Irish Commercial Charter Boats (ICCB), Dublin’s premiere boat charter company, has ordered a bespoke 12m landing craft from Chartwell Marine, a pioneer in next-generation vessel design. The vessel will be built at the Arklow Marine shipyard and looks set to hit the water in summer 2021.
With a number of large-scale energy projects on the horizon in Irish waters, the vessel has been developed by Chartwell Marine to meet ICCB’s expanding operational requirements, including surveying, assisting with cable landing and transporting supplies and personnel to near-shore offshore installations. To ensure maximum versatility in the shallow waters around the East Irish coast, the vessel has a shallow draft and can operate in depths of 0.8m.
In response to calls for greater manoeuvrability and operational versatility, Chartwell has delivered a market first design, with the vessel set to be fitted with two OXE diesel outboard engines. A spare engine can be carried onboard, allowing for emergency replacement offshore if required. Diesel engines have lower emissions than petrol for this operational profile, but Chartwell’s configuration offers the flexibility to easily install electric outboard motors and batteries when the technology matures – future proofing the vessel against more stringent emissions requirements.
Arklow Marine will begin construction of the landing craft in January and will be built out of aluminium. The increasingly affordable metal is fast becoming a gold standard in offshore vessel construction for its weight reduction and corrosion resistant properties, saving money for vessel owners and operators. As an additional benefit, the vessel can also be recycled at end of life.
Having witnessed a slowdown in the wake of the pandemic, this order brings some welcome vigour to the Irish vessel building sector. With seven offshore wind projects fast tracked for development, Ireland’s vessel builders are set to benefit from a further boost as the maritime supply chain ramps up. Crucially, the vessel has also been MSO-certified, paving the way for the next generation of efficient, flexible vessels.
Andy Page, Managing Director, Chartwell Marine, said: “ICCB is one of the select few operators in Ireland with the expertise to support offshore operations. We’ve designed the landing craft with ICCB’s specific operational needs on the Irish coast in mind. The business has brought together a world-class skillset and will be optimally placed to support Irish offshore wind from its base on the East Coast.”
Eoin Grimes, Director, Irish Commercial Charter Boats, continued: “We’re excited to help drive the development of the next generation of Irish offshore support vessels. Chartwell Marine’s vessel offers us unparalleled manoeuvrability and versatility, especially in the shallow waters around Ireland, which will be vital as we continue to diversify our offering to the offshore energy market.”
Billy Tyrrell, Director, Arklow Marine Services, concluded: “Ireland needs offshore support services in increasing quantity and the sector is poised for rapid growth. We’re proud to be playing a key role in building out that all-important maritime supply chain. It’s also critical that vessel platforms built now, such as ICCB’s landing craft, are ready to respond to changing emissions requirements. Chartwell Marine has a track record of workboat designs that are optimised for efficiency and performance.”