All motors on deck: It takes tough deck machinery to survive the salty seas

From cargo cranes to mooring winches, deck machinery plays a key role on ships of all types and sizes. And the parts of this vital marine equipment must be as tough as the sailors who operate them to survive exposure to the salty spray of seawater.

If you walk the deck of any seagoing vessel, you likely won’t have to look hard to spot a piece of deck machinery with an electrical motor inside. Onboard fishing boats, cruise ships, tankers and colossal TEU container vessels, deck machinery perform many duties both while in port and on the high seas.

Cargo cranes and pumps load and unload everything from soybeans to liquid natural gas (LNG). On walk to work vessels, offshore cranes and gangway access systems make it possible to support and maintain offshore installations such as wind farms and oil rigs. Reliable winches hold mooring lines taunt, hoist anchors from the depths and haul in the fishing nets and trawls containing the catch of the day. The requirements for deck machinery applications vary a lot and the solutions are often customised. It is essential to understand the exact situation and application before specifying the electric motor.

Seawater will eat through a motor

The marine environment requires hard and durable equipment, which makes high-quality deck machinery a priority for shipowners. Primarily, this means making sure that the mechanical parts are well protected from the inevitable splashes of seawater. The real threat is not the water itself, but the salt, as Maarten de Beun, Hoyer’s Sales Manager for deck machinery explains.

– The pressure of marine conditions and especially seawater is devastating for equipment because the salt will eat everything up. While you can dry out a motor wet from freshwater and still get it to work, a motor drenched in saltwater is dead. This is why you should never trust a standard industrial motor for any marine application, but instead go for one specially prepared for marine use.

Prepare your deck machinery for the right environment

To negate the threat of damage from salt exposure, a marine motor should always have a high protection class of IP56 or better. Often special paint systems are required depending on the area of installation, like C5 according to ISO 12944 or Norsok M-501. Besides these general precautions, you should also take the exact duty and operating environment into consideration when designing deck machinery.

– The requirements for marine equipment can vary drastically depending on the vessel and the intended use. For example, as shipping increases in the polar regions, we’re seeing an increased demand for motors capable of operating at temperatures as low as minus 40-50 degrees Celsius, especially for shuttle tankers going through the Arctic. We also recently developed a new complete range of explosion proof ATEX motors for the marine market. Within deck machinery these motors are especially relevant for cargo pumps and compressors onboard tankers and gas carriers hauling flammable cargo, says Maarten de Beun.

Other products relevant for deck machinery include a terminal box for open deck use, which is specially designed to avoid water entry through the cover or cable connection glands. It also features a special cover for the encoder to protect the electronics as well as reinforced bolts and ring seals.

Hoyer products for deck machinery

Hoyer has a wide selection of marine motors, which can be adapted to any specific marine environment or application, including open deck installation.

  • Standard marine motors – IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4 efficiency
  • Marine brake motors
  • Explosion proof marine motors – ATEX and IECEx certified

 Typical deck machinery applications

  • Winches
  • Cranes
  • Cargo pumps
  • Hatch covers
  • Lifesaving equipment
  • Gangways

Want to know more about marine applications?

On the Marine Market section at Hoyer’s website, you can read more about the approach to the marine market, and among others you can find typical applications and information about testing and classification.