Woody Marine pilot boat for WA

The biggest pilot boat yet to be built by Brisbane-based Woody Marine Fabrication (WMF) is destined to operate on the country’s west coast.

Pictured under construction in the company’s facility, the 17m aluminium boat is an important milestone for WMF.

Already the company has a world first, having built and rigged the first RIB with four Yamaha F350s, with plans for a five-F350 powered craft. With an overall length of 17m, a beam of 5.7m and a displacement of 28.5 tonnes loaded, the new pilot boat elevates the company’s achievements to a new scale.

The pilot boat was commissioned by a Brisbane-based company and when launched and commissioned, will be located to WA, operating in the Port of Dampier. This is an exceptionally busy commercial port where pilotage is compulsory, except for vessels of 150 tonnes or less and those Masters who hold a valid Pilotage Exemption.

The pilot boat is designed to operate with a crew of three with the capability of carrying up to five pilots.

Power is provided in the form of dual Caterpillar C18 diesels, each producing 715hp. The driveline is a conventional shaftdrive with the designer, UK-based Camarc Design, predicting a maximum speed of 25kts and cruise speed of 18kts.

“We are really proud of our achievement on this project and the client is extremely impressed with the workmanship and professionalism Woody has maintained throughout the project,” said Stephen Plummer, CEO of WMF.

“While our core business is in the area of RIB manufacturing, our Brisbane pilot boat customer recognised our broader capability in the manufacturing of larger alloy vessels.

“This is a landmark project in the development of WMF. We believe that having proven our capability with the 17m pilot boat, we can expect more of this kind of work in the future and already we are in discussions for future vessels,” he said.

Photo 1: Under construction, the biggest pilot boat so far built by Woody Marine.

Mermaid buys new PSV
Mermaid Marine Australia has entered into a contract to purchase a new 75m DP II platform supply vessel (PSV).

The PSV is a Norwegian designed MT 6009 MkII diesel-electric ship, which MMA says delivers a high level of reliability and fuel efficiency in operation.

The workboat was purchased from Singapore listed company Otto Marine and MMA took delivery at Otto’s shipyard in May 2011. Headquartered in Singapore, Otto owns and operates one of the largest shipyards in Batam, Indonesia.

Commenting on the sale, Otto’s president cum group CEO, Lee Kok Wah said: “(The) Offshore marine industry is moving towards deeper water. Coupled with surging oil prices that will spur exploration activities, demand for platform supply vessels appears to be reviving. Our DNV Class vessels are of high specifications, which allow them to weather the roughest sea conditions.”

The purchase price of the PSV is $US31.5 million. In November 2010, MMA successfully raised $A64 million specifically for the purpose of building a PSV capability within the organisation.

Speaking about the new acquisition, MMA managing director, Jeff Weber said: “The PSV is the second of its type in our fleet and significantly expands the company’s capabilities in relation to offshore drilling and construction support. This is an important step in delivering on our strategy.”

MMA reports that the vessel will be chartered to Allseas to support the Gorgon Jansz Pipelay Project commencing in the final quarter of this year. The Allseas charter will run for approximately 12 months and involve general supply duties.

The company was also awarded a contract with Allseas for the provision of supply base services to support the same project. The contract is for the full range of supply base services to be provided out of the Mermaid Dampier Supply Base, including stevedoring, storage, loadout and fuel and water supply, and is expected to continue for approximately three years.

The combined value of the PSV and the Supply Base contracts is in the order of $A20 million.

Commenting on the award of the Allseas contracts, Weber said: “The charter of the vessel to Allseas is a strong endorsement of MMA’s operating capability and we are very pleased to be involved as a primary marine supplier on such a major project.

“The award of the Supply Base contract highlights the value of the integrated service offered by the company,” he said.

Slow local business cuts Austal profit
At $14.1 million, Australian shipbuilder Austal’s profit for the first half of the 2010/11 financial year was nine per cent lower than the corresponding period last financial year despite a 15 per cent increase in revenue to $251.2 million.

The company said continued softening in commercial sales for Austal’s Australian operations had adversely affected results. It attributed the lack of sales in this sector to the continued impacts of the strength of the Australian dollar and weakness in debt finance markets, but said that good enquiry rates reflected the return of buyer confidence.

Revenue for the Australian shipbuilding operations was down 13 per cent on the corresponding previous period, while pre-tax profit fell 45 per cent. The results presentation also revealed that a conditional contract had been executed for the sale of its 102m stock trimaran but did not provide further details.

Newly appointed CEO, Andrew Bellamy, noted that while traditional commercial markets are still recovering from the effects of the Global Financial Crisis, Austal has enjoyed significant success in the international defence sector.

“Key events during the past six months have included the awarding a multi-vessel contract for the construction of the Independence class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) along with the full award of contracts for Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) 4 and 5. Austal is also currently pursuing other significant defence tenders throughout the world, which will benefit both our Australian and US businesses. Non-US opportunities include tenders for Australia, Yemen and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Bellamy.

“The LCS multi-vessel contract has the potential to deliver an average revenue stream of approximately $US600 million per annum from 2013 to 2017. In conjunction with the contribution from the JHSV multi-vessel contract of approximately $US280 million per annum between 2012 and 2015, the group is positioned to deliver a consistent flow of predictable earnings results.

“Austal maintains a strong order book position, closing the half year with work in hand of $1.2 billion,” he concluded.

Photo 2: Austal said a conditional contract was in hand for its stock trimaran.

Incat LNG ship to operate in South America
Shipbuilder Incat Tasmania has announced the customer for its world-first high-speed passenger Ro-Ro ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

The 99m catamaran was contracted by South America’s Buquebus in November 2010, however, for commercial reasons the company requested that its identity be kept under wraps. The ferry operator has now announced that they will operate the ship on its service between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo in Uruguay.

Incat chairman, Robert Clifford said: “Incat is excited about this project as it represents a significant step in the global move for natural gas-powered ships to replace those operated with less environmentally-friendly fuels.

“Incat is especially pleased to be building this ship, hull 069, for a repeat customer. Buquebus have clearly demonstrated their preference for Incat technology over a 20-year period and hull 069 will be the eighth that we have built for Buquebus and their associated companies. It will be the largest catamaran they have operated and the fastest, environmentally cleanest, most efficient high-speed ferry in the world,” he said.

The yet-to-be-named ferry is under construction at the Incat shipyard at Prince of Wales Bay, Hobart. Delivery is anticipated to be in the Southern Hemisphere spring of 2012.

Hull 069, with capacity for more than 1000 passengers and 153 cars has a projected lightship speed of 53kts, and an operating speed of 50kts. Crossing the River Plate at high speed allows the ferry service to compete with airline traffic between Uruguay and Argentina. The passenger cabin will include tourist, business and first class seating, and more than 1000m² of shops, the largest shopping area ever installed on a fast-ferry.

The ship will be the first installation of LNG-powered dual-fuel engines in an Incat high-speed ferry, and the first high-speed craft built under the HSC code to be powered by gas turbines using LNG as the primary fuel and marine distillate for standby and ancillary use.

Photo 3: Incat is building its first natural gas-powered high-speed ferry for South American company Buquebus.

P&O introduces windfarm cat
Melbourne-headquartered P&O Maritime Services has signalled its intention to pursue the offshore windfarm servicing market with the introduction of a new purpose designed and built catamaran.

The 17.5m Santa Ana was constructed from aluminium in the United Kingdom by Lyme Boats using a design from Sydney-based Incat Crowther. The design firm says that the proven hullform utilised for the boat “brings new levels of stability, safety, comfort, efficiency and flexibility to the windfarm service craft market”.

Operator P&O Maritime Services saw the platform’s potential for windfarm service, and worked closely with Lyme Boats and Incat Crowther to develop the workboat’s design.

Incat Crowther also reports that extensive seakeeping trials on the catamaran were endorsed by a brace of vessel operators.

“We are extremely happy to have her in the water to show the world what she can do”, said Lyme Boats principal, Brian Pogson. “Everybody worked very hard on the development and construction of Santa Ana, so we are justifiably proud to hit the market with a real boat built for real operators.”

Santa Ana is distinguishable by its twin cargo areas, one aft and one on the foredeck. The aft cargo area has space for a 10-foot sea container, and has a capacity of 10 tonnes — the foredeck cargo zone with four-tonne capacity. The boat is specifically designed to interface with windfarm pylons, allowing transfer of crew and cargo over the bow, stern or alongside.

To enhance flexibility, there are crane bases located on the foredeck, as well as the upper deck outboard. This will allow the operator to configure the crane location as necessary for the contracted service.

Between these two cargo areas is the main cabin, featuring comfortable seating for 12 passengers with tables, lockers, a large galley and lounge, as well as wet room and shower facilities. On the upper deck is the wheelhouse with excellent vision of both cargo areas. Safety is further enhanced by the addition of pilot-style windows in the forward wheelhouse roof, which afford the operator the ability to observe the platform and crew heading up the turbine ladder. Accessed from the main deck cabin, the hulls feature tank spaces amidships and two twin cabins each side forward.

Principal dimensions of the catamaran are its 17.5m overall length, 17.14m waterline length, 7.5m beam and hull draft of 1m. Loaded draft, including appendages, is 1.45m. Maximum deadweight is 20 tonnes, including allowance for up to 5000lt of fuel (including 1000lt in transfer tanks) and 800lt of freshwater.

A total of 1500hp form a pair of Scania DI16 42 M diesels provides a maximum speed of 29kts or 25kts cruising.

Photos 4 & 5: Operator P&O Maritime Services saw the 17.5m Santa Ana’s platform potential for windfarm service, and worked closely with Lyme Boats and Incat Crowther to develop the workboat’s design.

Yanmar repower for major Kiwi operator
Operating 32 vessels under survey, Real Journeys is New Zealand’s largest marine tourism operator. The company has successfully repowered one of its largest ships with Yanmar diesels.

Whiting Power Systems, a division of Victorian company Power Equipment, initiated discussions with Real Journeys in early 2008 with a view to re-powering some of the fleet.

The brief given on the 40m 693 gross ton cruise ship Fiordland Navigator was to help solve a problem that caused the existing (non-Yanmar) engines to occasionally stall while manoeuvring near the berth. A number of factors were contributing to this including the large mass of the propellers, strong side winds, and the existing engines being old technology.

Discussion was centered on a pair of 485kW Yanmar 6AYM-STE diesels combined with the Yanmar YX180L 4:1 reduction gear. Power Equipment’s Michael Blair said this purpose-built marine engine and gear package offered major advantages over the existing power plants.

“The 6AY series is part of the Yanmar Commercial engine range and these 20-litre IMO compliant units are quickly gaining a ‘no fuss’ reputation amongst owners, who respect excellent fuel consumption and low noise levels,” Blair said. “Developing full power at a conservative 1900rpm, these mechanically controlled Yanmar’s offer a very attractive alternative for operators such as Real Journeys.”

The decision subsequently was made to re-power Fiordland Navigator with the Yanmar 6AY-STE/YX180L combination; the change needing to be completed within a four-week window.

Adding to the scope of works for Whiting Power from their range of franchises was the supply of shaft brakes and electronic engine controls from Kobelt (Canada). Following the repower, an extensive commissioning process was undertaken by the Whiting Power Team. Yanmar factory engineers and owners representatives were also present to verify the engine installation criteria and performance when initiating a series of “crash” stops at around 8kts, shifting forward to reverse without the shaft brake option utilised. The testing proved the theoretical calculations as the new Yanmar 6AYs handled the “stall” testing with ease giving the operators back the confidence they had wanted.

After recently logging the first 1000 hours of operation, the Real Journey’s engineering team reported that the engines have not logged any stalling instances and they still are in a pristine condition, with not one oil leak or weep in sight.

Photo 6: The Yanmar-repowered Fiordland Navigator.

Photo 7: After 1000 hours, Real Journey’s engineers report the two Yanmar diesels are still in pristine condition.

Birgan bags a couple
Paul Birgan’s Sea Speed Design has notched up two new orders — one local and one international.

The Brisbane-based company has sold another of its 24m Sea Cat designs to Queensland operator Tusa Dive. Currently under construction in Brisbane, Tusa 6 will replace Tusa 5 which was built in 2008. Birgan reports that this rapid changeover of vessels comes about as the owner “wishes to keep their fleet in great condition minimising maintenance and also allowing for a very good value to the existing vessel”. Tusa 5 is currently available for sale or charter.

“The 24m Sea Cat is fuel efficient and has proven to be a good solution for low-cost operation. The loaded speed is over 24.5kts, which is very good considering she is only powered by twin Detroit S60 engines of 499kW each,” Birgan added.

The company has also announced the release of a 17m windfarm service catamaran. The design was developed in accordance with the requirements of an Irish company, Norfolk Marine, and has been named the Tern Class Catamaran after a bird commonly seen on sand banks off Ireland.

“The combination of operational experience obtained from many years operating out to wind farms and the design experience from the Sea Speed team, have resulted in this great versatile workboat,” Birgan said.

The design and kit combination has been prepared in accordance with the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency criteria with Hull and Engineering to Lloyds SSC standard for offshore operations, enabling operation in most countries. The first vessel for Norfolk Marine commenced construction in early 2011.

“The design is based on the Sea Speed ‘Deep-Sea cat’ hull, which is proven in large seas and features high wing clearance, deep-vee hull forms and extra-strong structure and plating,” Birgan explained.

“This version also features walkaround sides, large forward and aft work decks, spacious day cabin and below-hull berthing for six crew. Large fuel capacity matched with fuel-efficient hulls give extended range and fuel bunkering capabilities.

“Overall, we feel it’s the ideal crewboat/workboat suitable for a range of operational services,” he added.

New simulators installed in Cairns and Sydney
Kongsberg Maritime has completed simulator installations at a Cairns maritime college and a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) training facility.

Installation of a suite of navigation simulators at the new Great Barrier Reef International Marine College (GBRIMC) in Cairns consisted of a 270-degree DNV Class A full-mission bridge simulator, a 180-degree tug bridge, eight destktop navlab stations with part task simulators for ECDIS training and an instructor station.

The simulator features exercise area databases of Australia's busiest ports. An extensive library of ship models, from small sportsfishing boats through superyachts to oil tankers and cruise ships, gives GBRIMC the flexibility to train different types of crew and competencies. The full-mission bridge and the tug simulators are also integrated, so students may operate both within the same exercise.

“The simulator is ideal for training at all levels, from coxswains to foreign-going master and pilot training," said Captain Kim Anderson, GBRIMC project manager.

It has capacity to cater for 124 students at any one time, and is closely connected with the local high school in order to help young students forge a career path into the maritime industry.

The RAN opened its upgraded ship's bridge simulator training facility at HMAS Watson in Sydney during March. Featuring a host of new full-mission and desktop simulators from Kongsberg Maritime, the new facility represents one of the most advanced naval training centres in the world and will be used by RAN cadets to learn to pilot the next generation of warships, alongside a wide range of critical training applications, including anti-piracy.

“The new facility at HMAS Watson is one of our most advanced naval installation to date, and it's satisfying to see it officially opened on time, especially as it was installed on a tight schedule and RAN required that there was no loss of training time during the installation,” said Kongsberg Maritime’s Mark Treen.

“The RAN has been a Kongsberg Maritime simulator user since 1998. It attends and is an active part of our Simulator User Conferences, exchanging views and ideas about how best to focus our simulator development. We are delighted that they chose Kongsberg Maritime for this upgrade and that they play such an active role in our worldwide community of customers,” he said.

The facility upgrade was awarded the Navy Minor Project Award by Australian Defence Magazine (ADM).

The HMAS Watson upgraded ship's bridge simulator system was delivered in two phases. It comprises two state-of-the-art full-mission simulators, four part-task simulators, 10 desktop systems, instructor and debrief stations and extensive visual systems, based on the latest iteration of Kongsberg Maritime's SeaView software. As an integrated system, the simulators provide RAN with the capability to train cadets in scenarios ranging from simple tasks, such as passage planning, ocean passage and coastal navigation, to more complex tasks including pilotage, berthing and un-berthing, precise navigation and close-quarter manoeuvring when conducting warfare type exercises.

“The RAN is an extensive user of Bridge Simulator functionality and capabilities, pushing the boundaries on its availability requirements and operational scenario expectations. Kongsberg’s bridge simulator was analysed prior to selection and was assessed as capable of fulfilling the RAN's usage requirements for the current training programs and the flexibility of providing for future operational growth,” stated Rod McMahon, director Minor Capital Projects (Navy), Defence Material Organisation, on award of the contract in January 2010.

Photo 8: Queensland Premier Anna Bligh (at controls) tries out the simulator watched by GBRIMC’s Capt Kim Anderson (at right).

Photo 9: The new RAN facility. (Photo by ABIS Alan Lancaster).

Farstad gets further charters
Norwegian-headquartered Farstad continues to have success in the Australian offshore market, announcing a slew of new charter agreements.

The anchor handling tug/supply (AHTS) boats Far Scimitar and Far Sky have both been awarded a 14-month firm contract by Apache Energy to support drilling operations offshore Western Australia. The charters include an option on each vessel for a further 12 months. Far Scimitar is a UT 712 L design built in 2008 and with nearly 15,000hp. Far Sky is 20 years-old and 13,382hp.

The 1998-built KMAR 404 design AHTS, Lady Sandra and the 1993-built, UT 722 design AHTS Far Fosna have been awarded a four-well contract by Santos Limited. The program is scheduled to take around six months.

Esso Australia exercised a three-month option for the platform supply vessel (PSV) Lady Kari-Ann. This commenced in April. Three further three-month options remain on the boat. The vessel will remain supporting Esso's offshore production operations in Bass Strait. McDermott Industries Ltd has extended the contract for AHTS Lady Cynthia (built in 1987 to a Hart Fenton design) for a further three months. Lady Cynthia will continue to support McDermott's Kipper Tuna Turrum project development for Esso Australia.