MERCURY RELIABILITY FOR CANAL FLEET
Australia’s Gold Coast has 400 kilometres of canals which must be constantly maintained and cleaned.
Wingbrook Marine operates a fleet of four specialist craft working the canals six days a week. Each vessel covers at least 60 kilometres of canal per day.
The work boat, a 2x6-metre aluminium punt used to haul up to 17 wheelie bins of rubbish, is powered by a 75hp Mercury outboard that has just notched up 10,000 hours.
Manager Kevin Adshead has fitted a Seapro 115hp Fourstroke to the company’s barge, replacing a Mercury 115hp Fourstroke that has more than 5,000 hours of service.
The Seapro has a Command Thrust gearbox which is specifically designed to provide better performance and control on larger, heavier craft. “The barge weighs 20 tonnes and is always carrying a six-tonne excavator and a three-tonne bobcat… so, about 29 tonnes all up before we load it with rocks or anything,” Kevin explained.
Since fitting the Seapro, the vessel’s handling and power characteristics have improved significantly.
“There’s a section of the canal – the Monaco Street Bridge – which has a really powerful tidal flow that runs at 5-6 knots. We can now go through there against the full tide and not worry about it pushing 29 tonnes, which is quite something.” The Seapro has never stalled or stopped.
“This is commercial reality: if this engine breaks down then we don’t get paid. That’s why I like Seapros,” Kevin said. www.mercurymarine.com.au