Over 40% of all P&I claims are due to damaged cargo caused by water ingress from hatch covers – even the smallest leak can do extensive damage to cargos like steel and paper that are sensitive to seawater. It costs the industry $46.9m per year and reports of leaking hatch covers are the most frequent cause for selecting a vessel for an unscheduled condition survey.
Hatch covers and locking devices are the responsibility of the ship’s owners and operators so close attention to maintenance is vital in making sure vessels are cost-effective. Regular and efficient testing can save companies millions in claims for damaged cargo.
Ultrasonic testing is the most accurate way to ensure your hatches functioning correctly. This uses a transmitter in the cargo hold to emit ultrasound waves which can then be picked up by a receiver outside the closed hatch to determine whether there are any leaks. Unlike hose and chalk tests which only show if there is contact between the rubber packing and compression bar, ultrasonic testing indicates when you actually have the required compression.
Some hatch cover testing systems, like our Hatchtite device, go even further.
The effectiveness of an ultrasonic tester is determined by the amount of sound energy reaching the hatch cover and most transmitters emit in an upward direction. However, because of its unique dome configuration, Hatchtite is able to give complete cover in even the largest of holds by using 13 transmitters. This makes it 1,000 times more powerful than any other device on the market. Rated as IP66 and measuring in dBs to meet P&I clubs and DNV regulations, it’s also designed to be cheap to maintain and operate so its run time is 40 hours instead of the usual 10. It only needs calibrating after 5 years and can even be lowered down into the hold regardless of whether the ship is empty or loaded so there’s no need to disrupt operations.
We’re confident that using Hatchtite is the most comprehensive and cost-effective way to help you keep your cargo free from water damage. Contact us today for more information.