HullWiper | Idle ships mean idle profits

Idle ships mean idle profits

09 Feb 2021

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Over 3 billion citizens around the world have been under lockdown, as reported by Willis Towers Watson insights resulting in a sharp decline in economic activity and a global economy that has sunk by -0.3%.

As the second wave of COVID-19 makes its appearance across the globe, the entire supply chain is once again being disrupted. The maritime industry which includes shipping, sailing and boating activities has been hit hard by the spread of coronavirus.

This slowdown has again left a significant number of vessels sitting still in the waters. Shipowners and operators are forced to put ships in hot or warm lay-ups as a temporary solution to mitigate the dismal market conditions as a result of reduced consumer goods demand, halted cruising and short-sea trips as a result of travel restrictions.

Biofouling has been an incessant menace in the shipping industry for centuries and now, it looks like it’s going to get far worse. Vessels sitting idle in warm water are particularly in the hot seat as marine organisms delight in static submerged surfaces making ship hulls below the waterline the ideal target.

An increase in accumulated marine organisms on vessel hulls not only creates a mountain of admin but hurts the budget too. Although the accumulation of biofouling is unavoidable, solutions are not far off. From diver and brush cleaning to remotely operated vehicles, ships can, during these uncertain times, avoid the growth of these critters.

Traditional hull cleaning methods might get the job done but there are unfortunately financial and environmental consequences that can’t be ignored. These include but are not limited to:

  • Scratching expensive antifouling coating when using brushes
  • Risk of injury and sometimes even life for hull cleaning divers
  • Removed biofouling is not collected and disposed of in a safe manner but rather released back into the sea which can cause detrimental impacts on marine ecosystems
  • Diving is limited to good weather conditions during daylight hours
  • Slower and less effective cleaning

Fortunately, technological advances in maritime solutions are on the rise. HullWiper’s innovative Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) leaves vessel hulls clean and unscathed by using high-pressure sea-water jets to dislodge accumulated biofouling. The unit is operated from shore with no divers involved. This allows for cleaning to be conducted 24/7, in most weather conditions, during the night or while cargo operations are underway.

Not only does HullWiper clean hulls more effectively than conventional methods, the ROV also cleans faster ensuring there is no delay to tight fleet schedules. Instead of letting removed fouling enter indigenous water and disrupt the marine ecosystem, HullWiper’s unique filtering feature captures removed organisms to safely dispose of onshore.

Ensuring vessels carry no extra drag and are ready to set sail in an instant is key to mitigating the effects of the pandemic and the time to act is now. Get in touch with our expert team via [email protected] or visit for more information on cost-effective hull cleaning for your fleet.