Thordon Bearings Marks 20 Years of COMPAC

Grand PRincess

Thordon Bearings announced it will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its first ever water-lubricated shaft installations on cruise ships.

This May will mark twenty-years since Thordon Bearings’ water-lubricated propeller shaft bearings were first installed onboard Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess and Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic, the company said.

"Since those very first installations, the sector has become a major proponent of the conventional water-lubricated propeller shaft design, with 32 ocean-going cruise ships currently operating the Thordon system and 11 more on order," said the company, in a prepared statement. 

Commenting on the sector’s adoption of the technology, Thordon Bearings’ President and Chief Executive Officer Terry McGowan, said: “Environmental protection is of course high on the list of priorities for cruise ship owners, but system reliability, reduced operational expenditure and maintenance are other key factors influencing the purchasing decision.”

“During their years of continuous service, neither Grand Princess nor Disney Magic, or for that matter, any other cruise ship operating Thordon’s water lubricated propeller shaft systems, have experienced downtime, cancellations or changes to cruise itineraries due to bearing failure, which cannot be said of other propulsion arrangements.”

While the original bearings on the Grand Princess were replaced like-for-like during a major refit in December 2016, after 18.5 years of continuous service, the Disney ship continues to operate with the original polymer bearings to this day, the company said.

Andy Wright, Fleet Operations Director, Technical Operations, Princess Cruises, said: “During the vessel’s scheduled drydocking in 2013, class surveyors found the COMPAC bearings to be still fit for purpose but recommended changing them at the next drydocking in 2019. We decided to replace all four bearings in 2016 during Grand’s extensive refit at the Vigor floating dock in Portland, Oregon. 

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