In 2019 Finnish shipping company Eckerö coated the open cargo deck of their roro passenger ferry Finbo Cargo with Ecospeed. This was done to protect the deck against damage from cars and cargo. One year later the deck was still in excellent condition, in strong contrast to previous years. As a result, Eckerö decided to coat the ice belt and most of the hull with Ecospeed to offer it the same lasting protection.
“We coated the weather deck with good result,” said Daniel Olsén, Technical Manager with Eckerö Group. “After one year in traffic and many thousands of cargo tons there are no failures to the coating at all.”
Eckerö Line, founded in 1994 and part of the Eckerö Group, offers cargo services on the Helsinki-Tallinn-Helsinki route.
M/S Finbo Cargo was upgraded to an Ice Class program this year. “We decided quite fast that we needed a coating that we knew could handle the ice conditions in the Baltic Sea,” Olsén said.
For over 10 years several ships coated with Ecospeed have been sailing the most northern parts of the Baltic Sea during the winter season when they are completely frozen. Despite the frequent impact of large floes, none of these ships have required more than just a few touch-ups during their drydock visits, according to the coatings manufacturer.
During the busy tourist season ferries need to be sailing frequently so the best time for drydocking is the low season when there is less cargo and fewer passengers. “We decided to choose a system that initially costs a bit more but in the end saves us a lot in maintenance cost,” Olsén said. “That is an important factor for us since our dockings are mainly done during winter in bad weather conditions when the quality of repair work to the paint system cannot be guaranteed.”
For this reason it was essential to reduce the necessary maintenance and paint work during future drydockings.
The initial application of the Ecospeed underwater hull coating can easily be geared to the schedule of the yard because the coating has versatile application potentials. Either of the two required layers can be applied at any time during the building process, even when there is a winter period or serious bad weather between applications.