Developments in technology have lowered the costs of the solutions, allowing industry decision makers to better consider their choice from financial, operational and environmental perspective. Choosing a water lubricated stern tube solution can help ship owners improve their lifecycle efficiency with lower operational costs and future-proof their system to meet environmental regulations.
When looking at the vessel’s entire 20-30 years’ operating horizon, they may want to consider other aspects in addition to the initial investment made when purchasing the equipment. Reduced lifecycle costs, reliability of equipment and compliance with environmental regulations are important factors to consider.
To date, water lubricated stern tube solutions have mainly been used in naval vessels, fishing vessels and smaller ferries operating in archipelagos. In these environments, water lubrication is seen as reliable and more suitable due to minimal risk of operational failure and no threat of oil spills from the system.
Most commercial vessels operating in the world use oil as a propeller shaft lubricant due to its somewhat lower initial investment and better short-term return on investment. However, in more recent times, there has been increased interest in water lubrication within the cruise and merchant shipping markets.
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