Hive of activity at Blyth
Mon, 08 December 2014
Blyth Workcats is based on Canvey Island, Essex, UK where it builds specialised catamaran workboats in lengths of 10, 11, 12, 14, 17 and 20-metres for all types of marine work. ‘Maritime Journal’ took a trip to Canvey Island to report on the latest builds in progress.
Most prominent and certainly the tallest vessel in the yard, the first Blyth Workcat equipped with a high bridge is now nearing completion for Ostend Marine Services (OMS). This 18-metre catamaran will enable the Belgian company to provide a wide range of services including work as a charter survey vessel, crew transfer and cargo delivery workboat.
Designed to maintain the Blyth Workcats reputation for their rugged sea-keeping capabilities, it will be able to carry up to 10 people in comfort on full suspension seats at its cruising speed of 20 knots. It is also equipped with an Ocean 3 bow fender and wide foredeck that will enable it to undertake personnel and equipment deliveries to offshore wind farms.
The Aqualink is possibly unique among vessels of this size in that it can also be chartered as a fully equipped professional survey boat. Its design includes a watertight compartment occupied by a moon pool and multibeam sonar deployment module designed and built specifically for the vessel. There is also an A-frame davit that can be used for launching a RIB, towfish or for bottom sampling and the deployment of seabed equipment.
Further from completion, the Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (K&EIFCA) has ordered a new vessel for use when monitoring fishing activites around the Kent and Essex coasts. The new boat is being built to meet the exact requirements of KEFICA which has specified a durable craft capable of operating in extreme offshore conditions and undertaking a range of duties.
Most notably,the 17m fisheries patrol vessel has been designed with a hydraulically operated RIB launch and recovery system. This bespoke system, designed in house by Blyth, consists of hydraulic rams lowering a stern platform built into the deck with a cradle designed to take the RIB.
Meanwhile, Seal Safaris of Tenby, UK can anticipate even more enthusiastic reviews when its new 12-metre Workcat starts work in 2015. When the new Workcat enters service, replacing an existing jet RIB, passengers will benefit from the comfort of a wider, more stable boat plus extra features such as the increased shelter afforded by the covered after viewing deck, comfortable seating and an on-board bar.
The new boat is being supplied in kit form and the customer will complete the construction. The vessel is being supplied as GRP mouldings for the hull, deck and superstructure that will fitted-out in Tenby. The hull will include propeller shafts and seals and the owner will be able to acquire and install engines of his choice. In this way Seal Safaris will be able to experience the benefits of Blyth Workcat ownership while keeping costs to a minimum.
By Jake Frith