Irish eyes will be smiling at Seawork

Norfolk Tern is seen under build at the Aurora Yachts yard in China Norfolk Tern is seen under build at the Aurora Yachts yard in China

Irish marine and commercial diving contractors Norfolk Marine Ltd will be exhibiting alongside the pontoon for the first time at Seawork 2013 with a 17.1m aluminium wind farm support vessel built in cooperation with Aurora Yachts of Dalian in China.

The vessel’s concept was born out of the company’s frustration in 2010 at not being able to source a vessel suitable to fulfil their customers’ requirements.

The director of Co. Donegal based Norfolk Marine, Rod McLeod said: “We were being asked to provide 24 hour cover to projects which could include making two transits up to 40 miles offshore in one day from ports which did not have permanent facilities for bunkering small boats, instead relying on scheduling fuel tanker deliveries into the work schedule.”

The parameters were set to design and procure a catamaran that would be able to transit at the speeds expected by the industry, be economical and reliable with good sea keeping, and yet be able to carry enough fuel and accommodate its crew of four to allow for extended periods of operation without the need to return to shore. The well thought out first vessel even has its own water maker on board.

The resulting 17.1m aluminium catamaran is based on a proven rough water hull with a fine entry bow and high wing deck. Reliability and economy are to be achieved by installing a pair of Caterpillar C18 engines rated for continuous operation for 10 hours in a 12 hour period coupled to conventional shafts and propellers, something rare in a wind farm vessel in 2010 but increasingly becoming a requirement as projects move further offshore.

Careful consideration in the design stage was given to maximise the use of available space. Above deck there is a large, well appointed passenger cabin and raised wheel house, a notable addition being the wing controls on the port side of the console. This addition is due to the owner’s observation that more wind farm vessels are damaged in port hitting concrete pontoons whilst being manoeuvred from a central helm than at sea pushing onto turbines. Below deck there are four cabins that can provide single accommodation for the crew or up to eight if doubled up.

The large fore and aft decks have been kept uncluttered to ensure there is enough room for charterer’s equipment, with lashing points thoughtfully positioned.

The first vessel built, the Norfolk Tern, will enter into service with Norfolk Marine following Seawork and will be available for inspection by interested parties at the exhibition.

Norfolk Tern will undergo early April sea trials in China before its transit home, being organised by fellow Seawork exhibitor Peters & May Ltd, will see the vessel in Southampton for the 16th Seawork International.

Technical specification:

Length overall: 17.1m

Beam: 6.2m

Depth: 1.6m

Power: Two Cat C18 rated at 680 hp

Sprint speed: 25 knots

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