VII International forum
“Marine Industry of Russia”
Hotel complex
Department of affairs of the President of the Russian Federation

Moscow, 24, B.Yakimanka Str
24-25 May 2017
Forum bulletin

More on ship repair and special-purpose operations

Ship repair plants perform:

  • scheduled maintenance which can be
    • running,
    • interim,
    • overhaul,
  • non-scheduled repair
    • emergency support,
    • reconditioning,
    • guarantee.

These operations serve for elimination of suffered ship damages, and replacement of components beyond economic repair. Besides, ship repair plants upgrade ships.

Ship repair entities can be special-purpose, dispose of water areas for ship anchorage, mooring lines, support facilities, ship-lifting equipment and manufacturing shops. Owing to seasonal nature of navigation, winter is the time for entities to perform running and interim repair and certain stages of overhaul repair. In summer, various components and mechanisms are manufactured and overhaul repair is performed. So, manufacturing facilities operate at full stretch in winter while in summer, they can stand idle. To close the gap, ship repair plants perform some operations of shipbuilding yards.

Types of Ship Repair Entities

Currently in Russia, there are about two hundred of shipbuilding and ship repair entities the fourth part of those is located in the north-west part of the country. All of them can be classified as follows.

Repair-Operational Fleet Bases (ROFB) are transport and manufacture entities which in addition to repairing ships operate the fleet assigned to them. ROFB can be represented by a small production site or an entity which is fitted with fabrication shops and ship-lifting equipment in full.

Ship-Repair Plant (SRP) is an entity comprising all of the fabrication shops, water area and ship-lifting equipment. SRP perform all kinds of repair, upgrade ships, manufacture spare and change parts and units which are not delivered by other entities. Large SRP also construct small batches of ships.

Ship-Repair Workshops (SRW) are entities with divisions performing wood, mechanical assembly and hull works but having no ship-lifting equipment. Such entities perform small emergency and interim repair of self-propelled vessels, running repair of non-propelled crafts not requiring shipways. SRW also can manufacture some spare and change parts for custom-built ships. SRW can be not only stationary but floating.

Shipbuilding and Ship-Repair Plant (SSRP) is an entity with complete complex of fabrication shops of a shipbuilding plant with spare capacity providing planned construction of ships. Besides, some entities of this type have machine-building and machine-repair shops.

Ship-Repair and Mechanical Plant (SRMP) is an entity with complete complex of ship repair and shipbuilding plant with additional forging, casting, modeling, log-sectioning and drying shops.

Main Repair Operations

Repair of a hull and deck erections:

  • troubleshooting and measuring of residual thickness of onboard constructions;
  • hull cleaning – removal of sediments, rust and in sometimes paint coat;
  • welding up of plating and framing cracks, joint weld surfacing, cold or hot flattening, replacement of framing and plating and their components;
  • painting o ships with previous priming and filling.

Repair of heat-exchangers and marine boilers:

  • surface cleaning;
  • surfacing or welding of fills in the course of repair of boilers, replacement of equipment components;
  • replacement of heat-exchanger tubes, anti-corrosion treatment of the inner surface of heat exchanger box.

Repair of main and auxiliary seaborne machinery:

  • repair of main and auxiliary marine engines;
  • repair of mechanical, electrical, hydraulic winches of various purpose;
  • repair of pumps and compressors;
  • repair of steering devices, and so on.

Repair of shaft trains, propulsors and nozzles:

  • repair of shafts – setting, surfacing and taper ratio reconstruction, crack welding up, key-slot and flange hole repair, repair of screw shaft planting;
  • propeller system repair – screw blade fitting, blade crack welding up, static and dynamic balancing;
  • guide repair.

Repair of onboard facilities and systems:

  • steering gear repair;
  • rudder pintle and rudder brace repair;
  • mooring fitting and towing gear repair;
  • boat gear repair.

Repair of onboard pipelines and systems:

  • cleaning;
  • welding and soldering.

It should be noted that repair of speed vessels has unique features. Foremost, another hull repair technology is used since materials they are made of have properties which differ from those of ship steel. Propeller system repair technique differs, too. The list of outlined repair operations can be complemented by repair of hydrofoil units.

Features of Ship-Repair Operations

Many operations can be performed only if the vessel is lifted or placed into a dry dock. The dry dock is a high-priced construction requiring considerable capitalized expenses. Dry docks are constructed at marine ship-repair entities while river ones are equipped with a ship-lifting equipment called boatslides.

Drydocking is a process of lifting a vessel for inspection and repair of its underbody. Drydocking is a very expensive operation which sometimes costs more than repair. So, some operations are performed by means of special facilities avoiding drydocking.

Often, a ship can no more meet specified requirements or it might be necessary to extra-equip it, furnish additional functions, alter its deadweight, expand its sphere of action, and so on. In such cases, refitting or upgrading are necessary.

Ship Upgrading

The extent of upgrading can be different. One ship needs replacement of onboard equipment and no hull construction redesign. Apart from the above, another requires MSPP replacement, ship room refitting, replacement or installation of the special equipment. Or, in the most complicated case, there is a need in overall upgrading which in addition to operations listed above comprises hull construction redesign.

For example, river craft can be adapted for marine operation. To this end, the hull is to be reinforced, inner watertight bulkheads increasing ship insubmresibility are to constructed, etc. Now and then, upgrading can be the only way to “reactivate” abandoned ship, and today various upgrading and retrofitting services are very popular.


New materials and compositions help solving problems which before were unsolvable. In Volzhskoye Parokhodstvo Navigation Company, for example, lightweight waterproof concrete replaced fully decomposed metal deck covering. The same enterprise successfully applied another development for reconstruction of plastic panels of one of the ships. Much attention is given to such techniques as cold weld and those based on composite material use. Possibilities of application stealth technologies and so on are considered.

However some day or other, any ship becomes totally unserviceable and it should be recycled. Laying conventional vessels do not cause any considerable problems while numerous nuclear-powered submarines create actual ecological hazard due to hull corrosion. The new method offered by Severny Reid FGUP is very popular already. To prevent ship submersion, their main flooding tanks are filled with light foamed polystyrene impermeable to water. Such method is being considered to be applied to sunken wrecks.

So, the Russian ship repair industry aspires to innovations and upgrading, introduction of up-to-date technologies and enhancing performance quality. As a result, they serve not only domestic ship owners but even foreign ones.


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By: “Ideological buiseness-projects”

Design by Valentina Ivanova.