Saturday, February 06, 2010

Ship Maintenance...

I don't know if this is fair or not but if you look at the ship above you'll tons of rust along the hull.  I don't know much at all about ship maintenance and how often the ships are painted --rust removed etc...but it appears that there has been a decline in the standards.  If you notice ships past, it appears that they were kept in better shape.
The ships above are the Iwo Jima class LPLH's.  They both appear to have been maintained to a much higher standard than the ships today.  Sadly, I've noticed that our allies and China also seem to maintain there ships better than we do today.  

 Is this a legitimate concern?  I don't know.  I do know that others state that our ships are actually underway and that's the reason for the sometimes ragged appearance of them.  I find that flawed reasoning though.  During the cold war the Navy had a high op tempo too and yet they were able to present a professional appearance with no problem.

I do know one thing.  Small issues usually appear before larger ones.  Could this be the canary in the coal mine of problems with our Navy? 

Just for comparison sake, below you'll see the HNLMS Johan de Witt L-801.  


  1. Hehe, thanks for that 'clean' picture of the DeWitt, I can say however that both DeWitt and sistership Rotterdam have their share of rust and grime and oil smudges along the hull, so they are not always this clean and tidy.

    Hull maintenance is expensive because you need to dock the ship. In the (Dutch) navy, a ship goes into dock for 6 months after 3-4 years of ops, where the entire hull gets scrubbed and repainted. During normal ops the rust is simply painted over (when possible), which results in layers upon layers of rust/paint accumulating on the hull, effecting radar reflection and degrading its resilience to the corrosive salt water environment. Also, not every ship is build from the same steel. Some hull sections may be stiffer or instead be more flexible or have all kinds of exotics mixed into it, effecting durability.

    The sideloading ramps of both DeWitt and Rotterdam are notorious maintenance headaches because the different metals cause all kinds of chemical reactions in seawater when not treated (painted) correctly, and this causes really ugly smudges along the hull.

    It all comes down to budget I guess, since maintenance 'down' time is expensive and it needs to be competitively outsourced nowadays.

    The paints today are also less effective and rust-aggressive because they have to follow certain environmental standards as well (the old ones were really toxic) and (in the Netherlands at least) certain labor (safety) standards must be followed, so you can't just send your sailors over the side painting anymore.

  2. Wow, that's depressing.

    Good maintenance should (in theory) lower fuel costs. Paint over rust constantly should add wt. So that would raise costs right?

    I get the deal about environmental standards but solutions should be available.

    I thought it might be about leadership but if its funding that at least answers the question.

  3. Oh and I followed your links. The Rotterdam still looks great. If that's a rusty ship in your Navy then it looks like its ready for a parade in ours.

  4. In the picture look like the rust come out from somewhere else(like the anchor) and fall over the hull.Maybe they are not bad for the hull at all,but I have not knowledge.


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