'Fox Fighter' proves itself

Fox Fighter demonstrates its ample crane and deck cargo capacity (Samba) 'Fox Fighter' demonstrates its ample crane and deck cargo capacity (Samba)

Norwegian workboat owner Samba AS recently took delivery of a Damen Multi Cat 2712 which was immediately put to the test encountering gales for most of the three day delivery voyage, a test it passed with flying colours.

Samba AS had already taken delivery of the slightly smaller Damen Multi Cat 2409, Molly in 2013 and joint owner Captain Bjørn Brimsholm explained the logic in returning to Damen for this new vessel, named Fox Fighter:“We have been very pleased with the quality of this vessel [Molly] and therefore decided to come to Damen again but for a newbuild vessel”. Damen Shipyards are well-known for building hulls for stock with the ability to deliver finished vessels speedily and this was also a factor in Samba selecting Damen, with just forty days between confirmation of the order and delivery.

The proving of the vessel during the delivery trip is described eloquently by Captain Brimsholm: “We had a really hard wind and were a bit worried about how the vessel would perform because she is not ‘a typical ship shaped’ vessel but there was absolutely no need to worry. The Multi Cat 2712 was really comfortable for the crew and very quiet. It was much better than we thought in rough weather and she definitely had quite a test!”

Fox Fighter will be deployed in the oil industry spot market, combined with working in the Norwegian aquaculture sector, specifically treating salmon with hydrogen peroxide, a treatment for lice and amoebic gill disease. Damen’s Multi Cats are generally all-round workboats, however the noteworthy towing capability along with the layout of the vessel including winches that can be used both ways and with two large cranes were key attractions for Samba.

Fox Fighter was built at Damen’s Hardinxveld facilities (yard no 571687) and its basic functions are listed as: anchor handling, dredger service, supply, towing, hose handling and survey. Built to BV class, it meets the notation I+ Hull, MACH Tug Unrestricted navigation, AUT-UMS, also for Dutch Shipping Inspectorate, (ILT) unrestricted service. Principal dimensions are: LOA 27.27m, length load line 23.9m, beam overall 12.45m, depth at sides 3.9m, draught (98% condition) ±2.85m, displacement light ship 405t, gross tonnage 299GT.

Power is provided by two Caterpillar C32 TTA ACERT main engines, coupled to two Reintjes WAF 572L 7.091:1 gearboxes. Propulsion is via two fixed pitch propellers in 1.9m diameter Optima nozzles. Total power is stated as 1,790bkW at 1,800 RPM the vessels manoeuvrability enhanced by a Kalkman Beta 250H, 200pk/184kW hydraulically driven bow thruster. Three further Caterpillar engines supply auxiliary power comprising: two C 04.4 generator sets rated at 107 kVA each along with a C12 TA diesel rated at 339kW at 1,800 RPM providing hydraulic power. Performance figures (approximate) are 30t average bollard pull and a speed of ten knots.

A key feature with Damen’s Multi Cats is the spacious working deck with substantial rollers both forward and aft allowing anchors and other plant to be handled over either end of the vessel. As standard, the accommodation is located on the port side of the main deck with the main anchor handling towing winch positioned on the vessel’s transverse centre-line and slightly forward of midships. The winch is a hydraulically driven Kraaijeveld model rated 80 tons at a 3m/min pulling force, and 120t brake holding force (both first layer). The winch drum itself has provision for 650m of 44mm diameter steel wire rope. Kraaijeveld also supplied the hydraulic anchor winch. Fox Fighter’s capability is enhanced by two powerful deck cranes in the form of two Heila HLRM 230-4SLK models rated at 9.8t at 16.5m. A Dromec HPV12000 tugger winch rated at 12t at 8-20m/min, a set of WK double towing pins with chain stopper located at the bow and two 300kg Pool TW (HHP) anchors complete the impressive deck machinery fit-out for the vessel.

Main access to the vessel’s interior is via a doorway at the aft-end of the accommodation on the main deck which in turn provides access to the wheelhouse above, and below main deck level. At the forward end of the vessel (below main deck) comfortable heated and air-conditioned accommodation is provided for six persons in two double and two single cabins with galley and sanitary facilities also provided in this area. Behind here is a spacious store area, aft of which is the machinery space. Below the tanktop are: fuel, freshwater, bilge water, hydraulic, lube, sludge and dirty oil tanks. Main tank capacities are, fuel oil 109.5m3 and fresh water 31.4m3. The wheelhouse offers virtually uninterrupted all-round visibility including full-height windows on the starboard side overlooking the working deck, the conning position is also set to starboard. Fox Fighter comes equipped with a comprehensive navigation and communication equipment installation conforming to GMDSS Area 3. Radar, GPS, echo sounder, speedlog, AIS, SSB radio and Navtex are all supplied by Furuno with Sailor providing two fixed and two portable VHF sets and the Inmarsat-C terminal. Additional equipment includes: 2 wheelhouse roof mounted Pesch 2000W searchlights, a Cassens & Plat main, and an Anshuetz Standard gyro compass, Sigma intercom and Marble watch alarm.

The vessel will be the first newbuild from Damen’s range of workboats to operate in Norway’s large aquaculture and spot oil market. Damen Sales Manager in Stavanger, Remko Hottentot, says: “The aquaculture industry can benefit from Damen’s standardised platforms for versatile and reliable workboats. The Multi Cat range is one of our most trusted and proven products.” Remko adds: “And this order shows client-specific customisation is no problem. The vessels are highly suited for carrying out day-to-day work such as the transport of personnel/equipment and maintenance or more specialised tasks for the aquaculture industry.”

By Peter Barker

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