Propeller Polishing & Cleaning

Have you heard of the term propeller polishing as a part of the underwater maintenance of ships? It is a field that is, usually not given much importance, unless you own a ship or really understand the various facets of the segment. As a first time owner or someone new to the field and marine industry, you may see only the above water parts and beauty of a ship, without considering the various ways in which underwater cleaning and underwater maintenance ensure that the ship remains optimal in health and sanctity. One of the major aspects of underwater cleaning is propeller polishing as it ensures that the underwater ship propeller, one of the most important parts of the ship’s mechanism, is maintained in the best possible condition and shape.

The propeller is a mechanical device attached to the lower part of a ship and this device consists of a revolving shaft with two or more broad, angled blades attached to it. It is imperative that the ship’s propeller be in good shape as, otherwise, it can lose out of propulsion speed and the capability to remain secure against the impact of the sea. Propeller polishing is important as it removes all the calcium deposits, immature barnacles and tubeworms or other biofouling material stuck to the propellers, thus enhancing propulsion efficiency significantly and making the vessel sea-ready. Underwater ship propellers can be cleaned and reconditioned using a small rotating disk which conforms to the complex shapes of the blades without causing any damage to the surface. Further, propeller polishing could also involve smoothening or repair of all surface damages.

Ship propeller polishing

As a frontrunner in the field of propeller polishing and propeller repairs, Nereus Subsea understands that underwater ship propellers require consistent and regular care to ensure the best possible results for the vessel. Since the propeller is usually an unpainted part located at the stern of the ship, underwater ship propellers accumulate marine biofouling elements quicker than the hull. With the months spent at sea, the propeller becomes extremely grimy and might require propeller super polishing to return it to optimal efficiency and health. If the issue is not handled in time, it might even lead to excessive engine slip. More complex and effective than simple propeller polishing, Nereus Subsea’s excellent and specialised propeller super polishing enhances the quality and health of propellers significantly and we recommend that it be undertaken once every six months to ensure that your vessel is in the most optimal condition possible.

Propeller polishing standard

Do you know when to conduct propeller polishing for optimal results? Many vessels have a standard maintenance programme to ensure that the health of the ship is maintained at all costs. Underwater cleaning and underwater maintenance should, ideally, be conducted every six to twelve months, depending on the usage and age of the ship and Nereus Subsea’s expert and professional team is ever ready to help you with these requirements. It is easier to polish the propeller when the ship is docked but if that is not possible, underwater ship propeller maintenance is something you should consider.

The second method is the powered rotary brush cleaning system, which uses mechatronics equipment, especially for large vessels. In such scenarios, large brush devices are preferred for quickly cleaning flat or slightly curved areas of the hull, and small brushes are utilised for better results when cleaning the propeller. Bigger vessels might even choose a combination of multiple brushes for best results.

Thirdly, there is the simple cleaning tactic, where unpowered cleaning brushes are used to frequently remove deposits from the surface of ships. This is done manually and routinely to ensure that the surface remains clean and healthy. It is also simpler than the other two methods but cannot be used for larger surfaces or for harder coats of biofouling agents.

Finally, under the contactless underwater cleaning method, there are techniques like high-pressure water jet method, the cavitation water jet method, and the ultrasonic cleaning method. These methods are known to be highly effective and they cause minimal damage to the vessel, as long as they are used properly, and by experienced professionals.

As experts in the arena and armed with years of experience, Nereus Subsea undertakes a complete evaluation of your underwater hull cleaning requirements before suggesting the best method for your needs. You can trust that we have your best interest at heart, always.


What are the advantages of contacting Nereus Subsea for your propeller polishing requirements?

  • Well, there is no doubting the fact that the ship’s propeller is one of the most important elements of the entire vessel.

  • If you do not maintain its health and security, your vessel could lose energy and power, thus lowering engine health and also costing you more in repairs, down the line.

Ship propeller polishing
  • This is why it is important that you undertake regular underwater cleaning and maintenance of your ship propellers

  • Further, having a set routine will allow you to minimize fuel wastage on account of propeller roughness and fouling.

  • If you wait too long between propeller polishing sessions, your propeller will get damaged and the hard-core polishing required will also lead to some loss of health.
  • Optimal solutions include working out a routine which enables rapid, easy, and economical propeller cleaning and Nereus Subsea can help you in this regard.

  • If you undertake regular underwater cleaning and maintenance, your ship’s propellers won’t require extreme polishing, meaning that it will always boast a smooth, fuel-efficient surface.


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