Although Bruntons Propellers is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year we are anything but a backward looking company. With new propulsion technologies fast invading the marine industry it is hardly surprising that our position at the leading edge of propeller design is proving very attractive to vessel designers and constructors.
It is in the last forty years that Bruntons has moved from being a highly thought of, but relatively conventional designer and manufacturer of propellers, to our position today where we are considered by many to be the world’s leader in advancing propeller design for leisure, commercial and naval vessels.
Without doubt our propeller that leads the way today, as it did when it was launched in 1988, is the Autoprop. Still unique in being the only propeller in the world that can auto-pitch, bringing considerable benefits to the vessel propelled by it, we are now seeing that the science surrounding its design is only at an early stage. After several years research, design, and testing as part of the Hymar Project the Autoprop EcoStar is now available for hybrid and purely electrically powered craft. So efficient is this propeller that almost by accident we have found that it also has a lot to offer conventionally powered displacement vessels, cutting fuel consumption and therefore emissions.
An EcoStar has recently completed a circumnavigation of the world on the Dutch sailing yacht ‘Ya’. ‘Ya’ is the first sailing yacht to sail around the world using only her own sustainable energy sources. The EcoStar provided highly efficient propulsion when required but there is an additional benefit; when speed is not an issue the propeller can be allowed to turn in the vessels wake and the drive motor automatically becomes a generator recharging the batteries.
With conventional Autoprops already powering hybrid vessels as diverse as ferries in Sydney Harbour to a 24 foot motor vessel that safely completed an Atlantic crossing with only one stop partly, as its owner planned, because of the considerable fuel saving provided by the propeller, it is hardly surprising that our EcoStar with the additional design benefits it has received will find its way on to many more electrically and conventionally powered craft in the years to come.
As we start our next 150 years the range of propulsion products we have available is second to none. Varifold, our range of feathering propellers are now available in Titanium for any yacht owner looking to reduce every aspect of his yachts weight. SigmaDrive, which we correctly call our 21st century solution to noise and vibration uses the very latest technology and is proving very popular, while Autolock our shaft braking system maintains its position as the leading product in its field. Finally to help protect all this equipment we have IonGuard our retractable, replaceable anode system.