Rapid deck conversion system
Evolution of a collaborative R&D project has helped pave the way for several in house developments for the UK boatbuilder, Cheetah Marine on the Isle of Wight.
The project saw Cheetah Marine optimising its existing 10.2m catamaran to support the development and testing of high capacity diesel outboard engines. Because the open decked catamaran has been built to accommodate Cheetah’s deck reconfiguration concept, it has provided an opportunity to commercially test offshore capabilities and explore other offshoots.
Cheetah’s new evolved hull accommodates the weight, power and torque of two models, independently designed and built by reputable marine manufacturers.
Using a twin tier deck tracking system, modular units produced by Cheetah can be rapidly reconfigured to support a wide range of multi-role operations.
Embedded into the deck of the 10.2m are four pairs of stainless steel tracks accommodating compatible modules including steering and seating consoles, a wheelhouse or windscreen, safety rails and generators and winch boxes.
A robust top side fendering system enables ease of crew transfer and vessel interception at sea. Inside, the gunwales form storage compartments with watertight hatches.
The vessel has demonstrably good slow speed manoeuvrability as well as a very soft cushioned ride, removing the requirement for heavy and expensive suspension seating. Added protection in the hulls ensures protection during shallow draft operation and multi-terrain landings.
Specialised uses for Cheetah's new cat could include emergency and pollution response, border defence and patrol operations, anti-maritime crime and more standard operations including hydrographic survey and remote location.
By Anne-Marie Causer
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