Over the years, Florida-based ZF Marine has used its reliable transmission, control, and propeller product lines to spread across fisheries nationwide, from lobster fishermen in the Northeast to shrimpers in Gulf of Mexico and salmon fishermen in Alaska  and just about everything in between.

Drew Orvieto, the senior manager for ZF Marine’s commercial product line, said he has put transmissions in boats ranging from 16 up to 300 or 400 feet, and ZF’s propellers go from the very small all the way up to 2 meters. The control systems come in all manner of sizes as well, with stations housing up to six joysticks with full class approval for larger boats.

“One thing that sets us apart from other suppliers in the marine market is our ability to cater to all different applications, whether that’s a single screw lobster boat running down in Key West or big commercial tuna seiners out in the Pacific. We have products for anything out there that’s looking to catch fish,” Orvieto said.

ZF has also been innovating, with new products like the iDrift, a system that allows for greater control of a heading and speed while drifting.

Orvieto added that ZF’s wide range extends to its product line, where control systems, for example, can be the latest electronic setup that would go on a luxury yacht or an old-school cable system.

“We can equip the latest sport-fishing yacht or we can do the traditional push-pull cables. In fact, we have some old-school push-pull controls on the some of the “Deadliest Catch” vessels, so we like to think we have something for everyone,” Orvieto said.

Orvieto added that some fishing boats have ZF systems that have been functioning for years.

“We have control systems out in the field that are 35 years old, for example. We have transmissions that have 400,000 hours on them. It’s really impressive stuff when you look at the longevity and the quality that goes into these products,” Orvieto said. 

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Brian Hagenbuch is National Fisherman's products editor, a contributing editor to SeafoodSource and a Bristol Bay fisherman. He is based in Seattle.

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