No need to replace Ecospeed after twelve years in ice

When icebreaking research vessel Laura Bassi docked in Italy earlier this year, only touch-ups were applied to the underwater hull coating. Even though the hull was originally coated with Ecospeed twelve years ago, there was no need for a full repaint. A truly remarkable result that further reinforces Ecospeed’s ability to withstand the harshest ice conditions for years on end.

Back in 2009 when the coating was first applied, the ship was still called Ernest Shackleton. It was built in 1999 as the Polar Queen and was deployed in the Antarctic before being acquired and renamed by The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in 1999.

In ten seasons operating RRS Ernest Shackleton with an Ecospeed coating, BAS had to touch-up Ecospeed only in areas of mechanical damage and carry out minor repairs around the bow, the most susceptible area to ice impact. Based on their experience with the Ernest Shackleton and sister vessel James Clark Ross (coated in 2015), BAS selected Ecospeed for the newbuild polar research ship Sir David Attenborough.

Different name, same lasting protection

OGS (Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale) acquired Ernest Shackleton in 2019. They renamed her Laura Bassi in honor of the first woman to earn a professorship in physics at a university and the first woman in the world to be appointed to a university chair in a scientific field of studies.

After its first Antarctic mission for OGS the ship is still protected by the Ecospeed coating as it has been for the last 12 years. Mr. Rosario Martino, Naval Architect & Marine Engineer for the vessel’s ship managers, ARGO s.r.l. said: “It was impressive to see the Ecospeed paint in an excellent condition even after so many years of service. We have performed only touch-ups in the bow area affected by the impacts with the ice layer.”

He added: “When Laura Bassi returned from her first Arctic campaign, during which she encountered quite a few icy areas, it was clear that the Ecospeed paint did its job impeccably.”


The number one consideration in a hull coating for ice-going vessels and icebreakers is the ability of the coating to protect the hull in the harshest marine environment there is.

Ecospeed will hold up and will not be damaged in the ice and so will remain smooth for the life of the vessel. Even if minor repairs are needed in drydock, the original quality of the coating remains intact. N/R Laura Bassi is a great example of this. We are proud to have protected the vessel for the last 12 years and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Contact us for more information or an estimate for Ecospeed for your ice-going ships.

+32 3 213 5318

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