Published: 19 March 2012

Worldwide travel for low-pressure hydraulics expert

(Seattle, WA)—Rapp Hydema AS recently brought aboard Icelander Thorleifur Gislason (nickname:  Lieve, pronounced:  “Lee-vee”), who brings to Rapp over 35 years of experience in low-pressure hydraulics. His unique skills are in demand around the planet.  In just five months, Lieve has worked in South Korea, New Zealand, Ireland, Iceland and Norway, and has just left for a job in Poland.

Lieve began his marine industry career in 1976, assuming a low-pressure repairs at the workshop of Hydraulik Bratvaag’s agency in Iceland.   After finishing a three-year engineering curriculum in 1979 at the Marine Engineering University in Reykjavik, Iceland, Lieve worked aboard several vessels.  These included fishing and Coast Guard vessels, and, at the last, a sand dragger, on which he was Chief Engineer.  He returned to the university to finish his schooling in 1983, and graduated the next year with a Chief Engineer’s diploma. 

Thorleifur subsequently returned to the Hydraulic Bratvaag agency in Iceland, where he was promoted to Foreman.  This position took him aboard vessels as a servicing technician.  At this time he also took advantage of additional training offered—in particular becoming fluent in technical aspects of low-pressure hydraulics and the computerized autotrawl systems.  In 1988, he became Service Manager at the facility.  His employment persisted here until 2002, over the years the agency becoming first part of Ulstein and then Rolls Royce.  In 2002, he joined Maras AS, working in parts sales; here he became increasingly involved with winches and Scantrol autotrawl systems.  He worked as Service Manager at Scantrol AS in Bergen, Norway 2009-2011, before joining Rapp Hydema AS.  His time at Scantrol added high-pressure and electric winches to his skill set. 

Indeed, as Scantrol’s agent in the Americas, Rapp has sold three iSYM autotrawl units and a wide variety of low-pressure parts to Seattle-based Polar Bear Enterprise, which is involved with managing several Russian Sterkoder-class trawlers.  Other Russian firms—from Kamchatka to the southern Kuriles—have also become Rapp parts customers recently…For Rapp, Lieve’s arrival is a unexpected twist in its hydraulic focus; long associated with medium pressure (2000-3000 psi) systems, Lieve brings low-pressure expertise in house for the first time.


His wife of 36 years, Asdis, son Jon Thor, age 26, and daughter Eyrun, age 23, live in Reykjavik, Iceland.