Sometimes the fun of a job lies in the challenge, the kind of job where you get to show off a little versatility to go along with your expertise. We’ve completed numerous ship-painting jobs at Thomas Industrial Coatings, along with just about any other vessel worthy of a good marine coating, but the Motor Vessel Dan Jaworski presented a unique set of challenges, the kind of challenges that ultimately made the job a memorable one.

The job

“Time is money” goes the old cliché. Chances are that saying has stuck around because it’s often true. For that reason, when many marine captains dry-dock their vessels for mechanical overhauls, “repowers” as they’re often called, they use that time spent off the water to apply a shiny new marine coating application.

The owner of the Dan Jaworski, knowing full well that time spent on the dry dock is time not spent pushing barges on the river, decided not to take his vessel out of commission for the five to six months usually necessary to perform a complete repower. Instead, he contacted a Thomas crew working in the area hoping to have his vessel recoated and back on the river quickly.

In order for the vessel to make it to Louisville’s famous “Derby Days,” an opportunity for the Ohio Marine Industry to show off the towboats that make up the pride and joy of their fleet, the work would need to be completed in a mere 20 days.

The execution

Containing the vessel is the first step in a ship painting operation. Once that was completed, crews began UHP water jetting the exterior in preparation for the application of 420 gallons of epoxy. Next, an outer layer of 520 gallons of acrylic polyurethane was added. The eave was painted green to reduce the glare for the pilot, and yellow safety striping was painted along deck perimeters, hatch openings, tie downs and stair treads. The finishing touches on the exterior were decals signaling the vessels name and company logos.

After coating the exterior of the Jaworski, Thomas crews began water jetting on the mechanical rooms, including the shaft alley, generator room, rudder room and the engine room. The piping on the entire ship was color coded according to the contents contained within. All these features were coated with the understanding that, although time was short, damage to these mechanical parts could require hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of repair.

Finally, crews began work on the two-leveled interior and pilothouse. This portion of the project was complicated by the fact that the ship was still acting as home to the ten members of the ship’s crew who reside there for a large portion of the year. Both crews collaborated throughout the interior painting portion of the job to move furniture and personal belongings between rooms in order to complete the work by the deadline.

The result

After 2,000 man-hours and 20 days the Dan Jaworski was on the water once more. The job was completed safely and on time, allowing the vessel to take its place among the other barges on the Ohio River to celebrate “Derby Days,” proudly sporting its new paint job.

Thomas Industrial Coatings was awarded a Finishing Touch Award for their ship painting work on the Dan Jaworski.


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