New Zealand Navy turns to Vestdavit training tool
Boat handling technology from Vestdavit is playing a central role in the Royal New Zealand Navy’s drive to perfect training.
The new Devonport Naval Base training facility in Auckland, will utilise a PLAR-4000 davit from Vestdavit on the pontoon, where it is mounted on the starboard side to allow personnel to practice boat approaches, launch and recovery of RHIBs.
“Unlike a ship, the pontoon could only take one davit, but the requirement to train both port and starboard approaches remained,” said Lieutenant Commander Angela Barker, RNZN Deputy Maritime Lead, Capability Branch.
“In order to achieve this, we have had a dual receive cradle put in place and this will allow both approaches to be used.”
The PLAR davit has been especially adapted to replicate the keel supports and boarding arrangements for port and starboard handling.
Vestdavit’s technology uses a Realistic Working Environments (RWE) controlled training environment utilising ‘like for like’ equipment to that installed on board RNZ Navy ships.
The RWE approach envisages operational training that equips seafarers to operates davits on both sides of a ship.
Meanwhile, the new centre includes a purpose-built landside facility housing a replica Inshore Patrol Vessel, plus an innovative Seamanship Training Aids Facility Pontoon (STA).
Naval architect Worley Parsons designed the STA project, with South Pacific Industrial acting as ship builder working with contractor H-Infrastructure Limited.
The STA is kitted out with a range of equipment designed to allow new trainees to develop their seamanship skills in boat handling, rope work, anchoring, berthing and towing through repetition before they need to perform in an operational environment.
Since 2000, Vestdavit has supplied 14 davits for seven NZ Navy vessels. The new NZ Navy fleet replenishment tanker Aotearoa, under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea and due delivery in 2019, will also feature twin davits from Vestdavit.
By Anne-Marie Causer
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