Retractable thruster systems have long been used in the offshore industry. They reduce drag in transit and enable a vessel to enter ports and dry-docks with a limited water depth. However, inspection and maintenance have to be undertaken with the thrusters extended below the hull, as with fixed thrusters. For inspections, this generally requires diving operations or dry-docking, which leads to reduced uptime. Underwater mountable thrusters allow to be exchanged underwater, eliminating the need for dry-docking but these operations can only be done in benign weather conditions. As the exchange of thrusters could easily lead to being several weeks off location, this is time-consuming and costly due to the downtime and the requirement for support vessels. Apart from the cost, is a complex and relatively dangerous operation due to the diving operation. GustoMSC has taken the logical next step and designed the Thruster Retrieval System (TRS). This system can raise a thruster above deck, beyond the retracted position. In this position, the thruster is easily accessible for dry inspection and maintenance on, for example, the sealing arrangement. Repairs with TRS could even be done when remaining operational. This benefits safety, uptime, costs, and maintainability.
The GustoMSC patented TRS design is based on proven rack and pinion technology. The great advantage of the system is that it can be built to normal shipbuilding tolerances. The system can be powered by a fixed or portable hydraulic powerpack, and can be controlled locally or remotely. The retrieval tower is assembled from components that can be stored and handled on board. The tower design can be adopted to thruster specific handling equipment.
The GustoMSC TRS Systems offer the following characteristics:
- No downtime for thruster inspection, maintenance and repair
- Increased safety
- Optional full remote control
- Easy maintenance
- Low maintenance
- Standard components
Our designs at work
Ideas may start on paper, but our designs are brought to life each day as they serve the marine and offshore industries. View our reference list of field-proven designs and vessels.