Optimised propulsion for Seawork exhibition boat

’Falcon Spirit’ was a much visited vessel when alongside for Seawork 2010. ’Falcon Spirit’ was a much visited vessel when alongside for Seawork 2010.

Bedfordshire UK based Clements Marine has supplied propellers and stern gear to Alnmaritec’s latest research vessel ‘Falcon Spirit’ which was built for Plymouth University and recently attracted a lot of interest at the Seawork Exhibition in Southampton.

Hyperform propellers were manufactured and installed by Clements Marine. These unique four blade profile propellers allow for optimum speed and acceleration and are vibration free. Made to Class 1 they exceeded the required speed set out by the design. The stern gear was manufactured from F51 Duplex stainless steel, which is strong and has improved resistance to stress corrosion and cracking.

Falcon Spirit is the fifth project Clements Marine has worked on with Alnmaritec, with a further three currently in build. Each project is individual with tailor made solutions to meet the specific needs of the final vessel application.

This latest boat, which was designed in-house and built by Alnmaritec, is a derivative of the highly successful Wave Commander class of offshore support vessels, many of which are already in service with wind farm operators in the renewable energy sector. The attributes of a high bow and wet deck, with a relatively fine entry ensure excellent sea keeping both in transit and on station and also keeps the deck dry in the challenging conditions seen off the UK’s south west coast. This is ideal, as the vessel’s purpose is to assist with research and teaching on the University’s wide range of marine related academic courses. It will also spend much of its time on the Wave Hub renewable energy research project off Land’s End.

The hull structure is designed and built to Lloyd’s SSC rules under survey and the MCA Workboat Code Category 2 certification to allow it operate up to 60 miles from a safe haven. A specially adapted skeg aft gives excellent protection to the stern gear and will allow the vessel to take the ground as part of the operational requirement.

The boat is a 14m by 6m aluminium alloy asymmetric catamaran powered by twin Cummins QSC 8.3 litre 500 bhp four stroke diesel engines, driving through Twin Disc MGX5114 IV veedrive QuickShift gearboxes to conventional fixed pitch propellers. This gives Falcon Spirit a cruising speed of around 18 knots as well as allowing for very low speed trolling during survey or trawling.

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