Ice and Snow, Away we Go! Painting Ships in Cold Winter Conditions

This paper was originally presented in the technical program at SSPC 2010, Featuring GreenCoat by Mark Edmonds, retired from Sherwin-Williams, now a NACE Level 3 Coating Inspector who is consultant for US Coast Guard paint work and and an SSPC instructor teaching US Navy (NAVSEA) paint inspector certification classes.

November to March is a beautiful time of the year in the wintry climate of the United States and Canada. People participate in all kinds of wintertime activities. It is also the time owners of marine vessels working on the Great Lakes use to do repairs and maintenance, including painting. Although the weather during this time poses many challenges, necessity has been the mother of invention in coming up with equipment and products to meet this challenge.

There are a wide variety of vessels that ply the Great Lakes. These include 1000- foot bulk carriers, passenger ferries, barges, and research vessels. Although the size and focus of each vessel is unique, the one common denominator is taking time during winter lay up to do maintenance, including painting. This can be very challenging as ambient temperatures are almost always below 32°F (0° C), very often below 20°F (-7° C), and occasionally below 0° F (-17° C). Despite these harsh conditions, painting does take place on the exterior hulls, unheated cargo holds, superstructure, ballast tanks, and decks of many vessels.


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