AWARDS 2022 | Best Medium Fish Farm Support Vessel – Geraldine Mary – Macduff Ship Design & Macduff Shipyards
An unusual looking but exceptionally practical aquaculture support vessel designed by naval architects Macduff Ship Design and built by Macduff Shipyards for a very successful local fish farming business.
The climatic conditions in the vessel’s area of operations can be very difficult. It will be good for the owner to know that whatever the sea throws at it, this tough little workboat will be able to handle.
“The vessel is a development of our earlier designs that aimed to create a versatile vessel with good hull efficiency,” Macduff Ship Design Managing Director Ian Ellis told Baird Maritime. “We developed this hull form and concept into a landing craft-type vessel to achieve multi-functionality as an aquaculture and cargo vessel for the local island communities in its area of operations, and so the hull and vessel characteristics have proven to be a great success with the owners Inverlussa Marine Services.”
Ellis added that the vessel also incorporates a hybrid battery system to allow for the shut-down of all diesel engines during non-operational periods, reducing emissions to zero.
“With the vessel required to be able to conduct so many different roles both within its day-to-day operation as an aquaculture support vessel and to have capability for operation outside this arena, there were significant challenges in incorporating the equipment required into the compact hull form. The aquaculture industry is seeing a significant growth in the size of the infrastructure, and to be able to handle this, a larger crane capacity was required. This means that the vessel needed to be compact for site access but also have the capability to operate cranes with high capacity.”
“It was clear that the owners had spent a lot of time and effort considering the design and layout of the vessel to make it as functional and safe for the crew as possible,” added Macduff Shipyards Manager Matthew Watt. “It was a pleasure to work with them and learn more about working within the aquaculture industry, as its boats do has some subtle differences from traditional fishing vessels.”
Watt said the owners specified a small hydrid electrical system consisting of two banks of twelve 2V batteries that can be used during the night to provide lighting and general electrical power for the crew. This means a generator does not have to be run, lowering noise pollution and emissions in the ports from which the vessel operates.
“It was a nice first for the yard and we look forward to installing more frequently in the future as vessels transition away from fossil fuels,” remarked Watt.
For 2022, Macduff Ship Design saw what it called “a renewed optimism” in several areas of the market following years of uncertainty.
“This is evident in an increase in new enquiries,” Ellis told Baird Maritime. “Other areas such as the tug and offshore wind markets are holding steady, and we hope that we can also develop additional projects in these areas.”
Watt meanwhile commented that the year was just as favourable for Macduff Shipyards, the company having delivered five newbuilds, and that there is also optimism about the future and the prospect of working on new designs and improving existing products.
Commenting on the future of the aquaculture industry, Ellis said it will be characterised by significant changes in fish farm infrastructure.
“Larger farms and cages, developments in cage design, and a move to more exposed and offshore sites all lead to the need for new developments in vessel design,” said Ellis.
“As with the fishing industry,” Watt told Baird Maritime, “the trends and advances in aquaculture are going to likely be centred on how the industry powers its vessels and fish farms, and how it progresses as regards compliance with net zero carbon policies. Alternative fuels and new intelligent power systems will likely be at the heart of this.”