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White Paper Examines Seawater Lubricated Propellers Versus Podded Propulsion

Thordon Bearings has called upon ship owners to investigate both seawater-lubricated propeller shaft systems and podded propulsion arrangements, highlighting the benefits and challenges for both propulsion options through a recently published white paper.

The white paper draws comparison between water-lubricated propeller shafts and the podded propulsion, encouraging readers to think about the factors that will affect their operations in order to select an optimum propulsion solution. Both the advantages and disadvantages of both are discussed.

One of the benefits of the conventional seawater lubricated propeller shaft system highlighted in the paper is that they have  a lower capital expenditure requirement, reduced operating costs, zero pollution risk as no oil is involved, high life expectancy, low noise and vibration and easy manoeuvrability and survivability.

According to the paper, a conventional passenger ship with a seawater lubricated propeller shaft system reaps the same benefits in terms of hydrodynamic efficiency as a podded cruise ship.

Cruise ships that have been fitted with podded propulsion have seen system failures, contributing to downtime and additional expenditures, and in addition, manoeuvring ships with propulsive pods can be tricky compared with handling direct-drive vessels, say Thordon.

According to the paper, there has been a lot of prior research that has focussed on manoeuvrability and hydrodynamic efficiency benefits of a cruise ship with podded propulsion but there has been a lack of information presented on environmental, operational and safety considerations as well as CAPEX and OPEX differences.

Craig Carter, Director of Marketing and Customer Service, Thordon Bearings commented: “While our paper does not purport to be an academic study in any way, it is intended to engender debate and, hopefully, spur greater research into the key attributes of both propulsion arrangements.”

To access Thordon Bearings’ White Paper, please click here.

Image: Thordon Bearings Seawater-Lubricated Propeller Shaft System. 

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