Products for Marine Propulsion Systems
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ZF Propulsion Systems Ensure Speed and Reliability

For First-Response Boats

Every second counts in emergencies, especially on the water. First-response boats are lifelines, with speed a critical factor. Faster arrival means quicker rescues, higher survival rates for drowning victims and swifter action against fires or other environmental crises. Response vessels must also be reliable, able to operate in harsh conditions and withstand mechanical failures. Every glitch or breakdown can tip the scales towards tragedy.

It’s for these reasons that many response vessels are outfitted with ZF marine propulsion systems. While the training time is high and the operational hours low on these types of boats, the preventative maintenance required is thorough to ensure they are in good working order when calls do arise.
“A good majority of police and fire rescue boats do get our products in the marketplace, because we have a lightweight, strong durable gearbox that supports the mission applications,” said David Santos. “Having response boats ready to go is the most important thing. Because ZF products are so quality oriented, they are a really good choice for this application,” said David Santos, senior sales manager, commercial / fast craft, Industrial Technology Division – North America & Central America, ZF Group.
ZF manufactures controls, transmissions, propellers and accessories that can be utilized in different response operations. Many fire- and policeboats, which generally range from 30’ to 70’, are equipped with waterjet propulsion systems. Often, these systems have extremely specific impeller sizes.
“Part of what makes our gears special is that we have unique ratio cuts, which means that the impellers of the waterjets can work at an optimal level. ZF has the ratios that others in the market don’t have. Most waterjet manufacturers will not change the impeller requirement on their side, but chances are good that we have a gear size that will match best,” said Santos.
“A good majority of police and fire rescue boats do get our products in the marketplace, because we have a lightweight, strong durable gearbox that supports the mission applications. Because ZF products are so quality oriented, they are a really good choice for this application.” - David Santos.

Another consideration is the fact that first-response boats have specialized equipment aboard, such as fire pumps and monitors. As such, they commonly have Power Take Off (PTO) systems installed to support such apparatuses. In the not-too-distant future, a next-generation fleet of hybrid and electric vessels is being developed, which will require specialized propulsion systems and controls. ZF is positioned to support all of this with a broad portfolio of products that provides the control and capability required.
“ZF has hybrid-ready products available today in our portfolio, starting at 1600HP, while offering transmissions ranging from 280HP to 2,000HP, the power size range of fireboats today. Our gear box also offer specialty features, such as auto-trolling. These types of boats have nice longevity – 20 to 25 years – and our systems are designed to support them over their lifetime with minimal repair and replacement,” said Santos.
So, whether a first-response boat is executing search-and-rescue, crowd control, patrol, chemical or fire response, or any other emergency mission, first responders trust that ZF’s propulsion system will provide the power and control required for the job.
“ZF has hybrid-ready products available today in our portfolio, starting at 1600HP, while offering transmissions ranging from 280HP to 2,000HP, the power size range of fireboats today.” - David Santos.

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