Partner Vendor Spotlight: Darley
Partner Vendor Spotlight: Darley
At Silver Ships, we build high-quality, durable vessels to meet customer needs – our goal is to offer custom workboats that will perform and last for decades. That’s why we choose to work with reputable outfitting vendors like Darley. Darley has produced industry-leading fire pumps for more than a century, and their products enhance Silver Ships fireboats through reliable fire suppression.
Both Darley and Silver Ships are family-owned and operated. Silver Ships celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2020, and Darley was founded more than 110 years ago in 1908. Darley is often recognized as a one-stop shop for fire monitors, nozzles, hoses and pump accessories, as the company manufactures pumps, builds fire trucks and sells fire equipment in line with its history in the fire service. Like Silver Ships’ relationship with the U.S. military, Darley has sold portable fire pumps to the Navy and Coast Guard for 30 years.
An Introduction to Fire Pumps in Marine Applications
The term fire pump can refer to many maritime applications. For example, fire pumps on vessels are typically categorized into internal and external firefighting systems. Internal systems are for self-protection and are often small and portable. External systems are for larger vessels and can help fight fires on drilling rigs, on-shore and on other vessels. These systems can either be a mounted, portable application or built into the vessel.
The basic products necessary for any vessel in operation for fire suppression purposes are a fire pump with an engine. All pumps are manufactured using similar core components, but when the operating environment is salt water, the pump should be manufactured in bronze with corrosion resistant stainless shaft and fittings.
The difference between marine and traditional fire pumps is the operating environment, and the environment’s effects on the pump and power sources:
- Salt water is corrosive, so special materials are needed – for marine applications, Darley uses the same pump designs as for land based operations but in bronze to prevent corrosion.
- Engines in an engine room generally cannot be air cooled, which calls for sea-water cooling via heat exchangers, and exhaust gases need to be discharged via a wet-silencer exhaust.
- Priming is still necessary even though the lift may be only a few inches, but performance is often better than that achieved from land-based versions of the same pump.
- Pumps installed on waterjet vessels often need special drive and control systems.
Outfitting a Fireboat for Fire Suppression
Because of the immediate availability of unlimited water, a fireboat can be an effective tool for both high capacity fire attack (for fires on vessels or property adjacent to the water) and water supply to fires ashore (pumping to a fire some distance away from the shore). The boat should be suited to the intended location and nature of the water. Fireboats can vary from small, freshwater lake response vessels up to large, major commercial port emergency vessels – Silver Ships has built fireboats for missions on each end of the spectrum.
Fire departments usually have an idea of vessel size and what firefighting flow they require based on their unique mission requirements. Darley can meet all stages of this continuum by providing 100 GPM; 500GPM; 1000GPM; 1500 GPM and 3000 GPM pump units. These pumps can be powered by direct coupled gasoline or diesel motors, driven by clutch from the front of a propulsion engine crankshaft, or by PTO from marine gearbox. The Darley team has experience in providing countless versions of installation layouts, depending on crew needs.
Product Quality and Team Experience Makes a Difference
When deciding which fire pump is right for a vessel, it is important to consider quality and durability along with flowrate and power. Darley’s products and company history speak for themselves, and its industry experience is unmatched. In fact, Kevin O’Sullivan, Sales Engineer, has been was an operational career firefighter for more than 40 years, is a qualified seafaring instructor and an experienced maritime engineer. He and his team understand the needs of fire rescue agencies and are also well-versed in how each product operates in specific conditions, based on real-world experience.
Darley is committed to maximum efficiency, high quality and personal dedication to the end-user. At Silver Ships, we value partner vendors who share similar company values, including quality products, top-notch customer service and support of first responders and the military.