A Review of Underwater Ship Hull Cleaning Technologies

December 30, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

Because it’s underwater, cleaning a ship’s hull might not seem as important as cleaning the deck, windows or other visible areas of the ship; however, one could argue that cleaning the hull is actually the most critical cleaning job there is. The organisms that grow on the underside of boats can eat away at the hull, resulting in expensive repairs.

Whether you have a small dingy or are in charge of operating a massive ocean liner, keep reading. This post will cover some of the best ways to go about ship hull cleaning.

Manual hull cleaning

Although it can take a while, smaller vessels can be cleaned by hand. Cloths, brushes or other scraping tools can be used to clean off any biofouling like slime, biofilm or encrusting organisms. This task can be performed when the boat is dry-docked or in the water by wearing proper diving equipment.

Powered rotary brush cleaning systems

Scrubbing by hand isn’t always possible if the hull is incredibly dirty or if it’s a larger ship. For those jobs, you can bring in a rotary brush to tackle the task. These devices can either be hydraulic or electric-powered and work at a variety of different speeds. There are even robotic devices that clean your hull without even lifting a finger.

High-pressure water cleaning jets

If you’re able to dry-dock your boat, one of the fastest cleaning methods is ship hull pressure washing. As the name suggests, this technique involves using high-pressure water to blast away rust spots, slime or any marine life attached to the hull. Our team at Hydro Tech can also use gentle cleaning agents in conjunction with a pressure washer to restore a hull to like-new condition.

Cavitating water cleaning jets

If you wait too long to clean your ship’s hull, a high-pressure water cleaning jet may not get the job done. We can use specially-designed nozzles that convert high-pressure water to highly-aggressive cavitation water for those bigger jobs. The bubbles formed in the cavitated water rupture as they approach the hull, blasting away any grit, grime or marine life.

Ultrasonic cleaning technology

Cleaning with ultrasound waves isn’t exactly new; however, the tools for the job have become more affordable over the past few decades. Nowadays, everything from medical equipment to ship hulls can be cleaned with ultrasound waves. These machines produce a pattern of alternating positive and negative pressures in the water that clean the hull and eliminate most stuck-on crustaceans.

Laser cleaning technology

Like ultrasonic cleaning, laser cleaning has become more affordable over the last 30 years. These devices clean ship hulls by blasting them with high-powered strobe lamps. The energy from the lasers effectively loosens marine life, slime and any other grime without taking the boat out of the water.

Call Hydro Tech to clean your ship’s hull

Even if you use some of these latest technologies, ship hull pressure washing can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Instead of leaving the job to your employees, just hire our pros at Hydro Tech. We specialize in industrial power washing, so you can rest easy knowing your ship is in good hands.

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