Safeguarding Vessel Safety at Sea: Unleashing the Power of Ultrasonic Hatch Cover Testing with Portascanner® WATERTIGHT PLUS!

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Safety at sea is a paramount concern for the maritime industry, and one crucial aspect of ensuring vessel safety is maintaining the watertight integrity of ships. Among the various elements that contribute to the safety of a vessel, hatch covers play a vital role in safeguarding cargo, crew, and the overall stability of the ship. 

By embracing ultrasonic testing, the industry reinforces safety, stability, and environmental protection. Vessels equipped with well-maintained hatch covers are better prepared for challenging sea conditions, instilling confidence in shipowners and crew alike. A proactive approach secures a safer and reliable maritime future. 

in pic: Chalk Test being performed on board

in pic: Hose Test being performed on board

Importance of Securing Vessel Hatch Covers: 

Vessel hatch covers act as protective barriers between the cargo holds and the external environment, be it rough seas, heavy rain, or salty spray. These covers are designed to keep water and other external elements from entering the cargo holds, thereby preventing potential cargo damage, preserving the ship’s stability, and ensuring the safety of the crew. A properly secured hatch cover ensures that the ship maintains its structural integrity, preventing any undue stresses on the hull and maintaining buoyancy. 

However, hatch covers are subject to various stresses and strains during the voyage, including the weight of stacked cargo, the motion of the ship, and changes in temperature and pressure. Over time, wear and tear can compromise the watertight seals, leading to potential leakages. It is, therefore, essential to conduct regular inspections and maintenance of hatch covers to identify any weaknesses or defects early on and take corrective measures promptly. 

Ultrasonic Testing of Hatch Covers: 

Traditional methods of inspecting hatch covers, such as hose testing, visual checks, or chalk tests, may not always provide accurate results or identify small flaws that could lead to leakages. Ultrasonic testing has emerged as a highly effective and reliable technique for inspecting the watertight integrity of hatch covers and other sealed compartments. 

Ultrasonic testing utilizes high-frequency sound waves to penetrate the structure being tested. When there is a gap or damage to the seal of the structure, ultrasound signal passes through the defect that is detector by the ultrasonic receiver, allowing the operator to identify and locate potential leaks or defects. This non-destructive testing method is sensitive enough to detect even minor flaws, such as small holes, corrosion, or damaged gaskets, ensuring a comprehensive inspection. 

By employing ultrasonic testing, marine professionals can accurately assess the condition of hatch covers and make informed decisions about necessary repairs or replacements. This proactive approach significantly reduces the risk of water ingress, cargo damage, and safety hazards, ensuring that the vessel remains seaworthy and reliable throughout its operational life. 

Hatch Cover Testing Banner

Ultrasonic Hatch Cover Tester – Portascanner® WATERTIGHT PLUS: 

Coltraco Ultrasonics, a renowned leader in ultrasonic technology, has developed the Portascanner® WATERTIGHT PLUS, a cutting-edge ultrasonic watertight integrity indicator designed explicitly for inspecting watertight structures and hatch covers. Building on the success of its predecessor, the Portascanner® WATERTIGHT, this advanced version offers unparalleled accuracy and versatility in detecting leaks and flaws. The instrument’s user-friendly display and intuitive design make it easy for any operator to use, with minimal training required. 

in pic: Portascanner® WATERTIGHT PLUS Main Unit and Generator

in pic: Portascanner® WATERTIGHT PLUS in the box

Advantages of Coltraco Ultrasonics’ Portascanner® WATERTIGHT PLUS: 
  • Unbeatable Accuracy: The Portascanner® WATERTIGHT PLUS can detect holes as small as 0.06 mm, ensuring precise identification of weaknesses in hatch covers.  
  • Three Intelligent Operational Modes: With three testing modes, including a specific mode for hatch cover testing, operators have greater control and precision during inspections, resulting in reliable and actionable data.  
  • Multi-Directional 5-Transducer Variable Gain Generator: This innovative feature allows for optimized testing, enabling marine professionals to work on structures of various sizes, from large cargo holds to tight compartments, with greater flexibility and efficiency.  
  • Flexible Sensor Wand: The Portascanner® WATERTIGHT PLUS is equipped with a flexible sensor wand, facilitating testing in challenging and hard-to-reach places, such as multiple cable transit (MCT) areas, ensuring a comprehensive inspection. 


Securing vessel hatch covers is a critical aspect of maritime safety, ensuring the integrity of cargo holds and the overall stability of the ship. Ultrasonic testing has revolutionized the inspection process by providing accurate and efficient results without causing any damage. With the Portascanner® WATERTIGHT PLUS from Coltraco Ultrasonics, marine professionals have access to a cutting-edge tool that offers unbeatable accuracy, versatility, and user-friendliness. By utilizing this advanced technology, we can enhance the safety of vessels, protect precious cargo, and ensure the well-being of everyone on board. 

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Coltraco Ultrasonics
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