Although a 150-foot yacht is big, the spaces inside to do repair or replacement work are still very small. That’s exactly why the crew at Engineered Yacht Solutions in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, used Viega for a recent pleasure motor yacht job, as well as many others.
EYS worked on a yacht, around 150 feet in length, removing all the aluminum bilge suction lines and replacing them with Viega SeaPress instead. The ability to press fittings, and to do it quickly, meant the small crew doing the work was done with the Viega portion in just a few days.
“There were some sections of bilge suction piping that were compromised with holes in it and degraded material,” said Aksel King, Vice President of EYS. “The vessel was probably 10 years old and the material we cut out was a grade aluminum, which is not the best for seawater or for the way they had constructed the boat. Viega SeaPress is a big upgrade for the vessel, a better material, and it made the job easier to do too.”
Because there was a tight timeframe to get the repairs done, coupled with the fact that cold press technology is safer particularly in tight quarters, EYS turned to Viega. Plus, King and EYS President Thomas McGowan have a history of using Viega fittings long before they started the company together three years ago.
“If I’m working on piping on a boat, I’m concerned about putting a bunch of welding equipment inside a million-dollar motor yacht!” King said. "When you start striking an arc, it’s fire. You’re going to have to have a fire watch and have a marine chemist come and make sure the area is safe to work in. I don’t have to worry about that with Viega.
“And at the end of the day, sometimes you don’t even have the ability to weld inside of a boat because of the other work going on, or time restraints and physical location. We just go in and cut and press.”
On the recent vessel, 54mm Viega SeaPress fittings were used for about 40 feet of pipe run. King said they used a variety of fittings, including tees and elbows, and connected to the bilge suction manifold.
King and McGowan have been using Viega for about a decade. They were introduced to the company when the suppliers they had been working with for a local repair suggested Viega as an option. They started with Viega ProPress and later added Viega SeaPress to their repertoire. Much of the product they now install is Viega SeaPress or Viega ProPress Stainless 316, occasionally utilizing Viega ProPress Copper for chilled water.
With Viega’s recent launch of Viega MegaPress CuNi, EYS now has more options to choose from, depending on the vessel they’re working on. Both Viega MegaPress CuNi and Viega SeaPress are 90/10 copper nickel fittings, but Viega SeaPress is for CTS tube, while Viega MegaPress CuNi is for IPS pipe.
Viega MegaPress CuNi, a new copper nickel press fitting system designed specifically for applications on commercial ships, private yachts and offshore rigs, recently obtained a type approval from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and an acceptance letter from the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
With the new approvals, Viega MegaPress CuNi products can be specified throughout an ABS-classed vessel for applications that include hydronic heating, compressed air, fire sprinkler, cooling water, low-pressure steam, fuel, lube and hydraulic oil.
Viega MegaPress CuNi is a 90/10 copper nickel press fitting system designed for use with Class 200 and schedule 40 copper nickel pipe. MegaPress CuNi has low biofouling properties and resists seawater corrosion to ensure reliable performance. Available in 304 and 316 stainless steel, Viega MegaPress Stainless is for connections with Iron Pipe Size (IPS) stainless steel and is approved for use with Schedule 5 to Schedule 40 pipe. MegaPress CuNi fittings are constructed from 90/10 copper nickel alloy and are available in a variety of configurations in sizes ½" to 2“. Patented Smart Connect technology, available only from Viega, provides installers with added confidence in their ability to ensure the integrity of connections.
“MegaPress for copper nickel provides another solution for marine applications that doesn’t require welding and saves our customers a ton of time, which translates into other savings,” said Paul Switzer, manager, shipbuilding and offshore, at Viega. “Viega customers in the marine and offshore industries recognize and appreciate the other benefits of pressing as well, including flexibility, safety, the ability to work in small spaces and make repairs or replacements while on the water.”
Viega MegaPress XL, the first and only press fitting system for 2 ½" to 4″ diameter carbon steel pipe, also obtained a type approval from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and an acceptance letter from the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
Viega MegaPress XL is approved for more applications than any other carbon steel press fitting system. On average, MegaPress XL makes easy, secure connections in 25 seconds. When used in marine applications, MegaPress XL is suitable with Schedule 10 through Schedule 80 carbon steel pipe.
All of Viega’s approved press fitting systems provide key benefits for marine and offshore applications by replacing traditional pipe joining methods like welding and threading. Shipbuilders are able to avoid excessive costs by eliminating hot work permits and fire watches. Connections can be made while the vessel is at sea, making it easier and more cost effective to perform permanent emergency repairs. Other trades can also work around the pipe installations, effectively expediting the entire project.
Viega’s press fitting systems are installed using a hand-held hydraulic tool that gives the installer the ability to press connections in seconds, which can reduce installation time by up to 90 percent when compared to welding and threading. Another significant advantage to using Viega press technology is the ability to make installation and repair connections both wet and dry.
“Being able to remove and reinstall pipe without having to do hot work, and of the time in very tight quarters, is great,” King said. “We use a lot of Viega stainless steel and copper nickel fittings.”
Thankfully for EYS, many customers in Florida already know about Viega and its products, so they understand why it’s a good choice for their vessels. EYS does almost anything that pertains to repair, modification or upgrading on vessels, including plumbing, fiberglass work, stainless steel work, pipe bending, lathing, grinding, polishing and more. Their average vessel is about 150 feet, though some are as large as 250 or 300 feet in size.
“I like Viega products. They’re easy to use,” King said. “In all reality, the best way to sell it is to say that it’s simply the best option.”
Ship operation is being reinvented, and it’s an evolution with the online revolution and digital connections at its core. The challenges of satisfying and balancing the many connectivity demands of the ship, its operators and its crew, are often far from clear and pack a hidden punch. Such needs include those of the master and officers requiring easy, uninterrupted contact with colleagues, harbor officials, administrators and regulators on shore, and to carry out competitively critical tasks such as least cost routing. Then there are the seafarers who have come to expect daily connectivity with family and friends ashore (access to the Internet has been classed as a human right by the United Nations) and the availability of social media, movies, news, and sports programs they consider part of civilized life.