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Published Date

January 2008

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Hatch Covers: Operation, Testing and Maintenance

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This book provides a definitive study of hatch cover testing and maintenance.

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The book was written by Mike Wall, who has 20 years' experience in hull, machinery, cargo and condition surveys. During the publication process, it was reviewed by a number of experts and interested parties, including the SKULD P&I Club, who provided access to their archives to obtain a number of case studies.



The Author



1 Why Hatch Covers are Fitted to Ships


2 Background to the Design of Hatch Covers


3 Ship Construction to Accommodate Hatch Covers


4 Different Designs for Different Cargoes

4.1 Bulk Cargoes

4.2 Containers

4.3 General Cargoes

4.4 Refrigerated Cargoes

4.5 Timber Cargoes

4.6 Other Cargoes


5 Hatch Cover Types

5.1 Pontoon and Tarpaulin Covers

5.2 Direct Pull Covers

5.3 Folding Covers

5.4 Roll Stowing Covers

5.5 Side and Rolling Covers

5.6 Life and Roll Covers (Piggy-back)

5.7 Sliding Tween-deck Covers

5.8 Pontoon Covers

5.9 Reefer Vessels

5.10 Other Sealing Systems

5.11 Other Hatch Cover Designs

5.12 Other Cleating Methods


6 The Differences Between Watertightness and Weathertightness

6.1 Ram-nek Tape and Foam


7 Care and Maintenance of Hatch Covers


8 Reasons for Hatch Cover Testing by Various Organisations and the Role of the Marine Surveyor in these Tests

8.1 National-based Survey Organisations

8.2 Classification Societies

8.3 Independent Surveyors

8.4 Insurance Surveyors

8.5 Cargo Surveyors

8.6 On/Off Hire Surveys

8.7 Pre-purchase Condition Surveys


9 The Various Hatch Cover Testing Methods

9.1 Chalk Test

9.2 Light Test

9.3 Hose Test

9.4 Air Test

9.5 Putty or Moulding Clay Test


10 The Use of Ultrasound Testing Equipment, Principles and Operation of the varied Equipment Available on the Market

10.1 What is Ultrasound?

10.2 Advantages of Ultrasound

10.3 The Equipment

10.4 Miscellaneous

10.5 Comparison of the Equipment

10.6 Hatch Cover Testing Protocols and Procedures


11 Client Approval of Ultrasound Testing Equipment and Operators

11.1 Client Approval


12 Common Defects Found when Hatch Cover Testing


13 Repairs to Hatch Covers


Case Studies

Case Study 1: Hatch covers leaking in gale force winds

Case Study 2: Leaking hatch covers – damaged steel coils cargo

Case Study 4: Port of refuge required

Case Study 5: Oil leakage from the hatch hydraulic system on to the cargo

Case Study 6: Water damage due to leaking hatch covers

Case Study 7: Alleged wet damage to frozen krill

Case Study 8: Water damage to fishmeal cargo

Case Study 9: Steel cargo damage – ship sweat and sea water

Case Study 10: Water-soaked cargo



Appendix 1: Resolution MSC.169(79) Standards for Owners ‘Inspection and Maintenance of Bulk Carrier Hatch covers

Appendix 2: Table Showing Comparison of Ultrasound Equipment



This book is intended for all those associated with the care, maintenance, operation and inspection of hatch covers (eg, deck officers, deck ratings, superintendents and surveyors).

Mike Wall joined Cunard Line as a marine engineer apprentice at the age of seventeen, eventually reaching the rank of Chief Engineer with service aboard many different types of vessel.

During his career Mike obtained a Class 1 marine engineer’s certificate of competency, a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Studies and Master of Science degree in Shipping and Maritime Studies. Experience was gained in most areas of shipping with eight years as a lecturer in Maritime Studies, culminating in five years as Senior Lecturer as Warsash College of Maritime Studies, UK.

Twenty years experience was gained in hull, machinery, cargo and condition surveys in the USA, New Zealand, Fiji and South East Asia. Most of this was as Managing Director and Principle Consultant for Kiwi Marine Consultants Ltd, Hong Kong, for P&I Clubs, Shipowners, Shipmanagers, Underwriters, Admiralty Lawyers and other Principles. Mike is also a qualified Mediator, registered both in the UK and Hong Kong.

Mike is a regular contributor of shipping technical articles to various maritime publications and is currently editor of FLASHLIGHT, the free emailed monthly newsletter distributed to marine surveyors around the world. Mike also organizes the annual ‘Asian Marine Insurance and Surveying Forum’.

Title: Hatch Covers: Operation, Testing and Maintenance
Number of Pages: 178
Product Code: 4371
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-344-6 (9781856093446), ISBN 10: 1-85609-344-1 (1856093441)
Published Date: January 2008
Binding Format: Paperback
Book Height: 300 mm
Book Width: 210 mm
Book Spine: 10 mm
Weight: 0.70 kg
Author: Michael Ronald Wall

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