UK based Gobbler Boats swept the board at this year''s Seawork International exhibition winning two innovation awards for its new Gobbler 28 Rapid Response Oil Spill Recovery Vessel (RROSRV).

Gobbler said its new vessel offers a cost, effective, high performance solution for offshore, coastline and well as inland waterway oil spill recovery and it's being marketed towards the port authorities and harbour masters.

Gobbler said the new vessel offers a cost effective, high performance solution for offshore, coastline, river, lake and inland waterway oil spill recovery. All worldwide markets are being targeted, including militaries, port authorities, harbours and marinas.

Paul Jauncey, managing director, Gobbler Boats, told Maritime Journal: "There’s a total of six year’s work, including much global research, behind this vessel."

Before Gobbler’s conception, standard vessels remain limited to 3-5nms from shore and much larger vessels were the norm for off-shore oil spill recovery. Although Gobbler by comparison is still small, it is uniquely certified, more manoeuvrable, more versatile and only needs to two crew to handle the complete oil recovery operation. “We believe it to be seven times more efficient than anything else out there," Mr Jauncey added.

Mr Jauncey explained that this is largely due to the vessel having no need to keep visiting port to unload its cargo. Because hydro-dynamic bladders are towed to store the collected oil, they are not limited to transporting what they collect. Each bladder can store as much as thirteen tonnes if they are working offshore, and storage capacity is completely unlimited when extra bladders are available from an accompanying mothership, or when delivered on site as part of a Gobbler “Pod system”, which acts as a vessel re-fuelling station and bladder storage centre.

Gobbler vessels can recover up to 40 tonnes of virtually water-free oil per hour, equivalent to around 6.400 barrels (900 tonnes) per 24 hr day in a serious spill, taking into account time taken for crew and bladder changes.

Equally important is that oil collected from a new spill it can be recycled, making a further commitment to the environment and conserving global energy reserves.

The Gobbler 290 has Lloyds Register +100A1 SSC WORK BOAT MONO HSC G3 structural design compliance for distances to 150 nautical miles offshore. The vessel’s patented 29ft hybrid mono-cat hull configuration incorporates a recovery bay at fore with a hydraulically elevated mounting that suits a range of oil recovery equipment.

The equipment is geometrically locked in its upper position for rapid transit to the incident where it is then hydraulically lowered into its self-synchronising recovery position. The special profile and configuration of the vessel’s hull provides good hydrodynamic lift for high-speed transit to offshore incidents, while also being highly stable during trawl-speed recovery operations.

The combined high performance jet drive and the 0.45m draft facilitate both shallow water or deep water operation. Because the vessels can be trailered, they can be quickly launched from land and can reach coastline or off-shore incidents which others cannot.

With an optional stainless steel drum, they have the ability to retrieve oil directly from the lowest beach waterline, whilst operational areas span all global locations.

The vessel generated plenty of interest at Seawork with firm enquiries coming from Canada, Mombasa, Nigeria, America and the Middle East and beyond.

Mr Jauncey told MJ that the company is looking to start a new production line for the vessels, possibly in Wales, providing a suitable building is sourced, due to start in August/September 2015. The plan is to build for stock and also to order for clients.

Gobbler Boats will be relocating to Portsmouth to open its new HQ and a new 21,000 sq ft factory, but this won't be completed until the end of 2016. Many of the Gobbler special and patented components will still be manufactured in Aylesbury.

The business plan is to produce 500 vessels per year initially from each factory, with a view to 3000 vessels a year worldwide within five years, to satisfy what is an ever growing and demanding market.

By Anne-Marie Causer