Lower Elbe Sounding Ship for Germans

'Wedel', seen here during trials, is now in service. 'Wedel', seen here during trials, is now in service.

The new 23.9m modern sounding boat Wedel is now in service on the Elbe after completion for north German shipping authorities by the Fassmer Shipyard in Berne as a replacement for two older vessels.

The home port of the 5.7 m wide Wedel is the town of the same name on the Elbe and the vessel is working on the Lower Elbe between the Port of Hamburg and Cuxhaven.

Drawing just 1.6m and displacing 102 tons, Wedel is a slightly modified version of Baltic, delivered in 2002 to shipping and waterway authorities in Stralsund. It replaces two other sounding boats, both also based in Wedel, the 16.98m Niederelbe, built in 1994 and the 23.41m Biene, in service since 1963.

With a steel hull and aluminium superstructure, Wedel has a generous deckhouse with all round view and an open working deck of 45m2. It carries a crew of three and, according to Fassmer, demonstrates very good manoeuverability and stability.

A top speed of 12.2 knots, six knots while sounding, is provided by two MTU Type 6R 183 TE 62 main engines of 331 kW at 1,850 rpm. Gears are two ZF 1900 units and the twin propellers are Piening 1,000 mm four blade units. Two MTU generators of 400/230 V-50 Hz are also on board, each of 38 kVA.

Other equipment includes magnetic compass plant from Cassens & Plath, gyro compass equipment from Raytheon, as well as  radar and radio equipment from ELNA, wind measurement plant by Friedrichs and windlass gear from Steen.

Wedel's special sounding equipment has been supplied by Simrad and consists of a multi-beam Echolot system Type EM 3000 and Echolot EA 400. With a range of 620 nm, the Wedel also boasts a bow thruster and carries a Global Davit Type RHS crane and a Fassmer RR 4.2 lifeboat.

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