Penryn, UK-based naval architect, Jack Gifford Marine Design Studio has designed the recently delivered 15m workcat, ‘Obervargh’ – the Cornish word for ‘work horse.’

Designed in response to a brief from Falmouth firm, Seawide Services, to augment and futureproof its current fleet of high-speed work platforms Obervargh is a highly capable MCA (Maritime & Coastguard Agency) code compliant workboat, built to DNV (Det Norske Veritas) class regulations with a MECAL (Marine Engineers Certifying Authority Limited) approved stability book.

Seawide Services has over 40 years’ experience of both inshore and offshore operations, from commercial diving projects, fast crew transfer services and provisioning stores to larger ships to towing, salvage, on-site lifting, transporting heavy loads, subsea repairs and rapid reaction support in challenging marine conditions.

The design brief was for the craft to cater for this diverse range of functions and be of maximum use to the business.

“Seawide Services’ diving team maintains a huge number of moorings, so we incorporated a heavy-duty bow roller within the design to enable the lifting of giant granite mooring blocks,” explains Jack Gifford. “The vessel also required a deck load capacity of up to 20 tonnes for the delivery of crew and supplies to ships at anchor in Falmouth Bay; a large winch for towing and salvage jobs; a Hi-Ab deck crane for on-site lifting; spud legs for working in shallow waters, crew accommodation and large fuel tanks to provide UK coastal range. Incorporating all of these specifications into a useful and MCA-compliant package required a lot of careful design. MultiCats (Multi-category craft) are by their very nature versatile, but Obervargh is particularly well-suited to the multi-faceted operations that Seawide Services undertakes.”

Brendan Rowe from Seawide Services adds: “Jack Gifford Marine Design Studio has not only ensured that the vessel is compliant in all its working scenarios, but has also designed a craft that is structurally up to the job. Obervargh has already completed many sea miles and worked in the toughest environments around the coastline of the UK, and we are delighted with the outcome of this collaboration.”

Obervargh was built at Falmouth Wharves by Mark and Loz Shipwrights from Perranarworthal.

By Jake Frith