Cheetah showcases custom vessels
UK-owned Cheetah Marine showcased its two most recent custom-built power catamarans at Seawork.
Its 8.5m hydrographic vessel has been built for China-based Sinohydro, for use in river training works as part of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project in Bangladesh, while its 9.95m vessel has been designed for Aberystwyth University in Wales, for use in oceanographic studies.
Sean Strevens, partner at Isle of Wight-based Cheetah Marine, told Maritime Journal: "The requirement for the 8.5 was because the river runs very quickly at around 10 knots - very quickly. They need something quite powerful, with a shallow draft so they can get close to the edges of the river to survey them and find out any changes and damage to the river."
The 8.5m by 3m vessel runs a R2 Sonic multibeam system through its hydropod, which Mr Strevens said is a unique feature and helps stabilise the vessel.
Powered by a pair of motorcrate 105 4-stroke outboards, the vessel features a Honda 3ka generator to give power to the 240V system which run the computers for the boat's multibeam system.
Launched three days ago following sea trials, the vessel will be shipped out to Bangladesh in June.
The 9.95m vessel will be used by Aberyswyth University's Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences for purposes such as assessing marine ecosystems during its oceanographic excursions.
Mr Strevens explained: "The 9.95 has got a winch system to run a trawl for lobster parts, sampling, stuff like that. It's very stable, doesn't burn too much fuel and suits having winches and systems on it."
He stated that safety and stability, fuel economy and soft ride are incorporated into all its vessels and the latter is especially helpful if vessel operators are going to be using it for long periods at a time.
Cheetah Marine, which has built nearly 500 boats over 25 years, has around eight boats in the build process at any one time, and Mr Strevens confirmed current builds include passenger vessels, leisure boats on build, commercial fishing boats and another hydrographic vessel for a company based in France.
By Rebecca Jeffrey
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