Offshore Unlimited contracts 35m cat

Hobart-based offshore service vessel operator Offshore Unlimited has again teamed-up with the aluminium shipbuilder Richardson Devine Marine, and naval architects Incat Crowther, to develop what will be largest vessel in Offshore Unlimited’s fleet.

To be named Limitless, the workboat is due into service in February 2012. At 35m long and 11.5m wide, the catamaran will be capable of transporting 125 tonnes of deadweight, including up to 50 personnel. It has also been designed to transit at up to 20kts over distances ranging up to 1800 nautical miles. Fuel capacity is 37,000lt, and the freshwater tankage of 12,000lt can be refilled in a day by the boat’s desalinator.

The accommodation, located over three decks contains sleeping and service facilities for crew/personnel of up to 32 persons in 15 cabins, each with a desk.

With a clear work area of more than 160m², the offshore support catamaran’s aft deck is arranged for multiple uses and includes a moonpool for survey operations and the capacity to carry up to four standard shipping containers. It will be fitted with an Heila hydraulic remote deck crane capable of lifting 12 tonnes at 3m, and 2.1 tonnes at 13m. The deck structure will also suit a removable luffing A-frame, with a safe working load of 20 tonnes.

An upper deck workspace with 14 seats will be fitted with direct wireways to the aft deck to allow for quick installation and configuration of deck-mounted equipment, while an adjacent bathroom improves functionality. Two large cabins on the upper deck feature half-height glass bulkheads with blinds to allow interaction between the workspace and the helm.

The main deck cabin houses a wet room with lockers and bathroom, lounge, galley, mess, medical room and six cabins. A pair of these cabins will be able to be joined by retracting a dividing wall, creating a large four-berth cabin.

The boat’s hulls will house a further six cabins, four of which will also feature a sliding joining partition. In addition to these cabins, the hulls will house refrigerator and freezer rooms, service and storage spaces.

Powered by twin 1655hp Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines each producing 1655hp, Limitless has a design service speed of approximately 19kts. Twin Caterpillar C9 generators have been selected, too, and manoeuvring will be enhanced by a pair of Westmar bowthrusters.

The catamaran will be in USL 2A survey to 600nm offshore and USL 1B for operations up to 200nm from the Australian coast.

Limitless is being built as Richardson Devine Marine’s Hull 055. RDM’s relationship with the Offshore Unlimited Group started in 2008 with Unlimited — a versatile 24m catamaran workboat. Developed from experience gained through the operation of Unlimited, Sydney-based Incat Crowther designed a longer, wider 29m Limitless, which was launched in early 2010.


1, 2 & 3). Incat Crowther designed the 29m workboat Limitless on experience gained from the older sister ship Unlimited.

Austal confirms local and overseas orders
WA shipbuilder Austal has confirmed two multi-vessel contracts, including that to supply a new fleet of patrol boats for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

Having earlier been announced as the preferred tenderer for the Customs and Border Protection project, the contract was officially signed at the company’s shipyard on August 12, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard in attendance.

The contract is for the design, construction and through-life support of eight new Cape Class patrol boats. These will replace the Bay Class Australian Customs Vessels, also built by Austal, and which have been in operation for more than 10 years.

Construction of the first Cape Class vessel is expected to commence in February 2012, with all eight due to be delivered between March 2013 and August 2015.

The In-Service Support contract extends for a minimum period of eight years and encompasses a full range of intermediate- and depot-level maintenance activities. Further options can be exercised for In-Service Support for the life of the fleet. Austal will work with DMS Maritime for the support phase.

“The Cape Class contract cements Austal’s position as the sole provider of Australia’s Border Protection Command patrol vessels, and as a leading supplier of Australia’s frontline border security and surveillance capabilities,” said Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy.

Speaking following the ceremony, Gillard said: “We already have more assets patrolling our borders than ever before, but we do want to increase the capability and reach of the vessels that patrol our borders, and so as a Government, we are investing $350 million in a new class of patrol boat, the Cape Class.

“I’m very pleased that we were able to make this investment and make it right here in the skills and capacities of this workforce. This investment will support 500 direct jobs and indirectly will support around 1000 more. It will of course go to support further training efforts — more apprentices, more skills coming on stream,” she said.

The eight 57.8m long, 10.3m wide Cape Class Patrol Boats will play a significant role in protecting Australia’s borders from multiple maritime threats, and have been designed to have greater range, endurance and flexibility, as well as enhanced capability to operate in more severe sea conditions than the current Customs’ fleet.

The new vessels will be equipped with greater surveillance technology and able to travel longer distances between refuelling. Austal says the range will exceed 4000nm at 12kts, while top speed will be 25kts. Twin Caterpillar 3516C diesels, each developing 2525kW, spin fixed-pitch propellers via ZF gearboxes.

The new patrol boats will allow the simultaneous launch of two 7.3m Gemini response tenders that are bigger, faster and have greater capacity to carry out rescues.

Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, outlined some of the key capability differences of the new boats.

“The Cape Class… will advance its capability compared with the Bay Class vessel and there’s no doubt, as a result of the new design, these vessels will be able to sail longer — they’ll be able to sail 4000nm compared to 2700nm. That allows them to have up to 28 sailing days,” said O’Connor.

“They’ll also be approximately 18 crew on each vessel compared with 10 crew now, which again allows them to deal with certain challenges in a more effective manner. Indeed, these vessels are much larger, which provides not only better amenities for crew but of course, also the capability of carrying other passengers, particularly either dealing with people smugglers but most likely responding to safety-of-life-at-sea situations,” he said.

Austal’s other recent multi-vessel contract is for three 21m workboats for UK company Turbine Transfers Limited. The catamarans will be used to transport service crews and equipment to offshore windfarms.

Bellamy said Austal’s “highly efficient” vessels, “will achieve greater speeds, with a level of fuel efficiency that is superior to that of similar sized vessels in the Turbine Transfers fleet.”

Austal has adopted a fine entry chine hull form that in association with a high tunnel height, will enable the boats to operate at speeds of up to 30kts, with targeted seakeeping ability in up to 2m significant wave height.

Due for delivery in May 2012, the boats will have three crew and carry 12 wind farm personnel in a maximum deadweight of 12.5 tonnes. Power comes from two MTU 10V 2000 M72 diesels with propulsion from Kamewa 45 A3 waterjets.


4). Twin 7.3m tenders provide important boarding party capability.
5). The Cape Class contract is worth $350 million.

6 & 7). The Turbine Transfer trio are Austal’s first boats for the wind farm market, and the Wind Express 21 can do 30kts.

Clough to Sell Marine Construction Business
Clough Limited has agreed to sell its offshore Marine Construction Division to SapuraCrest Petroleum Berhad (SapuraCrest), a company listed on the Malaysian stock exchange, for gross proceeds of approximately $127 million in cash.

The sale will see Clough exit the asset intensive offshore marine construction market and includes the derrick lay barge, Java Constructor, and associated marine construction equipment. Also included will be Clough’s interest in the Clough Helix Joint Venture, which operates the chartered Normand Clough, and its investments in specialist engineering businesses, OFI and Peritus.

Post transaction, the division will continue to operate from Perth with a continuing focus on both Australian and regional markets. Clough will continue to provide a number of back-office services to the business for a period of two years.

Clough CEO John Smith said, “Whilst Clough has enjoyed a long history of successfully executing marine construction projects, it is a sector where significant capital investment is required to compete with the larger regional and global players.

“Our results have been lumpy in this division and consistency requires scale, flexibility of assets and broad geographic coverage. We believe SapuraCrest will bring these characteristics and we wish them and the skilled workforce who will transfer every success for the future,” he said.

The Marine Construction Division reported an underlying loss of $7.6 million in the six months to December 31, 2010 after reporting underlying earnings of $24.1 million in the year ended June 30, 2010.

First AWD block delivered
The first keel block that will be used to construct Australia’s first Air Warfare Destroyer — HMAS Hobart — has been delivered to Adelaide.

Construction of the AWDs involves 90 separate steel blocks being built at shipyards in Adelaide (ASC), Melbourne (BAE Systems), Newcastle (Forgacs), and Ferrol, Spain (Navantia).

Three sonar blocks are being constructed in Spain and the United Kingdom.

This first block weighs around 180 tonnes. It is 18m long, 16m wide and 5m high and will form part of the ship’s keel.

It was loaded on a barge at BAE System’s Melbourne shipyard and towed to the Common User Facility in Adelaide, arriving four days later.
It was then removed from the barge and transported by a large multi-wheeled vehicle to the pre-fitout facility on ASC's Shipyard (ASC South).

Further work on the block including blast and paint, fitting pipes, installing communications and electrical cables and fitting internal walls will now be completed.

Construction has begun on all main blocks for the first ship and work has also begun on blocks for the second ship, HMAS Brisbane.

In May, the Federal Government announced that the AWD Alliance had reallocated construction work on the project away from BAE Systems to reduce the schedule risk to both the AWD and Landing Helicopter Dock ship projects.

BAE Systems Director of Maritime, Harry Bradford said shipping of the first block by barge was a major milestone for the Williamstown yard.

“BAE Systems has taken on the more challenging blocks in the build and Block 109 is one of the larger and more complex keel line blocks,” said Bradford. “The scope of our work in the construction of the block included structural assembly and outfit. Further blocks under contract are the major keel line blocks, which include all of the complex hull structure and major machinery spaces.”

Bradford said initially there were some issues with design and skill shortages, however, BAE Systems had made substantial investment in bringing in the right skills to complete the job.

“We invested a lot of time and money in rebuilding our capability with our staff so we can meet the requirements of the AWD build,” said Bradford. “We are now at a stage where we have the right people and the right skills to meet the challenges this project will bring. As an international shipbuilder BAE Systems also has the added advantage of global reachback and can draw on our experiences in other markets.”

The AWD project has also taken delivery of three main gun mounts of the Air Warfare Destroyers. The gun mounts, manufactured by BAE Systems in the USA, are valued at $80 million and will be placed into a controlled storage facility in Adelaide until they are installed on the ships.


8). One of 90, the first keel block used to construct Australia’s first Air Warfare Destroyer, HMAS Hobart, is delivered to Adelaide.

Large Incat for Taiwan Strait
A ship built in Australia by Incat is set to become the first large fast-ferry to operate across the Taiwan Strait — a route that has been closed to direct ferry links until very recently.

Fujian Cross Strait Ferry Corporation selected the 98m wavepiercing catamaran The Cat as the answer to its high-speed aspirations for Taiwan Strait. Now in China, the ship arrived from Canada, where it had been operating since delivery in 2002.

The catamaran can carry up to 900 people, 267 cars and operate at speeds up to 38kts. A total of 380 lane metres is available for trucks or buses.

Renamed Hai Xia Hao (meaning The Strait) the ferry will operate between Pingtan Island, in the Fujian Province and Taipei, Taiwan.

“The use of high-speed ferries carrying vehicles as well as passengers between China and Taiwan is something that has been foreshadowed for several years,” said Incat Chairman, Robert Clifford.

Incat marketing director, Kim Clifford joined with Tasmanian Minister for Economic Development, David O’Byrne to inspect the ship in China. Commenting afterwards Clifford said: “The visit to Pingtan Island was very important to our business and having the Minister with us gave us access to senior government officials in the province and this will provide us with an excellent platform for future business sales.”


9). The Australian-built Hai Xia Hao is set to be the first large fast-ferry to operate across the recently reopened Taiwan Strait.

Dometic presents air purifier to Australian market
Dometic Marine presented its In-Duct Breathe Easy Air Purifier for the first time at this year's Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. The system was awarded a 2010 IBEX Innovation Award in the Mechanical Systems category and has been specified by several international shipbuilders including Trinity Yachts.

The system is specifically designed to work within the ducting of a boat’s air-conditioning system. Operating silently, it purifies and cleanses air using Photocatalytic Nano-Mesh Technology with UV light. Each time the air circulates it is further purified.

The unit takes up little space and can retrofitted without alterations to the boat’s existing air-conditioning unit. There is no need for any mounting hardware as a section of the A/C ducting is cut out and the circular In-Duct Breathe Easy tube simply inserted, then the ducting reattached. The Breathe Easy is available in sizes to match all standard duct diameters.

The unit can also be used during refit and refurbishment work when there may be a myriad of solvents and glues in use, some of which may have dangerous odour-free emissions.

Frank Marciano, president of Dometic Marine said, “I recently visited a 95ft yacht built in 2004 that developed a serious mould problem that was making the crew sick. To alleviate the problem, the captain had all of the air-conditioning ducts replaced and installed our In-Duct Breathe Easy Air Purifiers.

“Within days the boat's crew could actually perceive that they were breathing cleaner air. It makes me proud to offer such an incredible solution to our customers,” he said.

Dometic says the In-Duct Breathe Easy has been proven by independent test consultancy, Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory to reduce the presence of harmful mould spores, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other contaminants and odours by up to 100 per cent. Inhaled mould is acknowledged by leading experts as a key contributor to health issues such as eye and respiratory tract irritation, sneezing and sore throats.


10). Breathe easy with this neat air-con add-on from Dometic.

Volvo Penta launches heavy-duty diesel
Volvo Penta says its new D13 MH is a powerful and fuel-efficient Tier 3 engine for medium- and heavy-duty marine commercial applications. The 13lt diesel is available in five models with outputs from 400 to 600hp.

“The focus, when developing the D13 MH, was to offer a Tier 3-compliant marine diesel engine that also had lower fuel consumption, more power-to-volume and even higher durability than the current D12,” says Gerard Törneman at Volvo Penta. “Not an easy task considering the D12 is one of the most successful Volvo Penta engines ever.”

Maximum torque is reached at around 800 to 900rpm.
This facilitates manoeuvring, but is equally important in situations such as towing at low speed, using the power take-off and performing a crash stop.

The D13 MH has very low levels of NOx emissions and no visible smoke, regardless of load. All D13 MH models comply with the IMO Tier3 emission regulations. The low emissions are combined with high-power and low fuel consumption, largely as a result of the charge air system.

The D13 MH has a mid-position, twin-entry turbo with waste gate. This turbo offers pulse charging with high-charge air-pressure directly from low rpm. To fully utilise this efficient turbo, it is combined with Miller inlet valve timing. Here, the inlet valve closes earlier, reducing engine temperature and mechanical stress, which allows for higher boost pressure. Equally important for durability is the cooling system. D13 MH features a plate heat exchanger — a proven and reliable technology.

EMS 2, the engine control system developed by Volvo, regulates fuel injection and monitors engine conditions. The system controls the unit injectors, one per cylinder, which operate at a pressure of as much as 2000 bar and atomise the fuel for optimum combustion. The result of this efficient combustion is around four per cent lower maximum-power fuel consumption for the D13 MH than the previous model. Volvo Penta says the reduction at operational speed compared to the existing model, “is significant”.

The D13 MH is available with two type-approved onboard electronic control alternatives: EVC or MCC. EVC is Volvo Penta’s own electronic platform with integrated controls and features such as low-speed and cruise control. MCC is the option for the operator who needs a system fully classified for all SOLAS and classification society demands.


11). Volvo Penta’s new 13lt D13 MH turbo-diesel is available in five models with outputs from 400 to 600hp.