Shipyard Protects Electric Components with Fibreglass Enclosures

Published Jul 29, 2014 6:40 PM by The Maritime Executive

Pacific Fishermen is a full-service shipyard located on the freshwater side of Ballard’s Salmon Bay, just east of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Established in 1946, the shipyard has a longstanding history of providing service to tugboats, passenger vessels, charter yachts and fishing vessels. Today, the dedicated workforce at Pacific Fishermen, together with their electrical division PFI Marine Electric, continue the rich heritage of the shipyard, providing fine craftsmanship and quality service.

The company offers a variety of custom fabrication solutions for many aspects of boat maintenance and restoration, including metal work, wood re-work and electrical systems and wiring. Often, the custom fabrication processes require the shipyard to install reliable electrical enclosures to protect controls, power supplies with LEDs, timers for alarm systems, contactors for fish pumps, PLC controllers and many other types of electrical components that are part of onboard systems.

Most Pacific Fishermen Shipyard customers operate vessels in harsh environments that are constantly exposed to salt water, ultraviolet rays and severe weather with heavy rains. Therefore, electrical equipment must be properly protected in order to function reliably, and Pacific Fishermen needed to find an enclosure that would provide long-term performance in these tough operating conditions. 

This was particularly important for a customer vessel that would be operating in the notoriously harsh Bering Sea, with controls placed on the ship’s mast. The Bering Sea is known for its harsh weather conditions, with frost that persists nearly year-round during its rainy, cool summers, and snowy winters. In order to endure the saltwater, frost, rain, snow, high winds, storms, and temperatures that reach -31° to -49°F, electrical systems onboard the vessel required reliable protection.

Such environmental conditions pose a high risk of corrosion, a challenge that Pacific Fishermen solved by selecting fiberglass enclosures for the Bering Sea vessel. The company has used Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures’ J Series for many of their customer applications for over 20 years in order to reliably protect against damaging elements and corrosion, and therefore knew of Stahlin’s proven reliable performance. Pacific Fishermen knew Stahlin enclosures would be capable of maintaining seaworthiness in the harsh operating conditions of the North Pacific and Bering Sea.

Stahlin’s J Series Enclosures are designed for diverse applications associated with extremely corrosive environments, and are ideal for use as instrument housings and junction boxes. They are excellent for Pacific Fishermen’s custom fabrication designs, as the fiberglass material can be easily configured with cutouts and modifications to make a custom finished product.

The J Series enclosures follow traditional design concepts of fiberglass enclosure products, featuring a modest overhang cover on a flange-mounted base. This simple but elegant concept offers unobstructed sidewalls, built-in mounting capabilities and the strength characteristics associated with a protective wrap-around cover that is hinged, latched or screwed down. However, in addition to this sturdy, reliable design, the unique fiberglass composite material of Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures enables an even more durable performance that outlasts other products.

Stahlin’s patented, non-halogenated fiberglass system, SolarGuard, offers maximum protection to Pacific Fishermen Shipyard customers. SolarGuard is formulated with a special UV-resistant compound that beats the effects of outdoor exposure and provides outstanding chemical and flame resistance. These are important aspects of enclosure protection, particularly in outdoor installations that have high exposure to UV rays. SolarGuard outperforms other available SMC formulations by as much as 60 percent in its ability to retain gloss and color after exposure to concentrated UV light, and significantly reduces the effects of UV degradation, such as surface roughening and fiber blooming. As well, protection is guaranteed with an NFPA No.101 Class A flame spread index, and UL94-5V standards for fire retardancy, achieved through use of alumina trihydrate fillers.

Since the early 80’s, Pacific Fishermen Shipyard has been using Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures to provide their customers with top-quality protection, and has never had any issues with the enclosures. Stahlin enclosures were the ideal choice for withstanding the harsh conditions of the Bering Sea, and have performed very well on Pacific Fishermen’s customer vessel. With the guaranteed reliable performance offered by Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures, Pacific Fishermen Shipyard will continue to provide customers with top-quality customized designs and electrical system protection, capable of long-lasting performance in a variety of harsh environments.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.