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 karval@karval.gr. Your inquiry will receive our prompt attention and a dedicated member of our team will be at your service to address your requirements.

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Hull cleaning and propeller polishing


Greece’s crystal clear waters are not beneficial only to the visiting tourists but also to the trading vessels in our region. Numerous cases also in November with In Water Surveys (IWS) with the presence of Classification Societies as well as Underwater Hull Cleaning and Propeller Polishing services were carried out in different anchorage areas around Greece. Our diving teams are well equipped to carry out within one full day all necessary services, subject vessel’s hull condition, even to larger Suezmax tanker vessels. Detailed reporting is provided to all concerned parties and our trustful ladies are able to continue their trade on a more efficient way. Let’s keep the charterers happy!


A new report published on November 15th from the Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester highlights the major role the shipping sector will play in transporting the green fuels necessary to meet global climate goals. The report provides insights on the implications for the shipping sector of different global energy scenarios pushing to limit global temperature rise to 1.5˚C, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and the opportunities for shipping to support the global low carbon transition.

To achieve the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals, the authors identify low-carbon hydrogen and sustainable bioenergy as essential. The study found that government policies, including guaranteed markets and prices for producers and consumers, were hampering investment in the shipping infrastructure needed to support the global energy transition.

According to the International Energy Agency, there is a huge gap between what is planned and what is needed for low-carbon hydrogen by 2030: already-announced projects will only produce 24 million tonnes by 2030. Only 4% of these projects have reached a final investment decision. Government policies must be strengthened to give low-carbon hydrogen producers, shippers, and consumers the confidence they need to invest. According to the report’s co-author, Professor Alice Larkin, the shipping sector is crucial in transporting green fuels to meet the Paris climate goals. To meet the Paris goals, we must scale up the production of green fuels. Bioenergy and hydrogen converted into ammonia are transported by shipping during this global energy transition. According to the study, ammonia and bioenergy could be transported by sea in the same way as gas and coal in the future. The green hydrogen supply chain would require around 20 large ammonia carriers every year. Due to the timeline of 2–3 years for building new vessels, shipping industry representatives said they needed certainty about hydrogen production as soon as possible. According to the report, governments should send “stronger market signals” to the shipping industry to reduce the fear of new ships not being used to transport low-carbon fuels. The International Chamber of Shipping commissioned and welcomed the report. In its report, the Tyndall Centre identified several ways that government policy can be made more effective at enabling investment. It may be necessary to create mandatory mandates for increasing the percentage of green hydrogen, to create production credits for hydrogen production, or to provide producers and consumers with guaranteed markets and prices. USA, Germany, and India have already tested such measures.

The International Chamber of Shipping Secretary General Guy Platten said: “The shipping industry knows it has a crucial role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. Governments must develop much stronger policies to de-risk green hydrogen production before we invest. Both imports and exports of hydrogen must be supported by national hydrogen strategies. Despite the industry’s readiness, stronger market signals and infrastructure investment are urgently needed to make this happen. If the shipping sector can energize faster growth in sustainable fuels, it will be playing a pioneering role in closing the gap between grand theoretical plans and a real-world fit for future generations.

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Indian – Owned Suezmax appoints us as husbandry agent


For the last 35 years, we are proud to offer diversified Husbandry Agency services to major international shipowners & ship managers while always over-delivering based on our promised services. The fall season started extremely active for our Agency with offered services in different ports around Greece. The largest Indian-based shipowner has appointed our Agency to be by their side for all services during a major engineering repair in Eleusis Port. Furthermore, another Greek shipowner, currently based in Germany, entrusted our Underwater services as well as Spare Parts & Bond Stores supplies at Piraeus Anchorage which were completed in less than 48hours.


KARVAL SHIPPING AGENCY joins for the first time the 30th SMM Hamburg international maritime trade fair in Hamburg, Germany from 6 – 9 of September at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. We were excited to meet with our customers and peers and share information about our latest products and services. With over 30,000 visitors from over 100 nations, it was the first opportunity for 2,000 exhibitors, representing all technology areas in the maritime industry, to meet in person again after a long period of pandemic restrictions. All the participants and visitors from the maritime industry were interested in Identifying and addressing complex challenges, introducing groundbreaking innovations and finally to network, seek cooperation and forge alliances. That was the reason why our exceptional business development team was there to elaborate on all these subjects with numerous German and International clients as well as to interpret on the abundant opportunities that arise in the Greek region. KARVAL SHIPPING AGENCY continuously expands to many locations around Greece to satisfy the needs of its customers on the most reliable, transparent and trust-full way possible.