V&A Hydraulics Completes Conversion for Mersey Ferries

V&A Hydraulics

By MarEx 2015-10-20 16:43:19

UK based V&A has completed a hydraulics conversion project for rescue craft operating on board two Mersey Ferries.

V&A specializes in the installation, service and repair of hydraulic systems, as well as pressure-testing and flushing of hydraulic pipework – predominantly for the marine sector.

The Merseyside firm, led by managing director Vic Seddon, has redesigned and upgraded the hydraulics mechanisms which activate fast response boats on two separate Mersey Ferries - the Snowdrop and Royal Iris.

Mr Seddon said the fast response boats are crucially important to the vessel's safety operation enabling quick support if people fall overboard.

"We received an enquiry from Mersey Ferries, who we have supported for a number of years, to inspect the fast response boats on two vessels," he said. "The davits which house the response boats were aging and remained hand operated. We deployed a number of engineers who mechanized the system which is now activated by the touch of a button, through drives, motors and controls. This essentially makes them faster and more efficient.

"It follows on from similar work we delivered for Stena Line's Superfast X vessel in Holyhead. This was more of a troubleshooting exercise in which we provided specialist advice about the hydraulic unit responsible for deploying the fast-rescue boat.

"Due to our depth of knowledge of maritime hydraulics we were able to highlight the mechanical fault with a pressure switch which was compromising the control system. We also gave guidance about the design of the control panel.

"Because of the safety requirements associated with the likes of fast-rescue boats it was essential that all these projects were delivered quickly to prevent costly operational downtime."

V&A Hydraulics was set up by former Command Hydraulics managers Vic Seddon and Ian Dickinson in 2002, who both have more than 30 years’ experience in the hydraulics industry. Maritime sector work accounts for 80pc of sales for the £1m turnover, 12-strong Birkenhead-based firm.

"The hydraulics industry is essentially split into three areas – manufacturers, distributors and installers,” said Mr Seddon. “V&A falls into the installer category. However, we also provide other key services including repair, servicing and maintenance.

"In recent years the hydraulics industry has expanded but manufacturers have narrowed meaning knowledge of components is essential for identifying parts which are no longer made and sourcing appropriate replacements. Looking specifically at the maritime industry, the average age of the global vessel fleet is between 15 and 30 years old meaning there is a large demand for engineers who have knowledge of parts dating back to this time.

"Taking this into account V&A is amongst the most skilled hydraulics companies in Britain as few competitors can match our depth of knowledge and engineering expertise."

Mr Seddon said V&A had recently joined the British Fluid Power Distributer Association to boost credentials and gain greater influence in the industry. It was required to demonstrate technical and research ability to enter the association. It has also recently secured ISO 901 with Bureau Veritas – leading global maritime certification body.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.