VESSEL REVIEW | Viper & Maverick – Tasmanian aquaculture company adds catamaran workboats to fleet

Best Medium Fish Farm Support Vessel – Viper (Photo: Southern Ocean Solutions)
Best Medium Fish Farm Support Vessel – Viper (Photo: Southern Ocean Solutions)

Tasmania-based salmon farming company Tassal Group recently took delivery of two steel-hulled catamaran workboats in a series from Chinese builder Taizhou Wuzhou.

Designed by Chinese naval architects Alsen Maritime in partnership with Tasmania-based Southern Ocean Solutions, Viper and Maverick will be used for a variety of duties including mooring, net changing, towing, and general heavy works around Tassal's many leases. A set of fuel transfer pumps has also been installed on each workboat to enable these to provide bunkering of other vessels as well.

Viper and Maverick each have a length of 23.95 metres, a beam of 10.5 metres, and a depth of 3.2 metres. A pair of Cummins K19 diesel engines that each produce 373 kW at 1,800 rpm and are connected to ZF gearboxes deliver a maximum speed of 10.7 knots, a cruising speed of 9.5 knots, and a bollard pull of 12 tonnes. The designers said the choice of engines was deliberate to allow for more flexible manning as well as to minimise operating costs.

<em>Photo: Southern Ocean Solutions</em>
Photo: Southern Ocean Solutions

The vessels were built to Bureau Veritas class rules as special service/multi-purpose workboats with Unrestricted Navigation notation. They were designed to be flexible and efficient and to be able to perform a multitude of tasks safely and effectively. A catamaran hull form was adopted to allow for higher steaming speeds in rougher weather, while minimising fuel consumption and emissions. This makes the newbuilds ideal for supporting fish farm-related activities in offshore waters where challenging operational conditions are the norm.

Each workboat is equipped with a cargo deck that can carry up to 100 tonnes of assorted payloads, which will be held in place with the aid of securing foundations. The foundations are designed primarily to accommodate standard shipping containers but may be adapted for use with other cargo as well. Two Palfinger cranes have been installed to provide full coverage of the cargo deck while a 20-tonne deck winch is specifically designed to be able to work over the bow for mooring and net changing duties and even over the stern for towing duties.

The bow roller is six metres wide with a SWL of 50 tonnes, which allows the handling of large nets over the bow. The starboard side rails are removable to also facilitate the handling of nets over the starboard side. A three-metre-wide stern roller of 50 tonnes SWL is also provided for working over the stern.

<em>Photo: Southern Ocean Solutions</em>
Photo: Southern Ocean Solutions

Each vessel also has two Cummins 6CT generator sets that each produce 130 ekW at 1,500 rpm and a smaller Cummins 4BT 40ekW unit. These supply power for a navigation and communications suite that includes a Furuno radar, a Simrad forward-scanning sonar, a Garmin depth sounder and plotters, and radios from Samyung and Icom.

The workboats each have live aboard accommodations for three crew members. The accommodation spaces also include a mess and a small galley.

Viper & Maverick
Type of vessel:Aquaculture support workboats
Classification:BV + Hull + Machinery Special Service/Multi purpose workboat, Unrestricted navigation
Owner:Tassal Group, Australia
Operator:Tassal Group, Australia
Designer:Alsen Maritime, China; Southern Ocean Solutions; Australia
Builder:Taizhou Wuzhou Shipbuilding Industry, China
Hull construction material:Steel
Length overall:23.95 metres
Beam:10.5 metres
Depth:3.2 metres
Capacity:100 tonnes
Main engines:2 x Cummins K19, each 373 kW at 1,800 rpm
Gearboxes:2 x ZF
Generators:2 x Cummins 6CT, each 130 ekW at 1,500 rpm; Cummins 4BT, 40 ekW
Maximum speed:10.7 knots
Cruising speed:9.5 knots
Bollard pull:12 tonnes
Depth sounder:Garmin
Radios:Samyung; Icom
Alarm/monitoring systems:SaierNico
Other electronics:Scanreco RC400 crane remote control system
Winches:Double work/towing winch, 20 tonnes; anchor handling winch
Cranes:Palfinger PK65002MD; Palfinger PK41002MD
Other deck equipment:Bow roller; stern roller; container securing foundations
Other equipment installed:Fuel transfer pumps
Type of fuel:Diesel
Fuel capacity:40,000 litres
Fuel consumption:120 L/hr at 9.5 knots
Accommodation:Cabins; mess; galley

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World