Last month, I went on a shipyard tour through New England, and I was able to visit Pacific Marine Expo exhibitor Imtra, New Bedford, Mass., which offers products for the recreational and commercial marine markets.

During the facility tour, I was introduced to a lot of new products that I hadn’t seen before, ranging from Isover’s thermal, acoustic and fire insulation solutions, to Norsap’s high quality helm, pilot and operator chairs. In terms of new technology in the maritime sector, the most applicable to commercial fisherman use was the KPM Marine bilge pump. 

“This is one of our newer products and it’s pretty impressive,” said Eric Braitmayer, Imtra president and CEO, pointing to a KPM Marine Predator 350 S bilge pump that can fit in a bag the size of a briefcase. Imtra employees tested it in the warehouse. It took less than a minute to empty a 44 gal. trash barrel and it shot about 20' in the air. A demonstration of that process can be seen at the end of the video below. 

The need for a powerful and compact pump was brought about through KPM’s customer requests. “We were asked to develop a light, high-capacity pumping system (that can) run at 16 amps but deliver maximum flow of 200 liters per minute. The result was the Predator range,” KPM’s website notes. Over a 10-year span, the company boasts a recorded failure rate of just 0.03% of the 4,000 predator units operating globally.

Additional features of the Predator 350 S include a run dry capacity of two weeks. The anti-corrosion hard anodized aluminum pump is IP68 rated and fully waterproof up to 50'. Including the bracket, the pump weights 17.5 lbs. and measures 4.5"x13.75". KPM also makes a Predator 700 S dual pump, capable of pushing 350 l/min. An Imtra employee noted the pump manufacturer is working on a smaller pump for recreational use.

“The KPM engineers are always receiving customers stories where the pump saved the vessel,” the Predator pamphlet states. “One customer continued on a two-week voyage when they sprung a leak rather that returning to port because they had total trust in the Predator, which ran for the whole voyage without any issues. The yacht builder now fit Predator as a standard like most work boat yards. Praise indeed.

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Ben Hayden grew up in the shipyards of northern Massachusetts.  His passion for storytelling came about on a freelance film that highlighted businesses, farmers, and fishermen while sailing up the coast of Maine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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