Seahawk Pty Ltd, the manufacturer of Autostream & Slipstream Propellers, is a family owned company, specialising in the manufacture of a range of products for the leisure boating industry since 1981.
Mr Julian Barrett a retired motor engineer, racing car driver and yachtsman, designed and manufactured the first Barrett Autostream Propeller in 1973. This was a three-blade model of which only a few were produced. Though moderately successful the demand was for a two-blade version, thus the 2000 series propeller evolved with production beginning in 1976.
The Hawke family's propeller sales and service business successfully marketed the Autostream product to the point where demand soon exceeded Mr Barrett's production capacity. This led to Seahawk taking over both the manufacturing and marketing of Autostream Propellers in 1983.
The founder had a true knowledge of sailing and the requirements of low drag propellers for vessels under sail. With his Wife and Co Director, they lived on board for a total of ten years and 35,000 miles, including several return trips from Australia's Gold Coast through Asia. Many of the prototypes were tested and improvements developed during this time, through both personal experience and discussions with the many sailors met in his travels.
Our product range has evolved and improved over the years as we have developed a total of seven models. As demand for the feathering propellers has grown we have gradually swung towards concentrating on the sailing propeller market, but still retain a prosperous propeller reconditioning and repair facility Australia's Original Prop Shop, which allows us to keep in touch with both our older products and those of our competitors as they age, providing ideas for improvements and new designs.
The many Autostream Propellers fitted to world cruising yachts are spreading the excellent reputation of Autostream Propellers. A considerable proportion of our sales result from personal recommendations to fellow sailors.
Autostream has been firmly established in the Australian market for many years, with an ever increasing proportion of sales exported all over the world, either directly, or via our growing network of Dealers & Distributors.
We carry our propellers as both complete and finished ready to assemble components, this allows us to rapidly fill most orders, including custom sizes & bores, with short lead times.
The design, materials used and methods of manufacture all improve the service life of Autostream Propellers. Failure though electrolysis is virtually unheard of due to the use of bronzes containing less than 0.5% zinc, selected stainless steels and effective use of sacrificial zinc anodes. Life in excess of fifteen years is quite normal, with a reconditioning service available for most of the early models if required.
1998 saw the release of the Autostream 'S' Series. These fully stainless steel propellers are available in both shaft and sail drive. Investment cast using 316L & Duplex 2507 stainless steel, featuring a new thinner blade and revised geometry gives the 'S' Series propellers 10 - 20% greater efficiency over it's predecessors. The addition of seals to improve grease retention and replaceable bearings extends the serviceable life even further. Very few spare parts are sold due to wear and tear, with a few sold due to repair damaged propellers, a feat that is not easy to do either... this is a testament to the robustness and long life of the current model. At the time of updating this profile in 2008, we have supplied one set of replacement bearings supply bearings and main gear due to wear and tear on an extreme use charted vessel.
2003 saw the introduction of the 2-bladed folding Slipstream geared folding propellers. A collaborative effort between Seahawk & a number of our associates from around the world evolved into what may well be the best performing two-blade folding propeller on the market. Proving to be more efficient than other brands, with strong and reliable reverse thrust, a typical weakness of folding props. Many tell us this propeller actually reverses better than the fixed prop they replaced! 2005 saw the introduction of the even more successful three blade Slipstream geared folding propeller..
The Seahawk team are all long time employees who's valued dedication and experience with our product ensures the quality and delivery that our clients have come to expect.