Voith Propels Two New Long Beach Fireboats

Friday, August 09, 2013
Voith Schneider Propeller

Voith will provide Voith Schneider Propellers and turbo couplings for two fireboats designed by Robert Allan Ltd. for the Port of Long Beach, U.S. With a water pumping capacity of more than 40,000 gallons per minute they will be among the world's most powerful fireboats.

With a total of 10 monitors, each of the two identical fireboats is able to throw more than 40,000 gallons of water per minute. The water jets reach a height of up to 236 feet and a distance of up to 580 feet. Both fireboats will be in operation in the Port of Long Beach, California, where they replace the two older fireboats Liberty and Challenger.

The vessels are currently being built by the Foss Maritime shipyard in Seattle. Delivery to the Long Beach port authority is scheduled for spring 2014 and autumn 2014 respectively.

Both vessels have an overall length of approx. 108 feet, a beam of 35 feet and a draft of 14 feet. They are designed for an operating speed of 13 knots. The design is based on the Voith Water Tractor principle and has proven its worth in the Port of Los Angeles. The fireboats will be equipped with two Voith Schneider Propellers VSP 26GII/165 AE45 each in the forward half of the vessel. The relatively short VSP blade length of 5.4 feet makes it possible for the fireboats to enter shallow areas of the port without compromising maneuvering safety. The vessels can therefore also support onshore firefighting.

For each fireboat, the Voith scope of supply includes not only two VSP but also two 866 DTL Voith turbo couplings as well as a twin control stand unit. Its positioning in the wheelhouse is such that the captain and crew benefit from a 360 degree panorama view. Two diesel engines, each with a power of 1,350 kW, drive the VSP.

Two of the total of four fire pumps are driven by the diesel engines which supply propulsion power to the VSP. When fighting a fire, the VSP propulsion power is limited to approximately 25%; the remaining 75% are available to the fire pumps as pumping power. This allows the fireboats to be positioned fuel-efficiently using the VSP while at the same time increasing the vessels' pumping power without requiring additional engines. As the VSP pitch can be altered, the fireboats can operate efficiently and safely under all operating conditions.

The Port of Long Beach is the second largest port in the U.S. Every year innumerable container vessels with goods in excess of $100 billion are unloaded here. The main imports include not only electronic devices, furniture and clothes but first and foremost crude oil. The main export items are refined mineral oil and chemicals.

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