Ship Repairers and Environmental Liabilities

Ship Repairers and Environmental Liabilities

Ship builders and repairers are no strangers to toxic chemicals and practices that pollute the environment. While it’s not feasible to eliminate all of these environmental liabilities, extreme precautions and awareness can minimize the damage done. Marine wildlife and people can be adversely affected by these pollutants, which is why your clients need to carry Ship Repairer Insurance program. The following four practices should be handled with extreme care.

Engine repair.

A huge component of ship repairers is engine work. When working on these machines, it’s important for ship repairers to take extreme caution and go to great lengths to discard oils, solvents, and old fuel.


Toxic chemicals in paints can leak into the surrounding waters, causing wildlife to suffer as well as contaminating the marina. In addition, the chemicals released into the atmosphere from these paints are toxic to the environment.

Paints and other preservative coatings may contain toxic and flammable materials such as hydrocarbon solvents (e.g., Toluene and MEK), epoxy resins, and anti-fouling paints. Surface coating applications may release large quantities of these materials into the air, causing possible fire and explosion hazards as well as toxic inhalation and skin absorption hazards, says OSHA.

Anti-fouling paints.

Anti-fouling paints are used to prevent sea life, such as barnacles and algae, from attaching themselves to the hull of the boat. However, these chemicals that are added to paint to kill living organisms, known as organotins, seep into the water and disrupt the marine ecosystem. These chemicals are bioaccumulative, which means they will remain in the water and make their way up the food chain, damaging more and more.

Material usage and storage.

Repairing ships requires the use and storage of hazardous substances including paints, oils, solvents, detergents, fuel, and more. Because of their potential to harm, these chemicals have to be properly stored to prevent leakage, theft, and explosions.

About Merrimac Marine Insurance, LLC

At Merrimac Marine Insurance, LLC, we understand the broad scope of risks involved with operating a ship repair facility. We specialize in providing solutions for the marine industry to protect your clients’ assets, property, and business. For more information about our offerings, contact us today at 888.344.1687.