New boat, new outboards

The ROV1304 under build at BW Seacat's premises
ROVas boat under build at BW Seacat's premises
BW Seacat's latest ROVas boat taking shape
BW Seacat's latest ROVas boat taking shape

The very first application of Suzuki Marine’s DF325 outboards in Northern Europe is going to be shown at Seawork 2018, on a ROV inspection and survey boat designed by BW Seacat for Norwegian company ROVas.

The ROV1304 has a 13m long SPEED-type fast displacement hull, following BW Seacat’s well proven design: this will be the operator’s fourth vessel on the same lines. Certainly, as Ben Plummer of BW Seacat explained, this vessel aims to do more with less: like its sisters it will be suitable for duty cycles of several days, a pair of crew working in two shifts, so there’s a requirement for deck space plus cabins and comfort facilities for two, afforded by the 4.7m beam.

The overall shape has a fine entry bow from which flows a chine designed to generate lift by deflecting the bow wash. This, in conjunction with the dynamic lift generated by the flat, box-like stern section helps to mitigate any pitching motion that could come from the narrow bow, resulting in a smooth and steady ride. This new vessel also has its outboards on pods on the back of the transom which lengthens the waterline, increasing the efficiency of vessel, meaning you need less power for the same speed.

The V6 Suzuki outboards should give the 1304 a little extra edge. These have a high, 10.5:1 compression ratio: in order to avoid misfiring the manufacturers have worked on the air mix, using two smaller injectors to reach the required precision on the stroke timing as well as improving atomization, increasing output by 3%, with no knocking.

Suzuki’s contra-rotating propellers – also found on the DF350 released last year – distribute torque over both sets of blades, decreasing the gear diameter, allowing for a smaller footprint while increasing efficiency. According to Plummer, the Suzuki DF325 “should have more grip throughout the speed range”. More, the design’s benefited from elimination of steering torque, plus, there’s been work on a stronger reverse thrust which means that all in all, the new boat will be even more manoeuvrable.

The details of the new vessel’s sea trials performance will be available at Seawork: visit BW Seacat on VA42.

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