Safehaven record attempt

19 May 2017
Thunder Child is powered by a pair of Caterpillar C12.9 turbocharged, supercharged and intercooler diesel engines producing 1,000hp each

Thunder Child is powered by a pair of Caterpillar C12.9 turbocharged, supercharged and intercooled diesel engines producing 1,000hp each

Commercial marine vessel builder Safehaven Marine is planning a new world record attempt this July circumnavigating the entire island of Ireland taking in another island on the way – Rockall – which lies almost 500km northwest of Ireland.

This has never been attempted before, therefore no such record exists.  The record route is now fully sanctioned by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM).   

The current round Ireland record, which stood since 2009 was broken last year by Team Hibernia, now re-branded as the Allblack Racing Team, who set a new record at just under 13hrs. It was set in perfect conditions during the summer by a 42ft raceboat capable of 100mph. To achieve the time they will have averaged around 65mph for the 700nm voyage. This trip took the shortest and most direct route around Ireland. 

Safehaven Marine does not build ‘race boats’ but the company does build high speed commercial and naval craft with a renowned global reputation for their exceptional sea keeping capabilities and strength, having built over 120 vessels from its factory in Cork, Ireland, supplied to some 26 countries worldwide, since being established in 1998.  

The route involves a 2,000 kilometre journey and a 1,000 kilometre open ocean crossing across the North Atlantic, one of the roughest and most notorious seas on the planet, an area where even during summer months there is likely to be an ocean swell running, and due to its high northern latitude, sea states that will prove challenging when attempting to maintain high speeds for over 30 hours non stop. 

This route will effectively rule out very high speed race boats, due to the long range fuel requirement. However any boat attempting this route will need to be capable of respectably high speeds of 50kts+, speeds that can be utilised in the calmer sections, but also possess very high levels of seakeeping enabling it to maintain high speeds when the inevitable rough seas are encountered. Any such boat will also have to be exceptionally strongly built and mechanically engineered for total reliability, as at times the route will take the craft over 500km from land, beyond the range of most rescue services. 

Team Safehaven Marine will make this record attempt in its newest vessel Thunder Child - an XSV 17 Barracuda, a 60ft high speed wave piercing design for S.A.R., naval patrol and interception roles.

Thunder Child is powered by a pair of Caterpillar C12.9 turbocharged, supercharged and intercooler diesel engines producing 1,000hp each. Propulsion is by surface drives and she is capable of a maximum speed of 60kts. The vessel is constructed from advanced lightweight FRP cored composites and has an innovative and unique hull form that allows it to operate in two distinct modes; fully planing and wavepiercing.

Visit Safehaven Marine at Seawork International 2017 on stand PY35.

By Jake Frith

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