Blog – Paintings and Coatings

Walker Stalker Cruise: Not Dead in the Water

In a zombie apocalypse, you might seek safety on board a ship, surrounded by the ocean’s protective waves. But as any ardent viewer of The Walking Dead knows, the dead can still swim (sort of). Even the seas aren’t immune to a zombie invasion, it seems.

Rather than fleeing in terror, however, fans of the show are embracing the seafaring dead by voluntarily taking a cruise with them.

Being trapped on a ship with zombies sounds like something straight out of, well, a TV show. For thousands of fans, it’s the main draw of the annual Walker Stalker Cruise, where passengers can rub elbows with their favorite zombie-killing stars—not to mention a few walking corpses.

 Gives new meaning to the phrase “dead in the water,” doesn’t it?

What keeps zombies afloat?

Many viewers were shocked to learn that in the Walking Dead universe, zombies can pose a threat even in the ocean. They don’t actually swim so much as lumber through the water, but they’re more mobile than, say, a sailboat with no wind.

Which, by the way, is where the saying “dead in the water” comes from. It’s a nautical phrase that originally referred to a sailing vessel stuck at sea on a windless day. With no breeze to fill their sales, ships were left motionless until the winds picked up again.

Now that ships are propelled by powerful engines, the saying has taken on a broader meaning. Today’s marine vessels can be left dead in the water if an important component of the ship fails, compromising its seaworthiness. Such failures can run the gamut, from engine malfunction to hull deterioration.

For both the living and dead passengers aboard the Walker Stalker Cruise, protecting the ship from water damage plays a key role in keeping everyone afloat. Between the constant moisture and exposure to the elements, conditions at sea can be rough enough even without the walking dead. Preventive maintenance such as surface preparation and coating for cruise ships creates a crucial line of defense against corrosion and other damage so they don’t have to worry about dangers such as a compromised hull—something that can leave a ship genuinely dead in the water.

Staying safe at sea—even with zombies

Just because zombies can swim doesn’t mean they find conditions at sea ideal. The marine environment can be just as aggressive as the hungry dead, eating through steel and other ship materials. They can also interfere with proper surface preparation and coating for the marine industry.

The protective coating used on cruise ships and other marine vessels needs carefully controlled conditions during the application, drying and curing phases. Otherwise, high humidity and temperature fluctuations will prevent the coating from sticking, which can lead to premature failure and, ultimately, corrosion. For example:

  • Air temperatures affect how fast surface coatings dry and cure. If it’s too warm, the application can dry too quickly and crack. In cooler temperatures, they can take too long to dry. Most manufacturers recommend air temperatures between 56°F and 99°F.
  • Surface temperatures are also important, since substrates absorb heat during the day and release it at night. These changes can cause condensation to form, which can lead to pinholing, blistering and cratering. A vessel’s surface temperature should be at least 5°F warmer than the dew point temperature.
  • Relative humidity affects drying and curing. Too much moisture in the air extends drying times, which can undermine the performance and durability of surface coatings. Most manufacturers recommend keeping humidity levels below 85 percent.
  • Wind at speed higher than 15 miles per hour can accelerate the rate at which solvents evaporate during the curing process, which can also compromise the integrity of the protective coating.

Since most shipyards are subject to lots of moisture, wind and temperature variations, maintenance crews often rely on temporary climate control solutions to maintain the ideal environment for surface preparation and coating. Polygon helps ships stay afloat by offering temporary humidity control services such as heater and dehumidifier rentals to enable fast and effective coating applications at any time of the year.

Polygon’s state-of-the-art climate control solutions enable shipyards to repair or repaint even in the harshest winters. From desiccant dehumidifiers that keep condensation in check during surface blasting to indirect fired heaters that create the correct temperatures for coatings to cure, Polygon offers a complete suite of climate control equipment for any job.

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