Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts

June 15, 2010

Interview - Neil Young from H4 Marine

PowerYacht gets to chat with H4 Marine boss Neil Young. Based in the United Kingdom, Britain in Devon H4 Marine is the European dealer for three of the most innovative and efficient drive line products around, which are the Seatorque Shaft Boss System, Quickutter rope cutters, and Maritex composite bearings.
Questions PY. PowerYacht, Reply NY – Neil Young

PY. Hello Neil Young good to have you here, tell us more about H4 Marine your company and what kind of services you offer to the boater in the UK and in main land Europe?
NY – Over 4 years ago H4 Marine was set up to source and supply new technologies to boat builders, operators and users. We supply three core products to boat builders, operators and owners: The quicKutter rope/line cutter, Maritex bearings and the Seatorque shaft system. However we will be adding new products in the future so keep an eye on our website!

PY. Get into details about the brands you represent for Europe and the UK.
NY – QuicKutter™ started it all, and it is now proven on commercial as well as high performance vessels, as the most effective and robust debris protection cutter on the market. The RNLI have been using it for 4 years and are now removing a scissor cutter on the Severn class lifeboats to fit the quicKutter. QuicKutter is fitted as standard on all Christensen yachts, and Aqua Star 40’ and 80’ models. We have also supplied them to new Sunseeker, Hardy, Princess, Sessa and Grand Banks boats, as well as many more commercial vessels. Seatorque shaft systems came to work with H4 as the result of them looking for a cutter that would protect the seals from fishing line, without disturbing the smooth water flow achieved by putting the shaft in a tube. The Seatorque system is a complete shaft system with integral thrust bearings allowing the engine to be isolated from thrust forces. It runs the shaft in oil on needle roller and plain journal bearings. The result is more hp at the prop and a very clean water flow delivered to the prop. The user will see a quieter boat with less vibration and also lower fuel burn or engine loads at the same speeds as with a conventional drive. (Having a spinning shaft actually spins the water so that when it arrives at the P bracket it is traveling in a spiral causing some turbulence off the side of the P bracket leg.) Maritex bearings, developed in Perth by the owner of the quicKutter technology, offer a number of advantages in rudder, stern tube and stabiliser applications. For example, Maritex Aquarius is the only bearing material which resists marine growth and helps remove marine growth from the shaft. When vessels are not used for a few weeks in warm waters marine growth can leave abrasive particles which rapidly wear the bearings or shafts. You might also find Maritex bearings in superyacht crane systems where it offers low friction and a longer life whilst working at very high loads. We can machine and ship bearings 7 days a week as is often required in the commercial sector.

PY. Visiting the H4 Marine website it is easily felt a big involvement from your company and products with the professional boating world more then to the leisure one. Why is this so?
NY - I decided to target the commercial boating world with these new products first, as this is where they could really prove how effective, and more importantly how robust they were. If you have a system that is effective and easy to maintain or needs very limited maintenance when the vessel is operating for over 2000 hours a year, you know it will have no problems in a leisure boat for many years.

PY. Do you think this is a problem of cost, marketing or something else?
NY – There is something in that, however, the commercial customers provide a solid base which does not seem to be suffering any downturn, and we are slowly but surely moving into more leisure boat applications. You can expect to see more familiar names using Seatorque and Maritex over the next 12 months, either as an option or as standard fittings. And despite not having targeted the leisure boat market, we have sold several hundred quicKutters to individual owners. Part of this is due to being a supplier to the RNLI, we think.

PY. Which of the brands you represent are you most excited about?
NY – That’s a difficult question; Seatorque will be fitted to some new names in the coming months, giving the opportunity for some more good press and boat trials, which will show how efficient it is. But we are also involved with development trials for a new bearing material that could have applications in several hundred high performance ships. This is effectively a new material. We’ve recently introduced a similar material to the carbon spar makers for use as thrust and sheave bearings on very large carbon rigs for yachts over 100’.

PY. Who are the brands World wide and in Europe using Seatorque so far?
NY – So far in Europe we have Marex, which was reviewed recently by MBM, Van der Heijden a Dutch luxury steel yacht builder and Drettman. Commercially, the Port of London have ordered more pilot boats to be built by Alnmaritec with Seatorque shafts. They are also specified on another pilot boat design for Egypt that will be built in the UK. World wide we have Fleming, Dean Catamarans, Donzi yachts, Ocean yachts, Egg harbour, FandS, R and R. Many of these are US East coast builders as this is where Seatorque was developed.

PY. Which of these brands have used H4Marine knowledge to install the system?
NY – Our knowledge of vessel types and duty cycles as well as the detailed requirements of the system is there to pick up any issues that arise in the early stages. The installation itself is so simple that the standard install manual covers everything boat builders need to know. We can also draw on the experience of Peter Stolper (the inventor) who developed the system when he was building boats. He is able to give detailed technical advice on grp and aluminium construction.

PY. Considering its advantages I am still surprised to see none of the major production boat builders using this. Why do you think is this so.
NY – I think there are three reasons. Firstly, we don’t have the marketing budget of the big green engines and their pod drive options, which on paper look very attractive to customers as well as builders. Secondly, the recent downturn, which has meant a slow down in new product development, and thirdly, I honestly think that some builders want to save money in this area of the boat, as it isn’t seen much and customers have become used to the standard perception of what a smooth quiet boat is. Seatorque sets a new bench mark in terms of smooth, quiet and efficient performance.

PY. Did some of the major most renowned European or British powerboat building brands ever contacted you or expressed interest in Seatorque?
NY – Yes, they’ve also been showing a lot of interest in builders like Fleming - who had visits at Southampton boatshow from other builders looking at the installation.

PY. What efficiency ratings does a Seatorque system versus a standard line shaft drive?
NY – This is a difficult area to give figures on as it is affected by a wide range of factors. Our clearest evidence is when back to back trials were carried out on a twin 2000hp MTU set up. This showed around 5-7% reduction in fuel burn and engine loads on the same props. On the British Motor Boat Monthly test of the Marex, their figures on fuel efficiency are 25% saving over the Fairline Targa 38 at 31knots 30% saving over the Sealine SC35 at 31knots 38% saving over the Nimbus 365 Coupe at 24.5knots 50% saving over the Corvette 320 at 25knots It’s always difficult to compare different boat and drive options but these were boats MBM felt were representative in the current market against a 7 tonne 11.37m aft cabin cruiser.

PY. And versus the modern pods how do you compare?
NY – We should have some figures soon, but on paper the mechanics say we have a more efficient way to get the drive to the prop, and in terms of hydrodynamics very similar as the legs are quite thick on pods.

PY. Can Seatorque be fitted to an existent boat? And is this complicated to do?
NY – Yes we have had Seatorque retro fitted. The amount of work very much depends on the drive set up and boat design. It’s something any boat yard should be capable of doing though.

PY. How much would a system on a twin 400hp twelve meter motor boat cost?
NY – The cost is, of course, dependant on a number of factors such as length and gearbox reduction as well as hp but as a guide price a recent quote for a 14m boat with twin 575hp D9’s running 2” shafts was just over $14,000 US per boat as a one off. To a production builder fitting them as standard equipment this would be less. In a production environment there will be savings of a few thousand dollars in man hours on the shop floor. There are also savings over the warranty period as boats will not need shaft realignment or checks in this area.

PY. Are also the Maritex bearings easy to install on an existent boat?
NY – Maritex shaft bearings are a straight replacement for rubber or elastomeric shaft bearings and rudder bearings. We use a fitting system that beds the bearing on epoxy rather than press fitting it. This allows you to confirm the alignment of the carrier and stern tube. With the shaft supported you should be able to spin the bearing in the carrier on the shaft. You then simply coat the bearing in epoxy and slide in. Removal is equally simple as the type of epoxy we use softens with heat. Recent trials on some fast 56m vessels with over 6,000hp have shown noticeable reduction in noise and wear.

PY. Now tells us something more about yourself and how you happen to work in the Professional and Leisure marine industry?
NY – I trained as an Engineer back in the late 70’s in Plymouth and always had an active interest in boats and the sea, with yacht racing, windsurfing and surfing. Following a pretty good career in electronics and then telecoms - which meant I spent too much time commuting to London, Paris or Amsterdam, I took some time out and sailed my own yacht on the Atlantic circuit for a couple of years. I had considered running charters and putting my feet up somewhere hot, but I missed working with technology and new innovations (I was involved with some of the latest telecoms technology around 2000 as H4 consulting). So with all that time on my hands exploring new anchorages and covering many ocean miles I started looking for some new developments that were genuinely different, but most importantly were needed, and worked. I discovered the quicKutter™ shaft line/rope cutter and immediately bought one and set up a test rig. The cutter worked and had many advantages over the existing approach to the problem of debris caught by props. This was what started H4 and we have since added Maritex and Seatorque to our product range.

PY. What events does H4 Marine participate and how can one contact your company?
NY – We attend Seaworks in Southampton, which is in June. This year it starts today the 15 June and goes till after tommorow the 17th. You will find us on the quay side at Q6. We also attend METS in Amsterdam.
Email or phone +44(0)1822 852466. Email any urgent requirements as these are picked up or forwarded 7 days a week.
Thank you for your time Neil and best of luck with spreading the message of your unique propulsion products.

June 17, 2008

Interview - Marco Pennesi from Powerboat Endurance Team Metamarine Corse Veneta Marina Racing

PowerYacht presents a special about the Powerboat P1 2008 season interviewing the racers and protagonist of the series in both classes. As a start to these special interviews we talk with Metamarine Corse Veneta Marina Racing, interviewing team boss and driver Marco Pennesi. Metamarine after the third round and sixth race of Malta is in third place in the Evolution Class at 330 points, 100 points away from current class leader and 2007 Champion Fountain Worldwide. The 60 GFN Gibellato boat is also one of the two Evolution boats with diesel power.
Questions PY. PowerYacht, Reply MP - Marco Pennesi

PY. A strong preparation from your side for this season, are you satisfied with the results achieved so far?
MP - Yes we're very satisfied with our boat, we've to tweak it better but we have dominated three Poles, and that's a great satisfaction.

PY. As you point out, you have dominated so far every Power Pole and won a race on the table in Italy, what is missing for the 60 GFN Gibellato to win a race? Is it really as the rumors say a fuel weight problem?
MP - We have no fuel problem rather we noticed a low fuel consumption on our boat. The bad start was caused by a not well working engine.

PY. Yes the bad starts have also been a characteristic of Gibellato so far, with some people arguing the fact that if boat 60 goes up well at the start it can win the race. Are these rumors correct? When one notes that you have the opportunity to choose your lane as Power Pole winners, giving another advantage. What is has been the problem at the start?
MP - We have no problem with the start, we won every pole position so our boat can win every race. Our boat just need an engine tweak cause we're the only one using such kind of Seatek engine, and there's some work to do in order to fix the sx turbo-charged engine.

PY. Rumor has it that 60 GFN Gibellato prefers the rough sea thanks to the diesel power, 46 feet size and extra weight. But once the race gets going it seems not to be much difference as was the case in Italy with not much of waves in there. What type of weather suits best to the boat and what is your preference?
MP - The 60 GFN Gibellato doesn't have a preferred sea or weather, it's racing very well in every G.P., and we haven't got any hull damage since now as many of the other team had. I personally prefer rough sea, it's more enjoyable for a pilot!

PY. Fountain Worldwide won the 2007 season in the final race. When one notes that you Metamarine had an improved package and OSG a new outfit, did you think to find the English USA team so much a step ahead in the first part of the P1 2008 season?
MP - We don't think Fountain is unbeatable, furthermore considering that the capability of a boat is expressed well during the pole position, with open sea and clear way, and we won all the 3 Pole Position. We just need to tweak our boat in order to beat Fountain

PY. Which of the new teams will give the biggest competition for the title? (Italcraft, Cigarette, and Honeyparty) Any why do you think they are tough to beat?
MP - I dunno which may be more competitive for us, we won all the pole and we're third in the P1 standing. We'll see what happen in the next G.P. Of Tunisia

PY. We saw a great comeback in Malta from the OSG Racing Team. After Malta they seem the team to beat at least in the racing. Do you think that the rough seas could have been to there advantage or the OSG package is complete?
MP - Yes, OSG for sure found a perfect sea and weather for their boat, and they did a nice race.

PY. Petrol vs Diesel! You are so far one of two teams gambling on diesel in Evolution, with the heavy fuel last winning the P1 championship in 2005 with Analyzing the races now after the third race would you make the same choice? Do you still think diesel can beat petrol?
MP - Diesel Engine is clearly better than Petrol, we've 3 time the torque than a Petrol engine and that allow us to move faster from a buoy, furthermore the three Pole win state our boat concrete superiority.

PY. In the real nautical World most boats over 10 meters are sold with Diesel power. I think P1 is pushing more for Petrol power due to the bigger show thanks to the noise that they make, but if competitions should be used to push technology forward in the real World, they would do the opposite. What is your idea about this?
MP - Petrol Engine make for sure more “show and noise”, but as u said diesel motor is the most used power system in the real world; furthermore considering the low consumption, the great torque power. We think that Diesel engine are the future, we work totally on diesel engine and we're looking to introduce the Metamarine way of boat construction.

PY. In your opinion are the rules from the P1 between diesel and petrol engines fair? Would you change improve some things?
MP - P1 rule are fair. The organization just need to check better the boat, in all it's part, looking for water tank or some other device prohibited by the rule.

PY. Was the calendar start for the 2008 season with 3 races going on 2 weeks after each other too close? Did it affect if anything your preparation.
MP - It affected a lot my preparation due to the low time we had to prepare and tweak the boat, considering also the work I have constantly to do in my shipyard and workshop.

PY. You have won the 2004 Supersport Championship. Did you find the transition from Supersport to Evolution difficult?
MP - It wasn't difficult, we found it more gratifying and enjoyable for our team.

PY. The standards from 2007 to 2008 in Evolution seem to have made a big leap forward, are you satisfied with the improvements?
MP - I'm not completely satisfied, looking to the future there's a lot of work to do.

PY. Rules change with no speed limits ensure the superiority of the Evolution Class, but also a race separation is also good. It was said that after winning in Cowes and disqualified cause of the speed limit you where among the first who raised this issue. How much is there truth in this rumor?
MP - We got a disqualification from a UIM judge, and the judgment was clearly unfair. We constantly work in order to improve the rule for a more safe and enjoyable Championship.

PY. What would you like to see P1 improve in?
MP - P1 is doing a nice job, and we always try to help as much as possible in order to improve the rule, the championship and the whole organization.

PY. You have raced in Class One, fast offshore catamarans last year. What is your idea about Class1 and how does it compare to P1?
MP - Class One is the most gratifying sport. No other sport give u the adrenaline and the fun u can have from a Class One race, and it's not comparable to P1 race.

PY. Will we see you racing in Class One again?
MP - If the rule change I will be the first in line! The actual rule doesn't allow me to race fairly.

PY. Managing also a boatyard and building the Metamarine 46 TNT Replica which is based on the 46 Corsa racing boat used in the P1, do you think that competition like P1 helps technology move forward?
MP - For sure! We race in P1 championship for passion and in order to improve the advanced technology of our boat, evolving our TNT 46 Corsa in a perfect pleasure craft, the TNT 46 Replica. We are very proud of our technological boat solution.

Thanks for your time and acceptance of the PowerYacht interview. Best of luck for the 2008 season and all your future racing success.