Last month, I went on a shipyard tour through New England, and I was able to visit Imtra, New Bedford, Mass., which offers products for the recreational and commercial marine markets, as well as the transportation and energy industries.

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. Given my monthly column, it’s fitting that wherever I go I inquire about any new technology in the maritime sector.

“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 50-gal. trash barrel and it shot about 25' in the air.

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 IP68rated and fully waterproof up to 50'. Including the bracket, the pump weighs 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.”

Ben Hayden is a Maine resident who grew up in the shipyards of northern Massachusetts. He can be reached at (207) 842-5430 and [email protected].