Becker Marine Systems has received an order to upgrade the propulsion of the cruise ship Norwegian Epic to improve manoeuvrability and efficiency. To achieve this the company has replaced the ship’s conventional rudder with its Becker Flap Rudder.
In addition, Becker says it has received several upgrade orders to install additional rudder bulbs in combination with optimised propeller caps. According to the company the combination will minimise and reduce hub vortex losses.
Becker is also achieving success with retrofits of its Mewis Duct and Twisted Fin solutions, which are said to enhance operational efficiency by between 3 and 8%. The effect is based on flow improvement to the propeller and a generation of a pre-swirl to maximise propeller efficiency. To date Becker has sold over 1,000 of these units, and about 50% of these have been refits.
The company has also extended its retrofit-suited product range. In particular it has developed a lubrication-free rudder that is fully compliant with the US Coast Guard Vessel General Permit (VGP) rules. The carrier bearing material is a high pressure polymer and the rudder shaft and trunk receive a special coating.
Becker Marine has a subsidiary in Rostock that specialises in CFD calculations. Walther Bauer, director, sales and projects says: “With these specialists we are able to optimise existing rudder solutions and enhance manoeuvring capability and power requirements.
Becker Marine has offices in Norway, Germany, Singapore, Korea and China. The most recent addition to the network is an office in Houston. “We are looking forward to expanding our business in North America,” says Bauer, “and we are in the process of hiring additional service personnel.”