In October 2020, kindly acting upon our request, the crew of a 53’000 DWT bulk carrier checked the condition of the guide rails on their main engine. Specifically, they checked whether a metal stitching repair that was done in 2005 is still in good condition. Besides a periodical visual inspection, the crew carried out liquid penetrant testing (PT) to check for the presence of cracks.
The inspection revealed that the repair is still in perfect condition. No abnormalities such as cracks or loose stitching components were found.
At the time of writing, this engine had accumulated over 77’000 running hours / 15 years in service since the said metal stitching repair was carried out in October 2005 in Kure, Japan.
At that time, the engine had 27’000 hours on the counter. Meanwhile, until October 2020, the engine has accumulated 103’000 running hours, 77’000 of them were with repaired guide rails.
To the best of our knowledge, this makes this engine the longest-running one with structural repair to the columns (A-frame) or bedplate carried out by metal stitching.
The permanent repair done in 2006 involved the installation of stitching pins and locks from Lock-N-Stitch to repair a 660 mm long crack. The crack was located in a 13 mm thick steel plate in the gear column of the 6-cylinder, 48-bore two-stroke engine.
The vessel remains in service and we continue to monitor it. Not because we have even the slightest doubt about the quality or durability of the repair, but because she is a living testament to the permanence of our metal stitching repairs.