Leading water-lubricated bearings and seals innovator Thordon Bearings has completed the installation of its award-winning TG100 tailshaft seals on a twin-screw passenger vessel.
The retrofit took place during a scheduled drydocking at a Chilean yard in October 2023. It is the Canadian company’s first TG100 reference aboard a Chilean operated vessel.
The 17.5m (57ft), 40-person capacity aluminum hulled Rio Yelcho, operated by Puerto Chacabuco-based Nautilus S.A was fitted with a pair of 88.9mm (3.5in) diameter TG100 seals, supplied by Thordon’s authorized distributor for Chile, Productos Servicios e Ingeniería Ltda (PSeI Ltda).
The TG100 is a mechanical face seal specifically designed for workboats, ferries and fishing vessels operating in clean or abrasive waters. The TG100, which replaced a competing shaft seal, marks a first reference for the award-winning TG100 seal aboard Chilean vessel, although Thordon, along with PSeI Ltda, has been working with the vessel operator for several years.
PSeI Ltda Commercial Manager, Andrés Vásquez Gálvez, said: “We have been working with Nautilus, part of the CPT Group, for many years primarily supplying Thordon SXL tailshaft bearings. In 2021, we introduced the TG100 as a substitute for a competitor’s seal. This presented an opportunity to replace the stuffing box in order to modernize the fleet and prolong the time between service periods. Thanks to the trust we’ve built with our customers through our bearing solutions, coupled with our responsive service, the decision to install Thordon’s TG100 seal was an easy one to make. The decision was also reinforced by recommendations from TG100 users throughout the LATAM region.”
Aside from unforeseen expenses associated with unplanned seal maintenance and the challenges in procuring replacement parts due to the absence of a local distributor, the operational profile of the vessel also favoured the adoption of the more robust Thordon sealing solution.
Egnard Bernal, Thordon Bearings’ Business Development Manager – LATAM, furthered: “We are delighted that Nautilus has opted to retrofit Thordon seals to the Rio Yelcho. The order represents our first installation of a TG100 seal in this important market, so we hope other operators will follow their lead. The intention is to convert the entire Nautilus fleet to the advanced shaft sealing system to reduce downtime for their boats. We are excited to announce that we have also secured TG100 seal orders for the Rio Puelo and Rio Pascua.”
Thordon and PSeI are gearing up for increased market demand from the country’s ferry and workboat sectors as operators look to source more reliable and environmentally sustainable propulsion systems, in line with regulatory requirements.
“Thordon’s success in this market will be driven by its ability to not only provide innovative, efficient, and environmentally friendly propeller shaft bearing and seal solutions, but also from having a reliable local suppler and service provider on the ground,” said Vásquez Gálvez.
A pair of Thordon’s TG100 seals installed on the Rio Yelcho
About Thordon Bearings
Thordon Bearings designs and manufactures a complete range of journal bearing and seal systems for marine, clean power generation, pump, and other industrial markets. The bearing systems are manufactured using Thordon proprietary non-metallic polymer materials that are lubricated with water eliminating oil or grease usage, meaning ZERO risk of oil pollution to our rivers, lakes and oceans and elimination of lubricant costs. Thordon systems and bearings are available worldwide through over 70 agents and distributors.