In June and July 2020, Australian Enviroblast undertook a major abrasive blasting and marine protective coating project on two tugs operated by Svitzer.

The work was completed at Australian Naval Infrastructure, located at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, starting at the beginning of June and wrapping up in the last week of July.

Riverwijs Grace and Riverwijs Isabelle are a pair of 27.8 m x 9.1 m, 257 ton tugs built in Singapore in 2000. This work was part of Svitzer’s planned docking schedule and involved wet abrasive blasting and re-coating both above and below the water line on both vessels.

Boat wet abrasive blasting

The process began with pressure washing to clean off fouling below the water line. This was followed by spot abrasive blasting as a means of cleaning out rust, followed by sweep wet blasting of the entire surface of each boat.

Sandblasting for boats is the best way of preparing surfaces so that protective coatings can be applied effectively and provide efficient, long-lasting protection. Corrosion and other types of fouling can damage the structural integrity of marine vessels and affect performance at sea, and so surface preparation prior to the application of paint and coatings is essential to operational longevity.

Protective coatings for ships

After blasting was completed, new protective coatings were applied. This included topside paints, designed to provide protection above the waterline, and which were applied to the upper hull, the deck and interior of each boat. The specialist paints that we use are designed to be resistant to moisture and abrasion, resist UV damage, and are able to withstand expansion and contraction of the hull.

This was followed by bottom coatings, designed to provide underwater protection. Also known as antifouling paint, it prevents the build up of algae and other contamination on the hull, which in turn reduces drag and fouling. This enhances performance and promotes operational life.

The marine coating process also requires the application of special coatings on the decks to provide anti-slip protection. This ensures safety on board, and is sufficiently strong to withstand excessive wear and tear.

Find out more about marine protective coatings

To find out more about protecting coatings for ships and boats, or our range of mobile sandblasting services, contact Mark Chiappin on 0458 455 668, email us, or visit our workshop in Wingfield at 12-16 Cormack Road.

Riverwijs Grace

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Riverwijs Isabelle

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