Socoges looks ahead between commercial and leisure vessels
Monopoli (Italy) and docks, an evocative association for fishing boats, tourism, Mediterranean projection, biomass. It is no coincidence that it is the city of Socoges, who decided to focus particularly on biogas and commercial boats. But boating, at Socoges, no longer means just commercial applications, pleasure craft is the present and will be more and more the future. What is the future of Socoges like we asked them directly. The CEO, Enzo Galanto, responded.
Hybrid is the future. We are familiar with this application and it is on the discussion table with some potential customers. This is an evolving product, which faces an increasingly wider audience and is going to become the standard, especially in sensitive areas such as Venice, and river transport in Paris, where we expect a tightening on emissions. Doosan is developing a gas application, which from a technical point of view does not give any problems; the issues are homologations and certifications, safety on board and storage, fuel supply.
We already presented the preview of the U140, which will see the light during next year. What applications will be involved?
The U140, which will be released in 2020, will have a balanced power based on the needs of the market. In the pleasure craft the power range between 100 and 300 hp is clearly recovering. On the basis of the U125 it will be used for boats and pilot boats up to 6 meters and for tenders.
What requests do you receive from the market? The pleasure boat experiences a period of prosperity. Is the segment below 80 feet also recovering?
Certainly, it is recovering, but without pursuing the mirage of a new Eldorado. Hyundai is gearing up to follow this recovery, developing other engines. The 13-liter L series saw the addition of the 700 horsepower engine, which is added to the 500 and 600 ones. In this first phase we are thinking about re-motorization, in the short term it could find space in the first equipment. Hyundai Seasall was born eight years ago, Socoges was the first distributor in strategic markets such as Italy and France, and we provide Koreans with various inputs. The G series is being developed, with 6.8 liters and common rail.
How ready are shipowners to accept inputs for alternative propulsion?
We register a greater openness towards alternative propulsion, even if it depends on the owners. Hybrid and natural gas are tested technologies. The aspect to be analyzed is the quality/price ratio. In this case, regulations and cost reduction play a fundamental role. The most far-sighted owners also reason in terms of reducing fuel costs and diversification. Customers require a scrupulous technical-educational approach.
From which trade fair events have you recently received the most encouraging signals? What about the Venice Boat Show? And Genoa 2019?
We participated in Venice with our MotorDiesel local dealer, due to the specificity of the local market. We have exhibited the S270 and the CM, the series of mechanical Mitsubishi marine engines by Crafstman both for recreational and professional applications, which can boast an excellent quality-price ratio. The Dutch company develops the 16, 27 and 42 hp engines on a Mitsubishi basis, the 65 and 80 hp ones on a Hyundai basis, all with inverters. In these days (ed: mid-June) we are evaluating whether to return to Genoa, after a few years of absence, also in consideration of the perception of market recovery.
Moving on to France, in March we exhibited at Lorient’s Navexpo, for professional applications, and for pleasure boats in Arcachon, in April. We will be in Cannes, at the Grand Pavois in La Rochelle and at the Nautic in Paris. France has a calendar of fairs more dense than Italy, and they are important appointments.
Hyundai collaborates with Mercury for the aft foot. Do you plan to offer a complete package?
That between Mercury and Seasall is a direct collaboration, to offer the market an integrated solution. Seasall has other applications, with waterjet and inverter, the latter almost all with the presence of ZF and Tecnodrive. Socoges often customizes other types of aft feet to meet customer requirements.
When you say Korea you think about Samsung. Hyundai could exploit a privileged channel for electrification? In what ways could it be applied to pleasure craft?
These are scenarios projected into the future and absolutely plausible. Surely Hyundai was among the first companies to invest in electrification, Korea in general is at the forefront of technology in this field. In the immediate future, between 2019 and 2020, we will have something concrete to propose to the market.
How does the synergy between Doosan and PSI translate into your proposal?
Doosan and Psi have set up a joint venture. The engine is based on Doosan, completed by the Psi injection management system. It is a solution mainly oriented to oil & gas.
What is Socoges recipe for reducing vibration and noise impact?
Hyundai Seasall is a brand appreciated for the reduction of the consumptions and for the sturdiness of the monoblock (in Venice an engine registered 22 thousand hours of operation). Because of its robustness, vibrations and noise are also reduced to the minimum. The V6 is a very balanced engine, of automotive derivation.
Could you extend the range of groups below 88 kVA? How is your offer currently articulated for on board generation?
For on-board auxiliaries we offer the complete machine, including vibrotorsional calculations, certifications, etc. Our proposal ranges from 88 to 700 kVA, and we mainly target a professional target, with a continuous use. Toremar, from Tuscany to Sardinia in Italy, has chosen Doosan, Socoges guarantees the finished package, including alternator and panel. Other references? Among others, Caronte and MobyCruise Line.
What about the inverters?
For almost 30 years we have been the distributor for Italy of Dong-I, a Korean brand that has a strong synergy with Doosan and Seasall. Also in this case we look towards professional applications.