Day 4: Perfect Weather to Repaint the Bulwark

On the fourth day of the voyage of the Bulgarian research military ship Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii to the Bulgarian Antarctic base on Livingston Island, favourable weather conditions in the Aegean Sea allowed the crew to refresh the paint on the bulwark (the fence at the end of the outer deck), as well as part of the deck spaces. The ship is sailing between the Greek islands of Evia and Andros, heading its first stop on her route, in the Spanish port city of Cartagena.

The bulwark, the bay and the deck spaces around the bridge are painted with a two-component marine paint tinted with black to achieve the navy grey colour chosen by the military command when the ship was refurbished earlier in 2022. A 20-litre container is thinned with 1.2 litres of black to achieve the desired colour. Sometimes a little blue can be added, Chief Petty Officer Simeon Slavov, told BTA.

The composition of the marine paint is meant to preserve the surfaces for as long as possible from the rust and corrosion, which are inevitable in sea conditions. It is important to use a thinner and/or hardener in the paint. Thicker paint is used for harder-to-reach small areas as well as those that flake more frequently. There, a thicker coat of paint needs to be applied to prevent rust.

The paint is first thinned with thinner, and then hardener is added to make it dry faster. Otherwise, the drying time can last for several days, which would make it difficult for the crew to perform its duties, he explained.

Painting deck surfaces is key to extend the life of the metal longer. When the condition of a metal element deteriorates too much, that element is replaced entirely.

Floor surfaces are primed prior to refinishing. Heavily soiled parts are washed beforehand. 

Three months prior to leaving for Antarctica, a new coat of paint was applied to most of the deck, but cargo handling before the voyage caused minimal damage to the paint.

Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii is on a historic voyage to Livingston Island to support the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition. The voyage to the Bulgarian Antarctic base on the island is expected to take about 40 days.

By 15:11 on 21.04.2024 Today`s news

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