AWARDS 2023 | Best Amphibious Craft – CRC Walrus – Diverse Marine

AWARDS 2023 | Best Amphibious Craft – CRC Walrus – Diverse Marine

Best Amphibious Craft – CRC Walrus (Photo: Commercial RIB Charter)

Best Amphibious Craft – CRC Walrus – Diverse Marine

Isle of Wight-based Diverse Marine is both innovative and versatile as this interesting craft very clearly shows. Built to work in the very tidal waters of the UK North Sea it has been designed to operate even when the tide is out. The 12-metre boat will, presumably, be the first of many for its experienced owner and others. Capable, fast and seaworthy, it has a multitude of potential uses.

“It’s a special vessel due to its innovative design and operational capabilities,” Ben Colman, Director of Diverse Marine, told Baird Maritime. “As an amphibious crewboat, it represents a significant leap forward in maritime engineering, having the ability to transition seamlessly from sea to land using hydraulically-operated oversized wheels. This enables it to addresses the specific challenges faced at the wind farm where it will operate.”

Colman added that the diesel outboard engines enable the vessel to offer impressive fuel efficiency, reducing consumption by 50 per cent. In his view, the combination of innovation, efficiency, and environmental consideration makes the crewboat a standout project in Diverse Marine’s portfolio.

“Construction presented several challenges, primarily due to the novel amphibious design and the integration of advanced hydraulic systems. Coordinating between multiple stakeholders, including the charterer, the designer and our in-house team, required meticulous planning and collaboration. One of the key lessons we learned was the importance of a collaborative approach and open communication channels.”

Colman said this approach allowed Diverse Marine to address technical issues promptly and ensure that the project stayed on schedule and within budget. The experience reinforced the company’s belief in the value of strong partnerships and the need for flexibility and innovation in overcoming engineering challenges.

When asked about the state of the small workboat industry, Colman said it is undergoing significant transformation driven by technological advancements and environmental considerations.

“Over the next few years, we anticipate a strong focus on hybrid and fully electric propulsion systems, which will help reduce carbon footprints and meet stringent environmental regulations. Automation and smart technology integration, such as advanced navigation systems and remote monitoring, will enhance operational efficiency and safety.”

He added that the use of lightweight, durable materials will become more prevalent, improving vessel performance and reducing maintenance costs. These trends will redefine the capabilities and sustainability of small work boats.

As regards current trends and regulations that significantly impact shipbuilding, among these are growing demand for decarbonisation and increased sustainability driven by international regulations such as the IMO’s greenhouse gas reduction strategy.

“There is also a growing emphasis on the use of digitalisation and smart technologies to improve operational efficiency and safety,” Colman told Baird Maritime. “Regulations around emissions and energy efficiency, such as the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), are compelling shipbuilders to innovate and adopt greener technologies. Additionally, there is a heightened focus on safety and crew welfare, influencing the design and construction of more ergonomic and safer working environments on vessels.”

For a list of the 2023 “Best Of” award winners, please click here.

Baird Maritime

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