the vessel again in Busan. The vessel had very limited space for our TransHab system due to the struts and propeller blades, but our dive team was able to modify habitat adaptor plates according to the vessel’s particular stern tube shape, thereby maximizing workspace within the habitat (and thus creating the space necessary to perform such complex tasks). SGS dive technicians worked diligently to complete the repairs successfully within 29 hours, enabling the vessel to sail away at its scheduled departure time.
Not long after, another cruise vessel was experiencing shaft seal issues in Japan. SGS crews had only 5 days in which to prepare for the job – 13 dive technicians were flown in from various offices around the US and Canada, our fly away kit (approximately 12CBM, 3000kg) was prepared and shipped to Japan the following day, and work permits were obtained with the help of the vessel’s local agent. The vessel had a four lip system, consisting of a dirt seal, water seal, air seal and oil seal – and all four needed replacing. This sealing system was also one of the more complex types that requires experience, attention to detail, and effective time management to be able to complete within the allotted time frame.
The overhaul of the seal system required a complete disassembly, including the seal housing flange. The seal housing flange, it should be noted, is several hundred kilograms and must be carefully removed, realigned, and reinstalled to avoid damaging the sealing gaskets. Upon relocation of the flange, the forward split cover ring can be removed to expose the oil seal. New seals must be bonded precisely to avoid any defects and subsequent complete re-disassembly (seals cannot be pressure tested without re-installation of the flange). During the repair, SGS crews had to pump out more the 1000 liters of oil out from the habitat – delaying the start of the repair as crews were focused on taking extra precautions not to release any oil out to the ocean. Due to the experience level of the technicians however, we were able to work quickly and efficiently (even bonding the first seal while still disassembling the last seal) – the full shaft seal repair was completed on time, as quoted, and allowed the vessel to depart on schedule with zero delays.
An interview with our very own Senior Welding Engineer, Uwe Aschemeier
Please check it out at:
Scrubber Installation Without Dry Docking
SCRUBBER INSTALLATION WITHOUT DRY DOCKING
By Uwe Aschemeier and Kevin Peters
The year 2020, and with it the Sulphur regulation for the use of heavy Sulphur fuel oil, is approaching fast. Starting January 2020, it will be illegal to run a ship using fuel containing more than 0.5% Sulphur without the operation of a scrubber, an exhaust cleaning gas system. 
Scrubber systems are a diverse group of air pollution control devices that can be used to remove some particulates and/or gases from industrial exhaust streams. Traditionally, the term “scrubber” has referred to pollution control devices that use liquid to wash unwanted pollutants from a gas stream. Scrubbers are one of the primary devices that control gaseous emissions, especially acid gases. 
Subsea Global Solutions (SGS), an underwater ship repair and maintenance specialist headquartered in Miami, FL, USA and with offices around the world, has installed scrubber systems in cruise vessels since 2014, without taking the vessel out of the water or interruption its itinerary.
SGS has performed installations of sea chests and overboard discharge pipes together with several scrubber manufacturers. SGS involvement ranges from the installation of the sea chests, installing overboard discharge pipes, cutting the hull openings for the sea chests and installing grates into the sea chest openings. SGS provides mainly support from the underwater side but was also involved with welding project related to scrubber systems on the inside of vessels. Sea chest design varied from conventional box designs to innovative pipe designs with diameter in excess of 1000 mm.
The first scrubber installation project SGS was involved with was in 2014. This project required the manufacturing and installation of the sea chest and the new installation of 3 DN400 overboard discharge pipes. Preparation work was always performed during sea days, while cutting the hull penetrations and welding against the hull was performed during regular port stops. Since then, SGS has been involved with installation of more than 20 scrubber systems on cruise vessels.
To be more efficient, SGS developed a heat barrier system, allowing welding to be performed from the inside of the vessel against the hull. The heat barrier is installed by divers from the water side over the future weld zones. Due to its geometry and profile, the heat barrier can stay on the hull during sea days, which allows welding to be performed immediately after the vessel enters the port.
Once the inside crew completes the installation of the sea chest, SGS divers can be deployed to cut open the hull in way of the sea chest, followed by the installation of the sea chest gratings. The cutting of the sea chest openings may be performed by mechanical means with a specifically designed track saw, thermal cutting with underwater plasma or PVL torch, or with an exothermic process.
|Mechanical cutting of hull opening with track saw||Exothermic cutting process|
|Hull opening cut underwater
|Sea chest gratings installed, and corrosion protection applied
SGS has its own welding department, headed by a full-time employed welding engineer. Welding procedures for underwater wet welding and top site welding are in place with major classification societies, like ABS, DNV GL, LR. SGS is currently the only company worldwide, that has a workshop approval from DNV GL for underwater wet welding.
SGS also has approvals to perform permanent underwater wet weld repairs and installations from ABS and DNV GL. These repair and installations may be considered permanent on a case by case approval.
 IMO 2020 Report, March 2018
SGS’s Jarrad Schmerl receives the AWS Distinguished Welder Award
On Tuesday, November 6, 2018 Jarrad Schmerl, Senior Project Manager out of our Long Beach office, was awarded the Distinguished Welder Award during the Fabtech Show in Atlanta, GA.
The award is sponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS) to an individual who has exceptional welding skills and experience related to all aspects of the art of welding. This award category is recognized at the National Level.
Please join us in congratulating our own Jarrad Schmerl for receiving the AWS Distinguished Welder Award 2018.
The photo below shows Jarrad receiving the award from AWS President Dale Flood.
Congratulations Jarrad – well deserved!
SGS Announces Aquisition of Muldoon Marine Services, Inc.
SubSea Global Solutions is pleased to announce the acquisition of Muldoon Marine Services, Inc. We are very excited at the opportunity to increase the services that we provide to our customers in locations throughout California and abroad.
No solution? Think again! – Aft shaft bearing repair, Hong Kong – April 2018
Subsea Global Solutions was recently contacted to provide a solution for a vessel stuck in a very difficult position. A deep-sea bulk carrier fully loaded with goods had become immobilized due to a failure of the aft shaft bearing. In the past not much could be done to help a vessel in this situation. With no way to transit on its own power and loaded with a perishable cargo, an economical solution needed to be developed quickly.
After a failed attempt to repair the vessel by a competing company, SGS was given the opportunity to provide their expertise and decades of experience. An underwater repair solution was developed where none had existed before. Due to the deep draft of the vessel, special attention was paid to how the repair would be carried out. A large highly skilled team was required to provide the vessel with non-stop 24hour operations. With only a few days to mobilize, SGS technicians and equipment landed in Hong Kong and prepared for the repair.
In only four days the SGS team accessed the aft shaft bearing and repaired the system to allow the vessel to continue their voyage as normal. This repair allowed the vessel to travel safely to their destination and offload their cargo. Once free of cargo the vessel continued to a dry-dock facility where the aft shaft bearing was replaced.
This repair was overseen and is approved by classification societies. Aft shaft bearing failures in the past have dictated immediate dry-docking. BUT – now with a revolutionary repair strategy, SGS can offer a temporary repair to allow vessels in similar situations to voyage. SUBSEA GLOBAL SOLUTIONS has proven once again that it can provide vessels with a fast and vastly cost-effective repair solution compared to any alternative.
Subsea Global Solutions Announces New Equity Partners
Miami, April 11, 2018 – Subsea Global Solutions is pleased to announce the successful closing of its partnership with GenNx360 Capital Partners (“GenNx360”), a New York-based private equity firm which invests in middle market business services and industrial companies, effective March 29, 2018. Subsea Global Solutions (“SGS” or “the Company”) is the leading provider of underwater vessel maintenance, inspection and repair services to ship owners, managers and operators within diversified marine transportation and construction sectors. Subsea services include hull and propeller fleet management, underwater wet welding, seal replacement, tunnel & azimuth thruster repair, and environmental hull cleaning. The Company provides both routine hull maintenance services to drive fuel efficiencies and highly technical repair solutions allowing vessel operators to reduce dry-docking costs, while keeping the vessel in service. The Company is headquartered in Miami, Florida, and operates out of 12 facilities worldwide. SGS was previously owned by Lariat Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm, and SGS Management.
“GenNx360 is pleased to make this investment in SGS,” said Matt Guenther, the GenNx360 Managing Partner who led the transaction. “SGS is a world-class organization that is extremely well-positioned to capitalize on the increasing demand for innovative underwater maintenance and repair techniques and services. We look forward to working with SGS’s strong, experienced management team to broaden its offerings through organic growth and strategic add-on acquisitions and expand its geographic reach, both in the U.S. and abroad.”
Paul Peters, CEO and President of SGS, said, “This is an extremely exciting time for us at SGS. We chose GenNx360 as our partner as we believe they bring the experience and expertise needed as we embark on this next chapter of growth and investment for the company. This partnership will help SGS to solidify it’s position as the world’s number one source for global underwater solutions and enhance our customer-centric, innovative service portfolio even further.”
About GenNx360 Capital Partners
GenNx360 Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on acquiring middle market business services and industrial companies. We invest in companies with proven and sustainable business models in expanding industries with the objective of implementing the required operating changes to deliver cost efficiencies, accelerate growth, and generate strong financial returns. Target industries include industrial machinery and components, logistics and supply chain solutions, industrial and environmental services, food and agricultural products and services, infrastructure equipment and services, specialty chemicals, packaging, and aerospace and defense. GenNx360 was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in New York City. For more information on GenNx360 Capital Partners, please visit http://www.gennx360.com.
About Subsea Global Solutions
Subsea Global Solutions is a global corporation with wholly-owned assets and personnel in 12 locations, including its headquarters in Miami, 4 additional U.S. locations and 7 locations worldwide. Subsea Global Solutions has revolutionized the methods of repair and maintenance for ships and advanced procedures used in underwater marine construction. Its name serves to accentuate the shared values of the SUBSEA GLOBAL SOLUTIONS companies, and its commitment to be “The One Source for Global Underwater Solutions.” All offices are approved by the major classification societies. For more information on Subsea Global Solutions, please visit http://www.subseaglobalsolutions.com.
For media inquiries about this press release, please contact:
Subsea Global Solutions
Paul Peters, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +1 305.571.9700
GenNx360 Capital Partners
Carmen Rojas, Investor Relations Manager
Tel: +1 212.257.6772
Propeller Repairs – Worldwide – March 2018
Over the past few months, Subsea Global Solutions (SGS) has been called on to complete propeller straightening’s and repairs all over the world, including – Canada, Panama, Uruguay, Singapore, and El Salvador. In each case, a team of highly trained SGS Diver / Propeller Technicians attended the vessel, along with our proprietary large or small propeller press (depending on the job scope) and propeller sectional reduction / optimization gear.
Once onsite, the Diver / Propeller technician enters the water to map out the damage to develop a repair plan together with SGS’ Propeller and Hydrodynamic specialists. After the solution is developed, the best repair option is chosen to optimize propeller hydrodynamic performance considering the extent of damage and regulations governing the repair. Incorporating all of Subsea Global Solutions’ techniques, including cold static load straightening and optimized section reduction techniques usually delivers the optimal solution to the affected vessel.
Cold Static load propeller blade straightening incorporates the use of SGS’s proprietary propeller press. A thorough inspection is done prior to straightening to ensure the damaged area is free of micro fractures, and any small surface fractures are removed before the straightening process. The Diver / Propeller technician focuses the power of the cold static load press to calculated sections of the bent blade to restore the geometry to near original geometry. This process is approved as a permanent repair by most class societies.
Sometimes excessive damage, cracking or bends beyond the capability of the press – make it necessary to optimize the sectional area of the blades instead. In this process sectional area optimization to the damaged blades is performed. A calculation is done to determine the static and hydrodynamic affect this sectional area reduction will cause and the propeller is properly balanced to ensure vibration free and minimal performance lost operation.
Incorporation of several propeller repair techniques allows Subsea Global Solutions to execute permanent repairs with minimal to no performance loss. Repairs are performed rapidly in 12 to 24 hours. This allows the ship to sail in a timely manner, and significantly reduces the time and cost of drydocking. Delivering value adding services is what makes our happy. Keeping cash in their pockets makes them smile and assuring them no disruption of service gives them peace of mind in this competitive market place. Let Subsea Global Solutions be your trusted resourced to deliver unrivaled service!
Twin Shaft Seal Repair – South Pacific – January 2018
As part of the cruise industry’s focus on the environment, a vessel operating in the South Pacific developed a minor problem with both of its shaft seals. To ensure continued operation with no delay to operations, the cruise operator chose to perform an in-water service of these shaft seals during scheduled port stays on their itinerary. Subsea Global Solutions (SGS) was trusted to execute these time sensitive and critical stern seal replacements concurrently on this twin Azipod Cruise ship. This work required two specialized TransHab flexible Hyperbaric cofferdam systems and support equipment as well as over 25 trained and certified Diver / technicians to perform this work around the clock on both propulsion units at the same time. The work was completed through cooperation of all the worldwide SGS offices along with cooperation from local vetted partners for local support. Preparatory work was performed in multiple ports along the vessels trade route through the South Pacific. This prepared the vessel for the actual seal replacements which were carried out in a location where the vessel remained in port for 48 hours. By closely planning this repair around the ships itinerary the work was completed on time; avoiding any unscheduled delays for the vessel or inconvenience to any passengers.
The work was executed very smoothly and completed with no delays. SGS received excellent support from the vessel’s Master, Superintendent and all of the crew. This allowed Subsea Global Solutions to deliver on time and on budget. Delivering unrivaled service is what SUBSEA GLOBAL SOLUTIONS is all about. Give us your challenges and we’ll give you solutions!
Stern Seal Repair – Romania – November 2017
Back in November a fully loaded bulk carrier contacted Subsea Global Solutions (SGS) with a shaft seal issue. Initial reports from the vessel were that they were losing all stern tube oil into the vessel, they were experiencing heavy water ingress through the FWD seal system into the engine room, and the internal seal system clamp ring shifted approximately 70mm inboard. By this report, it was immediately known this was not a typical shaft seal repair.
The vessel was towed from an anchorage in Russia across the Black Sea to a more favorable location in Eastern Europe. Teams from SGS offices in Vancouver, Miami, Long Beach, Halifax, Houston, and Tampa were sent to attend.
Once inspections began, it was found that the tail shaft had dropped outside acceptable tolerances due to bearing failure. This bearing failure was the root cause of the initial reports.
A plan was put together for an emergency repair for the vessel so it could continue on its wa y to deliver cargo and then go to dry dock. Working alongside the responsible Class society, it was decided that if the shaft seal integrity could be reinstated and a running test could be conducted with Class in attendance to their satisfaction, the vessel would be allowed to sail.
For the seals to be brought back into eccentricity with the shaft, modifications to the seal housing flange were conducted. This consisted of disassembly of the entire split type seal system inside the SGS Transhab habitat and the housing flange mofified in accordance with specifications developed by SGS’s engineering department with consultation with the seal supplier. Once machined, the system was assembled with new bonded shaft seals. The aft seal assembly was aligned with the shaft eccentricity within original tolerances.
The internal seal assembly and clamp ring was put back into radial and axial alignment and backed up by an additional hold back fabricated onsite as extra precaution.
After working around the clock in extreme weather, the running test was conducted pier side. All testing was completed and Class approved for the vessel to make a one way trip to its next port of call for cargo discharge. The vessel arrived without fail, discharged it’s cargo and entered the dry dock for permanent repair. Throughout this transit the vessel maintained close contact SGS by providing continuous updates to SGS technicians.
Subsea Global Solutions has pioneered the methodology to performing permanent repairs and replacements to shaft seals underwater in a wet or dry environment. By working closely with our OEM partners, Subsea Global Solutions sets the standard for shaft seal renewal while a vessel remains afloat and in service. With the largest wholly owned footprint of any company in underwater ship repair, we are THE ONE SOURCE FOR GLOBAL UNDERWATER SOLUTIONS.
Biofouling Cleaning Campaign – Korea-Oct 2017
Earlier this year, Subsea Global Solution’s office in Busan, Korea completed a biofouling cleaning campaign on one of the largest vessels in the world. A floating liquified natural gas (FLNG) vessel – with an LOA of 488m – it was launched in 2013 and took almost four years to complete, whereby the vessel’s hull had expectedly collected a significant amount of fouling. On several occasions prior to the start of this project, SGS Busan was onsite to assess the degree of fouling and to carry out several tests that would determine the best option for removing the fouling. Strict environmental laws had to be taken into consideration, and the antifouling coating used on the hull precluded divers from using a brush cart system. At the end of the cleaning trials, it was determined that the most effective way to clean the hull would be a combination of hand cleaning (!!!) and the use of specialized cavitation based cleaning equipment.
The SGS project team consisted of 32 members, spanning our various offices. From there, two dive teams were created, including a project manager, supervisor, assistant supervisor, two diver medic technicians, ten divers, and an English-Korean translator. Both teams worked simultaneously on the port and starboard sides of the vessel, working 12 hour shifts from Monday to Friday. Simultaneous operations were a big challenge for the dive teams, and it was essential they were checked daily as the sail away date was closely approaching. Safety measures (following international oil and gas guidelines) were undertaken each day before any diving operations could begin.
Each location of the hull followed the same 3-step procedure, beginning with a pre-inspection that was witnessed by the client and guided by marine biologists, using video and still shots. Sea bay inspections were done via borescope, thus saving time by not opening the grids. Next, cleaning of the area would commence with the use of rubber scrapers and rubber hammers. Finally, a post-inspection was completed to determine the area was free of fouling and any invasive marine species, aided and witnessed by the client and marine biologists. This process continued until all designated areas of the hull were completed.
Over a 5 week period this project involved a total of 12,544 hours of labour, 156 hours of video footage, with 1526 photos captured! This was a large scale, operations heavy, and newsworthy project and all involved were happy with the success achieved at the end of the project!
Subsea Global Solutions remains your GLOBAL RESOURCE to turn to for your underwater maintenance and repair needs. We’re available to provide you with the best solutions – anywhere, at any time, around the world.
Hurricane Irma- CUSTOMER INFORMATION 7Sept17
To our valued customers, family and friends in Florida,
Our thoughts are with you, your family and neighbors as Hurricane Irma comes barreling down on the Florida Peninsula. We hope that everyone remains safe and secure during this unprecedented weather event.
Subsea Global Solutions’ primary core value is SAFETY- EVERY DAY – EVERYONE
With this core value infused into everything we do in our their lives at Subsea Global Solutions, our employees and their families are preparing their homes and communities for the impending storm. With this being said, Subsea Global Solutions has suspended operations in our Miami and Tampa Florida locations. We have transferred operational responsibility to our offices in Curacao and Houston Texas while this storm affects this region of the United States.
Subsea Global Solutions remains focused on its Purpose to be The One Source for Global Underwater Solutions. We are doing everything we can do to mitigate the impact of this weather event on our business and we are hopeful to be and running in our Miami and Tampa Florida offices very shortly.
We look forward to a speedy and safe return to work. If you have any concerns or questions, please utilize your existing communication channels with our company or you may contact our Operations team in Curacao or Houston as follows:
Curacao- +599 94656633
Houston- +1 (832) 240-4234
Corporate questions for the region can be referred to +1-914-826-0045 during this period of time
Thank you for your understanding and we hope for fair winds and following seas during this event.
Subsea Global Solutions LLC
Oil Leak Repair – August 2017
SGS Halifax received an emergency call recently that a ferry in a remote part of Northeastern Canada was experiencing an oil leak in the port stern tube. Our crew was quickly assembled and dispatched to the vessel to diagnose and repair the cause of the leak.
Due to the heavy traffic load at the height of tourist season, the ferry schedule could not be interrupted – and as such, all works were to be completed at night while the ferry wasn’t running. SGS dive technicians completed an initial inspection of the ferry, and removed previously installed sealing material to gain access to the port forward fairwater ahead of the strut. After further removal of the fairwater, the source of the oil leak was found – a degraded weld in five locations, between the stern tube and port bearing.
SGS Class A certified wet welders were on site to complete the permanent repair to the attending surveyor’s satisfaction. Further inspection confirmed that the leak was repaired. An intermediate in-water survey was completed, revealing weld fractures in the rudder. These fractures were completely removed using carbon arc gouging techniques and the affected area was welded wet with SGS’ Class A class approved procedures and coded welder / Divers; returning the area to as built strength.
Unrivaled service at a moment’s notice is the cornerstone of our success at SUBSEA GLOBAL SOLUTIONS. We are ready to support your needs around the world – even in the most remote areas, at any time.
Propeller Anti-Sing Edge – August 2017
As the summer begins to wind down, crews across all Subsea Global Solutions (SGS) offices are busy with various ship and construction projects. This month, SGS got the call to head north to Alaska, where a cruise vessel required an inspection on the propeller’s anti-singing edge (ASE) profile. The vessel could not utilize some cabins onboard the vessel due to excessive propeller noise at certain operating conditions. SGS diver / propeller technicians entered the water and carefully inspected the condition of the blades. After close consultation with the client and a review of the operating issues the vessel was experiencing, it was determined that a new ASE profile installation was necessary.
The new ASE profile measurements were then scribed on all blades for both port and starboard propellers. The propeller blade trailing edges were effectively re-profiled using specialized hydraulic equipment specifically designed for quick and accurate edge restoration. Once complete, the OEM trained diver / propeller technicians hand filled the profiles of the newly formed anti-sing edge to OEM specifications.
The new edge successfully removed the singing, and allowed the vessel to begin re-booking the cabins that had been previously cancelled due to the noise. The vessel was able to depart on schedule, and the cruise line was happy to welcome more guests on board! Subsea Global Solutions is your “One Source For Global Underwater Solutions”.
Blade Removal – July 2017
Last month, SGS Miami received an emergency call from a cruise vessel that was experiencing vibration in one of it’s propulsion units. An oil analysis of metal content proved that there was high probability of a component failure in the propulsion unit, which would increase the probability of a total loss to the propulsion unit. Working alongside the client, it was decided to secure the propulsion unit by removing the blades to prevent freewheeling during sailing.
The prep work was done during prior attendances to accommodate the vessel’s sailing schedule. This ensured that the vessel could maintain its scheduled itinerary with no prolonged port stays. The prep workconsisted of the removal of the epoxy setting, welding of rigging pad eyes, the removal of blade lifting plugs, and the removal of bolt keepers.
When blade removal day arrived during the next scheduled call, SGS diver technicians removed all blades from the propulsion unit in record time! As SGS has performed this service several times on prior vessels we were happy to report that this project was the most efficient and fastest this job has ever been performed! The client was thoroughly impressed by both how quickly we could provide them with a solution, and at how efficiently our operations progressed. The vessel departed on schedule with SGS completing the work several hours early!
At SUBSEA GLOBAL SOLUTIONS we will always strive to exceed expectations – providing our clients with the most innovative, cost effective, high quality underwater solutions – anywhere in the world.