Page 71: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (May 2019)

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Sea Skipper High-Pressure Fire and Salvage Pump

After working with the Royal Australian Navy for several years, a small Australian pump manufacturer – Sydney-based Australian Pump

Industries – which works on both the naval and commercial side of ma- rine, developed a high-pressure ? re and salvage pump dubbed the Sea

Skipper, designed speci? cally for seawater applications.

While engaged in maintenance work on Australia’s FFG ? eet, Aussie

Pumps’ Chief Engineer, John Hales, saw workboats using commercial grade, agricultural style, self-priming centrifugal diesel powered pumps for seawater applications.

“You can imagine the condition the pumps were in,” said Hales. “Some of them had cast iron impellers and aluminum bodies. Fasteners were cad plated steel. Engines were not specially treated in any way to protect them from rust,” he said.

After a short time at sea, the pumps suffered severe corrosion and were unserviceable for one reason or another. The pumps with cast iron impellers and vo-

John Hales has work extensively with the Royal lutes, even though they may have had marine grade

Australian Navy on major ship aluminum bodies, were never ? ushed out with fresh availabilities. The Sea Skipper water after use. is his idea of being able to

After two or three months of being idle, those solve real ? re? ghting at sea/ pumps had their impellers and volutes ‘joined at salvage issues where lives are the hip.’ “In an emergency, that’s the last thing you at stake.

need,” said Hales.

The company moved into high gear to ? gure out

Aussie Pump’s has devel- oped corrosion free high how they could take their own commercial agricul- pressure ? re and salvage tural high-pressure ? re pumps, and turn them into pumps speci? cally designed to seawater pumps. The standard product was devel- handle seawater applications oped for ? ghting bush? res in Australia’s sweltering (ideal for tugs, barges, trawlers summer seasons.

and even patrol boats).

First, the company started working with powder coating the bodies inside and out. Finally they real-

Image: Australian Pump Industries ized that the only way to provide a solution, was to go to cast bronze impellers and volutes, 316 stainless steel fasteners and ? tting zinc anodes.

The project evolved over a period of years, step by step, until the com- pany had produced the ? nal version of what they christened the Sea

Skipper Fire Chief.

The pump delivers a 450 lpm ? ow and heads of up to 50 meters, equal- ing 100 psi pressure The pumps, already proven in bush? re ? ghting with Australian National Parks and ? re? ghting authorities, are designed to have excellent self-priming characteristics.

The hydraulics of the big belly body on the pump allows a vertical suction lift 7.6m (25 ft.). Compared to other diesel pumps, they are light weight so are a two man lift, and they come with hot dipped galvanized carry frames, available in both recoil and electric start.

The L48 4.8hp Yanmar diesel provides loads of power and the pumps are remarkably ef? cient. Not only the Australian government uses the

Aussie Pump product range but, other navies throughout the world, in- cluding the French, Indian, Bangladesh and Sri Lankan are gradually standardizing on the Sea Skipper range.

The Fire Chief Sea Skipper is the ? agship product and is designed for ? re? ghting at sea and salvage rescue work. The company is working on the production of bigger pumps in the Sea Skipper con? guration that will handle ? ows of up to 1,800 lpm and suction lifts of over 8m.

“We’re getting enquiries now from around the world for a bronze impeller and volute trash pump that can be used for cleaning out oily bilges. That’s a new project for us and we’re just trying to evaluate the market potential,” said Hales.

Images: Aussie Pumps 71

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