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On-Site Machining Solution Restores Badly Worn Rudder Stock


While in drydock in the Bahamas, after removal of the rudderstock, Ultraship discovered heavy corrosion on the rudder stock bearing surface which required an immediate repair to return to operation. The customer contacted Goltens to review the damage and advise on whether a permanent repair could be completed on-site in the Bahamas.

Goltens reviewed the damage and proposed a repair process that involved machining away the damaged area, building up the shaft with welding and annealing and final machining to the specified dimensions.

  • Pre-machining to remove damage from rudder stock

    Pre-machining to remove damage from rudder stock

  • Weld build up of rudderstock shaft per approved procedure

    Weld build up of shaft per approved procedure

  • Rudderstock welding completed prior to annealing

    Pre-annealing machining welding build up

  • Installation of Annealing tiles for heat treatment

    Installation of Annealing tiles

  • Insulation applied over annealing tiles for heat treatment of welded section of rudderstock

    Insulation applied over annealing tiles for heat treatment of weld

  • Machining rudderstock to final diameter of 385.01mm

    Machining to final diameter of 385.01mm

  • Finished surface of rectified rudderstock prior to hand polishing

    Finished surface prior to hand polishing


Goltens fabricated custom machining rings for installation and machining of the rudder stock. In-Situ specialists mounted carried out an initial removal of 10.00 mm off the diameter to create a reference point for the machining of the running surface. After removal, all in place machining tools were installed to remove the damaged material. Goltens removed an additional 6.00mm to clean the surface of all corrosion/pitting prior to welding.


Utilizing the welding procedures written and approved by Class for the project, Goltens’ welders built up machined area to a level that would allow machining to original diameter. Once the buildup was completed, Goltens’ team installed ceramic pads and insulation and completed annealing of the welded area to relieve the stress in the welded area prior to machining.


After successful annealing, Goltens’ In-Situ team remounted journal cutting tools and machined the working area to final size. The surface was then polished by hand to final required surface finish with a final diameter of 386.10mm.


The successful on-site machining repair for the vessel’s rudderstock was completed over a 12-day period. Another example of how Goltens’ in-place machining capabilities limit cost and downtime for operators.

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