Need to regain control of the Pirate Ship helm?

Posted by Sean Brian

Theme parks looking to keep their pirate ships sailing smoothly need to consider a retrofit drive system from Amusement Technical.

Most recently, Amusement Technical worked with parks in the US  to supply its pirate ship retrofit drive system for pirate boat rides which were originally manufactured in Germany and Italy, replacing aging and obsolete hydraulic and DC drive systems and giving the attractions a new lease of life.

The system is suitable for rides of any size and by any manufacturer and, to date, have been installed onto rides produced by both Huss and SDC.

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There are four main elements to the Amusement Technical system, including the motor drive unit, control cabinet, operator panel and top encoder and home sensor assembly.

  • The motor drive unit comprises an SEW Eurodrive 75kW AC geared motor mounted on a pivoting chassis.
  • There is a drive wheel with a pneumatic tyre on the output shaft of the gearbox which can be brought in and out of contact with the keel of the boat by inflating and deflating pneumatic bellows under the chassis.
  • The control cabinet is a powder-coated steel or optional stainless steel enclosure which houses all of the control equipment for the ride.
  • The operator panel is mounted in a powder coated, mild steel enclosure with stainless steel front panel. An LCD display provides real time information about the operating conditions of the ride as well as maintenance features, which enable detailed system statuses to be displayed. The top encoder assembly is mounted on a stainless steel chassis and houses the components to allow the ride controller to know the axle position.

The system incorporates a plug in maintenance panel which connects to the side of the main control panel. The maintenance panel allows all of the outputs of the system to be operated manually, for use during set up and maintenance operations.

The retrofit control systems have been welcomed by those parks who have installed them, with, for example, Joel Golder at Palace Playland, Maine in the US commenting: “The new drive system for our Pirate Ship was installed in less than a week and has been both reliable and efficient ever since,” while Matty Taylor at M&D’s – Scotland’s Theme Park in Scotland said: “The system does exactly what it says on the box. We have not lost a day’s operation in the three years since it was installed.”

Predominantly the existing drives on these rides are hydraulic, which today is inefficient, and uses obsolete components, while the frequent loss of oil has an environmental impact which many parks have been penalised for by the appropriate agencies. This offering from Amusement Technical gives rides further longevity, much greater efficiency and increased safety controls.