QS Seamaster, enter strategy

From the smallest boats to superyachts, QS Seamaster thrusters can satisfy the needs of every kind of boat

by Niccolò Volpati and Francesco Michienzi

Saim and Quick have come together to work with thrusters: one of them produces, and the other sells and distributes. The Italian-produced synergy works, and the yards like it. The Donà family company has been working with thrusters for over fifteen years. For a long time, they were linked to Sleipner, distributing Side-Power thrusters. When they started in 2004/2005, they turned over around 300,000 euros a year, but after a while, that rose to five million.

Saim is a supplier with credentials, that can provide a broad range of accessories, especially for the engine room. It is thus a privileged vendor for construction yards, especially Italian ones. Perhaps they were even too good since the Norwegian firm decided to open its direct subsidiary in Italy. This meant no more Side-Power propellers for Saim, but they neither resigned themselves to the situation nor gave up. «We had accumulated a lot of experience, and in just under twenty years we had satisfied all of our clients», says Marco Donà. «So, we considered our options and we decided that we had to start another adventure».

The QS Seamaster thruster line includes electric thrusters which are DC, AC, DC-AC brushless, hydraulic (tunnel-installed or retractable), from 40 to 1,100 kilos thrust, ON/OFF or proportional, with analogue or digital controls.

The secret of Saim’s success lies in putting themselves forward to yards not as salespeople, but as problem solvers. So, the new adventure didn’t just represent a “commercial” continuity but also leveraged their experience with the product. Saim knows what the yards want, what the problems are and how to solve them. That is precious information, one that is worth making the most of. They just needed a partner that could produce thrusters and was bright enough to be able to accept the suggestions of people who have been selling them for over twenty years. The search didn’t take long. From Buccinasco, which is just outside Milan, they got as far as Quick, near Ravenna.

Created from specifications from SAIM Marine, a strategic supplier of the main Italian naval yards, QS Seamaster is produced exclusively by Quick Spa.

«I found a company that was very well organised, with an excellent quality level», says Donà, «and we immediately got on well with Michele Marzucco and his children Chiara and Carlo». The brand is called QS Seamaster. Over a year has now passed since this new adventure was first announced at the Genoa Boat Show in 2020, and so it is time to do a profit and loss check. «We decided to start with one step at a time», says Donà, «without running pointless risks. At the start, whatever the turnover was, we would have made it work. Then the demand grew it became fairly hectic, and so we decided to select some dealers for Europe and the Middle East». As the Great Helmsman said: «The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step».

The propellers, which are made from composite material, or in NiBrAl alloy, with four or five blades, have been designed to ensure performance and efficiency which are superior for any engine used.

Currently, there are eight dealers, to which should be added some service points and the Quick USA network for assistance on the other side of the Atlantic. The big news, and one that perhaps we shouldn’t take for granted, is that Italian-produced material has also left a mark in terms of technology. This shows that the construction quality of Quick and the assistance before, during and after sales which Saim ensures are more than convincing guarantees. The synergy between these two companies has produced a decidedly large range to choose from. The QS range has units producing from 40 to 300 kgf, with direct current engines, ON/OFF types and proportional thrusters. Whereas the QSB line has brushless DC to AC models from 100 to 300 kgf. And then there is the QSA range with three-phase engines, which are retractable and so are perfect for sailing boats and ones with hydraulic motors. The latter, which is called QSH, gets to 1,100 kgf. All of the models can be integrated through CANBus or NMEA2000, and the control panels are both analogue and digital.

QS Seamaster has a series of panels with analogue touch-screen controls or a joystick, analogue proportional controls for standalone installations, and digital proportional controls for installations with several stations designed to stand up to a full range of environmental and climate conditions.

«Integration is an important part of the Saim strategy», says Marco Donà. «The aim is to get to a point where we have as many tools talking to one another as possible, even though they may not be of the same brand. Saim puts itself forward as a kind of system integrator for everything that involves manoeuvring boats. Given that, we choose the products to distribute».

ALL THE MODELS ARE BUILT WITH HIGHLY-RESISTANT COMPONENTS THAT ENSURE A LIFELONG SEAL FOR THE OIL IN THE BRONZE DRIVE UNIT, WHICH HAS BEEN DESIGNED WITH A HYDRODYNAMIC PROFILE
THAT 
CAN REDUCE TURBULENCE TO A MINIMUM,
MAXIMISE EFFICIENCY 
AND REDUCE NOISE.

And indeed, the firm doesn’t just stock QS Seamaster thrusters, but also CMC stabiliser fins, ZF controls and Zipwake interceptors, so a kind of “manoeuvring package”. «Nowadays the challenge is to become the sole supplier», says Donà. «It is the yards that ask us for that, because they want to simplify things in terms of suppliers, especially right now when it is difficult to locate raw materials and consequently to respect supply schedules». Saim Marine, as well as the components from the “manoeuvring package”, offers many accessories for the engine room, especially in mega yachts: for example, ABT Trac stabilisers, Kohler and Dynamica generators, Sea Recovery desalination units, Maxwell windlasses and Glendinning power cables for quayside use.

(QS Seamaster, enter strategy – Barchemagazine.com – February 2022)