Water lubricated bearings for newbuilds

11 Mar 2012
‘Vectis Eagle’ has been  fitted with Compac bearings

‘Vectis Eagle’ has been fitted with Compac bearings

Carisbrooke Shipping’s latest newbuild, an 8,500dwt multi-purpose dry cargo vessel named ‘Vectis Eagle’, has been fitted with Compac seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearings from Thordon Bearings of Canada.

The Finnish/Swedish 1A ice class vessel is currently on its maiden voyage through the Panama Canal travelling from China to Haiti and Brazil. Constructed at Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, the vessel is the first of four newbuildings to specify seawater lubrication instead of oil. Vectis Eagle has a single tapered key Compac bearing design with a shaft size of 470 mm. The tapered key design allows for removal, inspection and re-insertion of the bearings without shaft withdrawal.

“We chose Thordon Compac for this vessel because these bearings are environmentally friendly, water lubricated and come with no risk of pollution,” says Simon Merritt, Technical Manager for Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd. “All equipment on board the vessel has been chosen with energy efficiency or with its minimal environmental impact in mind.”

Compac seawater lubricated shaft bearings are intended to eliminate the risk of oil discharge from the stern tube. Seawater is used as lubrication instead of oil and is taken from the sea, pumped through the bearings and returned back to the sea. Because there is no aft seal to be damaged or replaced, and no oil is used in the stern tube, maintenance costs are claimed to be reduced.

Vectis Eagle features a high bow and single cargo hold, which the owner says makes it currently the longest cargo space among its vessel class. Carisbrooke expects up to 30% reduction in fuel consumption compared to vessels of equal tonnage due to its large diameter propeller and high efficiency nozzle. The ship’s design below the waterline is hydro-dynamically optimised to further reduce drag and allow better water flow to the propeller.

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