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Ship Launching Airbags, the best ship launching method?

Launching a ship is the most important process in ship construction. It not done right, it erases all the hard work building the ship itself. Sometimes, people take ship launching for granted and it came as no surprise that many ship launching projects fail due to negligence.

MAX Turkey 2007 ShiplaunchPenang shiplaunch max airbags

A table for some of the most popular ship launching method comparisons:





Oiled Slideway Launching

(Longitudinal & Side)

Low costs.

Dangerous as front part of the ship undergoes huge pressure. The immediate drop into water also might cause collision with the bottom of the river/sea. Many accidents happen for especially side ship launching.

Oil used will pollute the water.

Roller Slideway Launching

Initial installation costs are high.



MAX Ship Launching Airbags

Very cost-effective. Ship launching airbags can be re-used many times & usually has a lifespan of 5-8 years.

Safe. MAX Ship launching airbags provide support to the hull of the ship and aids its launching motion into the water.


Dry Dock Floating-Out Launching

Initial investment is extremely high.



Mechanical Type Launching

(With mechanical features)

The construction and maintenance for mechanical features are extremely high.

Risky, and only for smaller vessels. You can see many accidents happen for this type of ship launching.



If you are still using oiled slideway ship launching, it may be time to consider a more eco-friendly and safe ship launching method.

If you are launching your ship with dry dock float-out method, consider whether it is necessary for such a huge initial investment for your vessel. The float-out method is great for massive ships (more than 15,000DWT ships) but for ships with a DWT of less than 10,000 tonnes, ship launching airbags can help launch the vessel with relative ease. For those more than 10,000 tonne DWT ship launches, careful projection and a professional team’s assistance may be required. Still, it is usually much more cost-effective than dry dock ship launching. Rubber air bag vessel launching is a much preferred option especially popular in South East Asia, though it is already picking up momentum in many other regions like Europe and North America.

Airbag Ship Launching. Cheaper than dry dock launching, more eco-friendly than oiled slipway launching. Tweet this!

pneumatic rubber roller launch

You can read our extensive guide to learn more about the methodology of advising usage of pneumatic rollers (a.k.a. rubber marine airbags) for ship launching, repair and salvage operations.

Do you experience a short lifespan for your marine products like ship launching airbags? Deal with a supplier who is slow in responding and service? Or did you pay extremely high prices for an average quality product that often fails you? 83% of our global clients claim that these are the problems that made them search for a better alternative and subsequently worked with us since.


MAX is known for our products’ great quality-to-price ratio and responsive customer serviceMoreover, from our global sales office to manufacturing plants, we are committed to ‘Go Green‘ for the environment. Drop us an email and we will assist!

Here’s what makes our airbags special:

MAX Groups Marine has launched various types of vessels in 6 continents using marine airbag technology. For more info of our projects, visit <http://max-groups.com/projects/>

View all our products at our Product Page HERE.

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