SMS Shoalbuster completes round trip

Damen Shoalbuster 2609 owned and operated by GSS Marine Services
Damen Shoalbuster 2609 owned and operated by GSS Marine Services
The 14,572nm round trip included two transatlantic crossings
The 14,572nm round trip included two transatlantic crossings
Industry Database

A 26m Damen Shoalbuster 2609 has completed a 14,572nm round trip that included two transatlantic crossings.

The SMS Shoalbuster is owned and operated by GSS Marine Services, based in Scotland, and is designed as a multi-role workboat optimised for shallow waters.

Its high bow and sturdy construction means that it is capable of handling even ocean crossings.

Jan Peute, managing director of GSS Marine Services, said: “We had a lot of luck. When the SMS Shoalbuster arrived in Porto Plata there weren’t any local tugs available for the Brazil job, creating an opportunity for us.”

“And we were very pleased to get the crane barge towing assignment back across the Atlantic. But this is often the way it is in the towage sector; the brokers are always looking for tugs around the world.”

When the SMS Shoalbuster departed Stathelle, Norway, earlier this year, it was on charter to tow some floating pipes to Porto Plata in the Dominican Republic.

GSS was then offered a second job while it was on its way, this involved towing a backhoe dredger from the Dominican Republic 3,700 nm to Vitoria, 20 degrees south of the equator on the coast of Brazil.

A third contract came in while the Shoalbuster was at sea, towing a crane barge from Vitoria to Setubal in Portugal. In all, the SMS Shoalbuster was away for six months, with crew changes at each stop.

Mr Peute concluded: “I am very happy with the way the SMS Shoalbuster performed. On her return, aside from routine maintenance all she needed was a new coat of paint. There were no technical issues during her time way. The quality of the build really came through.”

The SMS Shoalbuster, GSS Marine Services also operates two of the larger Shoalbuster 3209 class as part of its 17-strong workboat fleet.

By Alice Mason

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