A smooth ride

Tender support vessel driving in sunset on calm waters
When you own a multimillion-pound yacht, the ride to ship from shore should be as comfortable as the rest of the trip. This was something that Williams Jet Tenders, a UK-based manufacturer of support vessels, wanted to ensure.

Excessive vibrations from a tender’s diesel engine can transfer to its hull, leading to a less than comfortable ride. “Superyachts are the height of luxury and designed from head-to-toe with relaxation in mind,” says Liam Walsh, Key Accounts Manager at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions in Southampton, England. “An uncomfortable ride, even on this small part of the journey from land to ship, could really detract from this.”


In search of a solution, Williams Jet Tenders found Southamptonbased Race-Tec, a high-performance specialist in this area that is now part of Trelleborg. Using finite element analysis software, engineers quickly saw that a solution could be provided by a custom elastomeric molding between two housings, situated around the shaft to effectively lessen the vibrations.


“Our engineers identified the problem area and applied their expertise,” Walsh says. A simple solution to a serious problem.


“Using our design, sourcing, assembly and supply solutions, we managed to contribute further improvements to the ‘fix’ we offered to the customer,” Walsh says. 


Trelleborg took the molding and turned it into a fully assembled, packaged and final solution for the customer, offering more value than was expected. The assembly includes the tailshaft, halfshaft coupling, bearings, spacers and the original molded components. “All the components were supplied fully assembled to the customer, saving time and costs by removing secondary operations,” Walsh says.


“Though this story started a decade ago, it didn’t end there,” he says. “Because of the combined expertise of our Southampton facility and the customer’s satisfaction with the assembly, this led to the development of another, further improved assembly.” 


This new, shorter assembly has the same characteristics as the original development, but due to its shorter shaft and more compressed coupling area, it can be added to other tenders in the customer’s range, reducing suppliers and simplifying purchasing. “This cemented the relationship between Trelleborg and the customer and expands the opportunities for both parties,” Walsh says.


Orders have been received for the initial production run and Walsh attributes the success of this project to looking beyond the original inquiry and striving to work closely with the customer, adding value where possible. “This is built on the skills and experience of our Southampton team, and we look forward to new opportunities in the future,” he says. 




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This is an article has been reproduced from Trelleborg's T-Time magazine. To download the latest edition, go to: www.trelleborg.com/t-time