16 Dec 2012

Sea anchor export contracts

12:19 pm on 16 December 2012

A company in Motueka is celebrating a series of export contracts for sea anchors, including 50 to the US Navy.

Other actual and potential customers include a Norwegian salvage company and the Spanish Coast Guard.

Sea anchors are parachute-like objects deployed underwater to halt a ship which might otherwise drift onto rocks.

Owner Bill Coppins of W A Coppins says sea anchors which are often used in yachts, are now being increasingly sought for ships weighing up to 200 thousand tonnes.

They can be 30 metres in diameter and are made from ultra strong nylon and a highly tensile fibre known as dyneema.

Mr Coppins says his company makes about 300 anchors per year and it is highly gratifying to sell them to huge organisations overseas.

W A Coppins was founded 113 years ago.