Orders & Innovation Drive Propulsion Gear Manufacturers
Using recent orders—recieved and fulfilled—and technical innovation as a barometer, MR/EN has found that propulsion gear manufacturers, in general, have been busy in efforts to tweak product and service performance.
Drawing definitive conclusions or defining trends encompassing the broad universe of propulsion gear manufacturers would be presumptuous at best; inaccurate at worst. Instead, please read on to discover the moves manufacturers have made lately to optimize product performance.
For additional technical information on a particular manufacturer's product line, please circle the appropriate number on the Reader Service Card bound in this issue. For a complete listing of manufacturers and corresponding circle numbers, refer to the box on page 37.
Thrusters & Water Jets Lips Jets, 100 percent owned by Lips BV of The Netherlands, engineers, markets and produces high quality water jet systems. Lips Jets' range covers the complete market demand, with units designed and built to match a shipyard's or operator's specifications. This level of customization is possible, thanks to a few special features on the units, including the location in-board of the thrust bearings, the proven cavitation characteristics of the adopted pump and the reportedly easy-to-use control system.
Lips waterjets are fabricated by welding in AISI 316 L stainless steel plates, a process which allows a light and resistant construction. Lips Jets is focused on fast passenger and car ferries on the commercial side, as well as naval ships and the leisure market.
MJP Waterjets' J500S-DD double drive propulsion system was shown by the Swedish Coast Guard to power 10 new vessels, which are being built by Karlskronavarvet in Sweden. MJP has previous experience supplying waterjet propulsion systems to the British Navy, the U.S. Army and Danish Farvandsvaesendet. The units were reportedly chosen for their efficiency in both forward and reverse, and the unit's patented flexible shaft coupling, which allows the drive shaft to flex without disturbing the tip clearance of the impeller blades. This arrangement allows the drive shaft to be directly mounted to the engine-mounted gearbox without the need of cardan shafts or support bearings.
MJP will deliver 10 complete shipsets of J500S-DD jet propulsion systems, including intakes, hydraulics and remote control system RMC-DD. The order is reportedly the largest placed for jet propulsion systems from a Swedish yard during the decade, and the order includes an option for three more shipsets during 1996.
Hamilton water jets are available to match most gasoline, highspeed diesel and gas turbine engines up to 3,000 kW. The Hamilton Jet series of water jets is available in the HJ, HS and HM series models, for vessels of all different hull structures and sizes. The HJ series is a range of high efficiency, single-stage axial flow units.
Offering a large number of models and impeller rating combinations allows these jets to be directly driven by all common gasoline and marine diesel engines up to 1,200 kW in high speed craft, eliminating the need of a gearbox. The HS series is a range optimized specifically for very high speed craft operating in the 45- to 60-knot speed range. The series features a multi-stage axial flow pump design. The HM series is an extension to the HJ series, is suitable for power inputs up to 3,000- kW, and designed for the propulsion of fast ferries, workboats and patrol boats in the 66- to 164-foot range.
Norway's Brunvoll Thruster has delivered more than 2,500 thruster systems throughout the world since 1965. Brunvoll was the supplier for the Finnyards-built Icebreaker Fennica, a vessel honored as an Outstanding Oceangoing Vessel of 1993 by Maritime Reporter & Engineering News (December, 1993). The company focuses on controllable and fixed-pitch bow and stern thrusters, azimuthing thrusters, complete drive system packages (both diesel electric and hydraulic) and related control systems.
Also featured on the Fennica were Aquamaster-Rauma propulsion units. Known worldwide for its Z-drive and winch systems, Aquamaster-Rauma recently formed a new company on the Gulf Coast to exclusively handle the marketing and distribution of its Aquamaster propulsion and Rauma deck equipment in the U.S. Headquartered in Metairie, La., Aquamaster-Rauma will be responsible for the distribution of Z-drives, ice-strengthened Zdrives and contra-rotating propeller drives.
In addition, the Louisiana-based company will offer Aquamaster- Rauma's experience in vessel design concepts which optimize the propulsion system. Within the last year in the U.S., Aquamaster-Rauma has sold Z-drive systems for a multipurpose tug under construction at Nashville Bridge and the $60-million overnight passenger ship American Queen being built at McDermott Shipyard.
The Nashville Bridge project, the twin screw 6,000-hp tug Kinsman Hawk, will be the most powerful Aquamaster tug delivered to date. Shipwrights Inc. recently unveiled a new Twin Prop bow thruster, a system the manufacturer claims can exceed the effective use of 10-hp in an eight-inch tunnel, and in fact effectively use up to 50-hp in an eight-inch tunnel.
Shipwrights claims that since the system is only about one-fourth the size of that required by systems of comparable power, the openings can be located lower and further forward in most hulls, resulting in greater leverage, while maintaining hull integrity and hydrodynamic efficiency. The tunnels are constructed of GRP composite, aluminum or steel.