Laura M Vessel Launch

The Laura M is one of the strongest and most versatile workboats in its sector.
The Laura M is one of the strongest and most versatile workboats in its sector.
All controls come easily to hand and visibility is excellent from the Laura Ms wheelhouse.
All controls come easily to hand and visibility is excellent from the Laura Ms wheelhouse.
Good access is provided to the Cummins main and auxiliary engines.
Good access is provided to the Cummins main and auxiliary engines.
The Spencer Carter 20 tonne double drum winch is mounted as far aft as practicable.
The Spencer Carter 20 tonne double drum winch is mounted as far aft as practicable.
Note also the Spencer Carter mooring winch, one of four The Laura Ms skipper, Colin Grant, mans the Effer crane during trials in Portsmouth Harbour.
Note also the Spencer Carter mooring winch, one of four The Laura Ms skipper, Colin Grant, mans the Effer crane during trials in Portsmouth Harbour.
Two cabins below deck will accommodate four crew.
Two cabins below deck will accommodate four crew.
The standard of finish is like being on a yacht, said Laura M skipper Colin Grant
The standard of finish is like being on a yacht, said Laura M skipper Colin Grant
Industry Database

Scotland's Gareloch Support Services are the proud owners of a new Halmatic MRV 20 Multi-Role Vessel which was delivered last month and immediately deployed to a marine construction project replacing fender piles on the Faslane submarine jetty.

Gareloch built itself as a company servicing the Trident submarine programme and continues to derive some 60% of its work from the UK Ministry of Defence either directly or subcontracted. However, with the Trident programme now wound up and the new Astute Class submarines not due until 2006, Gareloch sees an increasing share of its activity coming from the civilian sector.

The company's new vessel, the Laura M, is a carefully considered choice intended to provide Gareloch with one of the strongest and most versatile boats in the sector. Designed to maximise the capabilities of a 20m by 8m working platform, the wheelhouse and all deck equipment have been situated as far fore or aft as possible to provide a clear and spacious working deck. Laura M will take a 40ft container on deck or, alternatively, can accommodate both a 20ft storage box and an 18ft Portakabin site office simultaneously, and comfortably within its deck capacity of some 50 tonnes.

In addition to deck space, Gareloch's other primary design considerations were heavy duty lifting capability, substantial bunkering capacities for both diesel oil and potable water, and a four point mooring system which gives clients complete positional accuracy during pipe, cable laying and diving operations.

For Halmatic, Laura M is the second MRV 20 produced . .

. . by their newly formed Steel Division. The first, Harwich Haven Authority's Haven Hornbill, was specifically equipped as an Oil Spill Recovery Vessel, with most of the space below deck occupied by the oil recovery system and a 74,000 litre capacity recovery tank Without the spatial demands of an oil recovery system, Laura M is free below deck to accommodate up to four crew in two cabins and also boasts two heads, a galley, a substantial hold for equipment storage and tanks for a 26,000 litre diesel bunker and 14,500 litres of potable water.

In addition to the working specification, the vessel has been designed to accommodate 12 passengers in two mess rooms during the working day.

Although Haven Hornbill is equipped with a knuckleboom crane and towing winch and will perform a variety of other tasks within Harwich Haven, it is essentially a port-based boat and complies with MCA Workboat Category 3. The Laura M has heavier plating and more structure than the Haven boat and is certified to Category 2.

There is in fact much Category 1 equipment on board but the higher rating was denied only because the MCA did not want crew sleeping on board so far offshore. In any case, Category 2 enables Gareloch to not only deploy the boat in all British waters but also anywhere else in Europe.

Like the Haven Hornbill, Laura M's steel was cut and welded at the Woolston yard of Halmatic's parent company Vosper Thornycroft, utilising the skills and knowledge available within the VT Group. Halmatic is however looking to build future MRV's from steel kits engineered by Dutch supplier Centraalstaal. Such provision, allied to robotic welding facilities available within the VT Group, would further enhance the build flexibility and cost competitiveness offered by Halmatic.

Gareloch's other two boats, a 10m road transportable Damen Multicat and a 15m MRV from the drawing board of Laura M designer Ian Darley, are both powered by GM Detroit diesels.

The recent opening of a Cummins service facility in nearby Glasgow tipped the power choice for Laura M towards twin Cummins NTA14M turbocharged, aftercooled marine diesel engines rated 525hp at 2,100rpm. Driving through Twin Disc model MG5114DC reverse reduction gearboxes with a reduction ratio of 3.43:1, they drive twin fixed pitch propellers in nozzles which take the vessel to in excess of 10 knots (cruising speed 8 knots) and generate a bollard pull of 12 tonnes. The auxiliary engine, also provided by Cummins, is a 6BT5.9(0)M rated 115hp at 2,500 rpm and there is an Onan model 22.5MDKAF generator installed within an acoustic cabinet in the engine room.

Laura M is fitted with some of the most powerful lifting equipment available, including an Effer 65000/5S crane which comes complete with a three tonne winch attached to the main boom, all supplied by the UK's European Crane Services.

Combining exceptional power with precision, the 65 tonne/m crane is capable of conveying loads of up to 3,000kg across an extended outreach of more than 16m.

Spencer Carter of Falmouth UK supplied the 20 tonne double drum winch which can operate over either the recessed bow roller or stern bell mouth. As an added advantage, the winch also boasts a warping drum. Spencer Carter also supplied four 2 tonne mooring winches which are mounted at each corner of the deck. The bridge-controlled winches, each equipped with 150m of wire, allow the skipper to lay a mooring pattern across a 200m 2area.

A two-tier superstructure is arranged aft to port, with the casing containing the crew day accommodation, which includes a sink, toilet, shower and wet locker plus access to the lower deck living quarters. The upper deck is the wheelhouse, measuring 3m by 2.5m and accessed by an outboard aft steel staircase from the main deck.

Ten windows around the wheelhouse plus another in the weathertight door provide . .

. . excellent all-round visibility which is further enhanced by a lowered base to the marinised Effer crane. All necessary engine controls lead to the helm position, where the main engine alarms are also located and incorporated into the deck hailer system so as to be audible on the main deck. Emergency stop facilities are also located in the engine room.

A Simrad navigation system includes R64 VHF and R68 VHF/DSC, both with fist mikes; a Navisystem radar 10in TFT display with 4kW Raydome, DGPS, Chartplotter and Echosounder; UHF, VHF, DSC & SSB radio antennas plus those for DGPS and telephone;

Robertson autopilot and IS15 wind; and Icom IC-M710 GMDSS HF/SSB with handset.

Laura M's fuel bunkering function is expedited by a Calpeda end suction pump coupled to a 1.1kW 220/1/50 AC motor installed in the hold.

Output is 15m 3/hr at 19m head, with discharge through a flow meter and hydrant located on the main deck forward to starboard.

For potable water transfer, a Cleghorn Waring model EAML40 bronze centrifugal pump is close coupled to a 2.5kW 220/1/50 motor, with discharge through a hydrant on the main deck inboard of the casing.

Thus equipped, the vessel is ready for much anticipated work aiding the trials and testing of submarines in the Scottish lochs.

Laura M's rubber fendered push bows are mounted low to allow berthing against the curve of much larger submarines without metal to metal contact.

Acting as a floating jetty, the Gareloch boat will take sewage and waste off the submarines while transferring potable water.

Laura M has become the impressive new flagship vessel for Gareloch Support Services and is available for short or long-term charter. The company also provides dive teams, jetty repair and maintenance facilities, navaid repair and maintenance, and general marine support and labour throughout Europe.

MJInformation No: 17616

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