Tank Condition Assessment
Ignorance is NOT bliss when it comes to ballast tanks!
Ballast tanks are areas on board that, if not quite forgotten, are often neglected. This can be due to access problems, time constraints; cargo handling… it's a difficult and unpopular job to properly inspect ballast tanks and the list of reasons for avoiding it is long and well used.
The lifespan of the vessel is often directly effected by the condition of the ballast tanks.
Usually the only times that ballast tanks are visited are:
- Crew inspections. A good Chief Officer / Bosun is hard to beat, but unfortunately enthusiasm varies greatly from person to person. This can result in inconsistant or vague reporting.
- During Class survey by the Surveyor. - A little late and prone to surprises.
- Superintendent - Usually during cargo handling the Ch. Officer and Super may go through tanks. Due to the time constraint, the impression is fleeting, a few photos are taken and many problems can be missed.
- During Repair. - The repairman has a specific job to carry out, usually because something has failed and he is out of there as soon as possible.
AlfaTest AB has established an inspection program where we carry out comprehensive inspections of these spaces with subsequent detailed, easy-to-read reports.
Pre-Guarantee Docking Inspection
Three to six months after delivery of a new ship is the perfect time to carry out a detailed inspection of ballast tanks. Exposed faults are individually itemized and documented and a claim can be made to the building yard. Typical faults found can be:
- Low DFT (Dry Film Thickness) of coating. If the DFT is low then you will have premature problems. As we know, ballast tank refurbishment is expensive and difficult.
- Cracking - both in coating and structure.
- Burn damage - New elements welded to bulkheads destroy the coating on the back side.
- Missed welds
- Poor welding
- Piping brackets missing.
- Equipment from the yard left behind and causing damage.
Another important advantage is that sister vessels still in production can be improved.
Periodic inspections can be carried out at any time.
An economical way is to have them carried out together with thickness measurement surveys from 15 months before due date. If there are problems, then you will have a clear and detailed report which you can use when planning the repair prior to or during the coming docking