Saturday, December 3, 2022

Bahrain Defence Force receives the world’s first folding workboat.

The military force for the Kingdom of Bahrain has purchased an innovative self-propelled WorkFloat to support its growing naval fleet. 

Once afloat their 12m x 6m WorkFloat will provide a useful work platform for a range of support tasks in their Naval Port. It’s equipment includes a 10tm crane that can lift just under half a ton at 13m, a deck load capacity of over 10t, a 2t deck winch that can be used for mooring work, a central moon pool for drilling or GI work, full electrics and navigation, bow loading ramps for military vehicles, spud cans for 10m spud legs, a retractable bow thruster and 2 x 70hp Yamaha high thrust outboards that give an impressive 7 knots and 1.2t of bollard pull. It is also built to the MCA workboat code and complies with relevant class standards for lifting and stability.

Whilst the spec sheet is not as impressive as a larger multicat or workboat, it is it’s unique ability to fold up (including all equipment) and fit into a standard 40’ shipping container that makes it such an impressive package, with mob or demob taking under a day and benefiting from ease and low cost shipping around the globe.

WorkFloat, a Cornish based company, was established in 2019 to develop the concept, and after winning the main industry award ‘The Spirit of Innovation’ at the European Commercial Marine Awards at Seawork they have received a growing interest from organisations both in the UK and abroad. 

Toby Budd, MD and founder said ‘’It is a massive milestone for the business to design, build, deliver and then commission this WorkFloat for the BDF. They have been a fantastic client, extremely hospitable to us while we are here in Bahrain and very understanding of some delays caused by COVID. I can see how useful it will be for them and look forward to working with them on other projects in the future’’

We are now designing the next evolution of the system. Called WF1200, it is a modular systemthat continues to utilise the benefits of a space frame structure with plastic floats. It has a higher payload capacity, much bigger crane options, larger engines, can scale to sizes 24m plus and critically can be jacked up out the water.

When asked about the future Mr Budd said ‘’Interest in WorkFloat has been significant since we put the video on social media. We are now costing the new WF1200 system so we can provide quotes to all the enquiries we have had. The new design builds upon what we built for the BDF. It’s really simple, and being modular it moves closer in concept to our other product, ScaffFloat , that has become so popular due to it’s simplicity, low cost and versatility. And of course, we hope to have something to show at Seawork in just under 100 days’’The ability to ‘jack up’ has been driven by demand from existing geotechnical, civils and diving clients. Being so light and easy to mob, the WF1200 system will be able to provide the benefits of a jack up barge on inland waterways, under bridges, landlocked lakes and lochs and other sites traditional larger jack up barges can’t access.

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