Front left view of the Revolution with imaging sonar and a grabber sitting on a pelican case on land with the ocean in the background.

Optimizing Vessel Performance with ROVs

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November 3, 2021

Safe and efficient shipping is imperative for the overall success of the maritime industry, however when much of the work happens below the surface there are limited options for getting a visual on what is going on. With a Deep Trekker ROV in the toolbox, operators can get eyes underwater exactly when they need them.

Protecting the integrity of a ship’s hull is extremely important in order to keep a vessel at peak performance. In addition to negatively impacting speed and fuel efficiency, a damaged hull can be harmful to the ship, crew, cargo, and surrounding marine life.

While regular hull inspections are a necessity for optimal vessel performance they can be difficult. In addition to being expensive, dry docking takes ships out of commission for extended periods of time. Hiring divers not only requires time and money, but also potentially puts people into dangerous situations.

With ROVs providing an efficient method of hull inspection, vessels can be consistently monitored to optimize maintenance schedules and maximize performance.

What is an ROV 

Underwater ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) are submersible, robotic systems controlled by users topside or on shore.

Deep Trekker has three underwater ROV models; the DTG3, the PIVOT and the REVOLUTION. Deep Trekker ROVs are designed for maximum portability and maneuverability.

How can you optimize your vessel performance with ROVs? Read on: 

Ensure the Integrity of the Structure is Not Compromised

The number one reason to perform regular hull inspections is for the peace of mind of knowing that your vessel is in good shape. You want to be certain that there are no cracks, leaks, dents or hull irregularities that can compromise your hull as time passes. 

An ROV allows teams to get eyes underwater easily and quickly, without putting human divers in danger. The ease in which an ROV can be deployed gives teams the ability to inspect their hull consistently without a huge financial or time burden. These regular inspections allow operators to catch minor issues before they become large and expensive problems.

Sam operating an ROV with a hard hat on

Examine Hull and Paint Conditions 

Hull damage or fouling can not only affect the overall speed and fuel efficiency of a ship, but can also be harmful to the crew, cargo, and has the potential to negatively impact surrounding marine life. 

Biofouling, for example, is inevitable in the shipping industry. Despite the use of effective anti-fouling systems and operational practices, biofouling may still accumulate on the hull of a vessel. This can negatively impact a ship’s operation, as well as present a threat to the marine environment. Consistent ROV inspections allows for effective monitoring of this growth providing teams with the information they need to determine the best times for hull cleanings and paint reapplications. 

Easy and Effective Emergency Observation

Today’s vessels are advanced, cutting edge vehicles filled with a multitude of sensors and equipment to monitor operations within the ship. What many may be lacking however, is situational awareness of the ship’s hull and unfortunately there are many instances where the hull could be potentially damaged. An ROV provides a quick and accurate way for a team to inspect any potential damage.

Take for example, an alarming sound heard scraping against the hull while in the middle of an ocean. What is your next move? If you’re like most ships the next step is a laborious one. Limp the ship back home or to the nearest fort. Following the scheduling of divers, the ship has to be tagged out and wait for divers to arrive. After ensuring safety and security procedures are met, the divers can then enter the water to determine what the issue is, however minor it may actually be. This entire process could be greatly expedited through the use of an ROV. 

Using an ROV to gain underwater awareness can significantly cut down on costs associated with divers or dry docking. Additionally, the quick deployment saves valuable time during inspection processes.

The use of ROVs has been proven to optimize vessel performance. By providing operators with a reliable and convenient manner in which to conduct hull inspections, inspections can be done regularly to ensure the structural integrity of the hull. In addition to catching minor issues early, with frequent inspections operators have the data they need to make informed decisions regarding repairs and shipping schedules. Furthermore, the use of ROVs for vessel inspection keeps human divers out of harm’s way in a quick and financially efficient manner.

To learn more about how an ROV can help you optimize your vessel performance, head to

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