The Importance of Maritime Engineering in Underwater Marine Services

From cruise ships and cargo vessels to tankers and military boats, a significant portion of global services depends on the day-to-day operations of the maritime industry. With many economies around the world entirely reliant on ocean-going vessels and the sector that sustains them, it is crucial that any difficulties that threaten operational continuity are kept to a minimum. This is where maritime engineering and underwater marine services are especially important. 

With more than 90% of global trade transported via our oceans, the slightest sign of trouble in the maritime industry can spell trouble in a multitude of ways. From people going hungry to suppliers missing deadlines, operational continuity in the sector is imperative. As a result, maritime engineering and underwater marine services play a significant role in the modern world. 

So what is maritime engineering?

What is maritime engineering?

As the name suggests, maritime engineering is the engineering of boats, vessels, ships and submarines. Also referred to as marine engineering, it is a field that deals with the design, development, production, repair and maintenance of equipment used at sea. 

For obvious reasons, maritime engineers play a hugely important role in the marine sector – especially in the ongoing repairs and maintenance of vital infrastructure and equipment. Marine engineering services include:

  • Engineering & consultancy – Maritime engineers often plan, manage and oversee the construction and engineering of the vessel itself in addition to its conceptual design. This can include consultancy services that can guide a project and give it some direction.
  • Conversion services – Maritime engineers can also oversee the conversion, refit and/or retrofit of existing vessels. This is completed either in a drydock or at sea.
  • Repairs & maintenance – Maritime engineers are often responsible for the maintenance and repair of ocean-going vessels operating within the industry, such as submarines and cargo ships.

From constructing new ships to retrofitting and repairing existing vessels, the design, construction, and maintenance of ships and boats are often the core responsibilities of a marine engineer. These ocean-going vessels can be anything from submarines and tankers to sailboats, among others. Maritime engineers typically work from a centralised office and will use specialist software and other tools to examine projects and design solutions. They will also occasionally travel to sea, although this is usually for testing or maintenance. This is where maritime engineering and underwater marine services often integrate and combine.

Maritime engineering and underwater marine services

Eliminating downtime is a critical component of the maritime sector. Like a cog in a well-oiled machine, any delay can result in decreased productivity and revenue in addition to upsetting international supply chains. Unfortunately, due to the hazardous and demanding environment ocean-going vessels have to stop sometime or rather for repairs and maintenance. 

In the past, the maritime sector has largely relied on the provision of dry docking to repair ocean-going vessels as well as carry out any routine maintenance. Although dry docking is still a viable option in many situations, it can be a costly and time consuming process. In our modern, fast-paced world, dry docking a vessel for repairs, maintenance and even refitting or retrofitting can result in a significant loss of profits for the owner/operator, as well as delay the day-to-day operations of the sector. 

As previously mentioned, any kind of disruption can spark a domino effect that can have severe consequences for the global economies and services reliant on the maritime industry. As a result, underwater marine services have become a popular alternative to dry docking in recent years. 

Why are underwater marine services important?

As the name suggests, underwater marine services is the provision of maritime-centric solutions and services underwater. Also known as IRM underwater services, which stands for inspection, repair and maintenance, underwater marine services can occur in a port or at sea, although this is dependent on the type of repair or maintenance that is needed. 

Underwater marine services include:

  • Repairs both above and below the water
  • The examination of offshore drilling platforms
  • A variety of inspection services, such as pre-purchase and condition inspections and the inventory of hazardous materials (IHM)
  • Management of BWTS and scrubber installation projects
  • The installation and upkeep of navigation, entertainment, and communication systems

Opting for underwater mariner services rather than traditional dry docking can minimise disruptions and loss of profitability, and get a vessel back on track faster. This is where marine engineering comes in, as modern maritime engineers have the knowledge and expertise to work on all kinds of ocean-going vessels, including floaters, rigs and platforms, and carry out any necessary maintenance while fully submerged underwater. This reduced the need for any unnecessary downtime typical of dry docking, off-hire or decommissioning, and results in a more cost-effective and timely process for the owner/operator.

Final thoughts

So why are maritime engineering and underwater marine services so important?

Every year our oceans carry more than 90% of all global trade. From cruise ships and military boats to cargo vessels and tankers, a number of global services depend on the day-to-day operations of the maritime industry. With many economies entirely reliant on the maritime sector to continue functioning, it is crucial that any difficulties that threaten operational continuity are prevented or at least kept to a minimum. 

Even the most minute difficulty in the maritime sector can have far-reaching consequences. Operational continuity in the industry is crucial for preventing worldwide catastrophe and panic, as well as continuity in the global economy. Consequently, maritime engineering and underwater marine services are hugely important in today’s society. The contribution of both services should not be overlooked.