The Importance of Underwater Services

Underwater inspections play a vital role in maintaining vessel safety, optimizing performance, and meeting regulatory requirements. The need for thorough hull inspections and cleaning services is driven by various factors and from various stakeholders of each vessel such as the shipowner, ship manager, charterer, and Classification society. Some of the key items that all the above are interested in are Fuel Efficiency & Vessel Performance, Structural Integrity & Safety, Environmental Protection & Regulatory Compliance. ⚓🚢🛠️

Fuel Efficiency & Vessel Performance

Over time, marine organisms like barnacles, algae, and mussels adhere to the hull’s surface, a phenomenon called “biofouling”. Biofouling increases the hull’s hydrodynamic drag leading to higher fuel consumption. Depending on the extent, it can cause a fuel penalty of up to 40% therefore a reduced fuel efficiency translates to increased operational costs and higher greenhouse gas emissions. From a charterers’ perspective, this can be a defining factor for a low rating of the vessel’s performance, lower freight rate for the owner’s side as well as fewer annual trading days.🚢 

Structural Integrity & Safety

Without regular inspections, corrosion, metal fatigue, or mechanical damage might go unnoticed. That is why early detection of such anomalies can significantly reduce repair costs and prolong the ship’s life. Minor undetected damages can progressively become major issues, risking vessel integrity and leading to potential catastrophes. Moreover, a compromised hull can jeopardize the safety of the crew, cargo, and marine environment since some hull breaches can lead to water ingress, impacting buoyancy and stability.⚓🔍

Environmental Protection 

All stakeholders in the maritime industry must keep on top of their priority list every type of environmental precautional measurement. A clean hull ensures that risks such exchange of bio-organisms from different locations and regions are minimized, safeguarding the marine ecosystem. Also, a potential increased fuel consumption due to fouling leads to more CO2 emissions, impacting global climate change.🌍

Regulatory Compliance

Many international and regional bodies have established standards and guidelines to ensure that ships maintain their hulls to minimize environmental and operational risks. Regular inspections and cleaning are necessary to ensure compliance with these regulations and to avoid potential penalties. Classification societies surveyors usually attend on board to carry out In – Water Surveys (IWS) with live video cameras to ensure that each vessel is in line with the Class and the IMO’s regulatory framework as well as to prevent any upcoming damage or deterioration of the vessel’s underwater structure.

At Karval Shipping Agency, we are proud to have an esteemed team of approved divers hailing from distinguished Classification Societies such as ABS, DNV, BV, LR, RINA & NK, stands ready to cater to all diverse underwater needs. Operating across various locations in Greece,  our divers are armed with a robust arsenal of specialized equipment from motorboats to diving cleaning brushes and robots, resulting in comprehensive and efficient services. Safety is a paramount concern, and our increased safety measures reflect our unwavering commitment to the well-being of our team and the assets we serve.🛥️

Moreover, our divers bring with them the expertise of approved welding procedures (WPQR), a testament to our dedication to holistic solutions. Whether it’s undertaking hull inspections, conducting cleaning operations, or addressing structural concerns, our divers are equipped with the skills and knowledge to handle a multitude of underwater tasks.🌊

For a closer look at the comprehensive suite of underwater services that we offer, we invite you to explore the diverse range of solutions:

  1. Hull Inspection & Pre-Purchase Reporting: Experienced divers conduct thorough inspections, assessing the condition of the hull and providing detailed reports. These reports aid in decision-making for vessel purchases, sales, or ongoing maintenance.
  1. In-Water Survey (IWS) with Class Presence & Live Video Monitoring: Divers conduct inspections with class surveyors present, utilizing live video monitoring to ensure compliance with classification society requirements. This method allows for efficient evaluations and immediate feedback.🎥
  1. Hull Cleaning & Propeller Polishing: Specialized equipment and techniques are employed to remove marine fouling from the hull and propeller in designated areas. This process improves vessel performance, reduces fuel consumption, and extends the lifespan of antifouling coatings.
  1. Underwater Steel Plate Repairs & Crack Welding: Certified divers possess the expertise and approved welding procedures (WPQR) to perform underwater hull plate repairs and welding operations, addressing cracks and structural issues identified during inspections.
  1. Tail-shaft and Rudder Measurements: Accurate measurements of tail-shaft and rudder components are conducted to ensure proper alignment and optimal performance. Also, this service can be proactive planning before the vessel’s upcoming vessel’s Special Survey or Docking Survey to ensure surprises once dry.

If you are interested in our hull inspection and hull cleaning services complete our provided PDA form. Alternatively, you are welcome to initiate contact via email at Your inquiry will receive our prompt attention and a dedicated member of our team will be at your service to address your requirements.