VESSEL REVIEW | Dutch waterjet-equipped workboat fitted with remote navigation system

VESSEL REVIEW | Dutch waterjet-equipped workboat fitted with remote navigation system

Photo: Stormer Marine

A remote helm control system developed by US-based unmanned technology company Sea Machines Robotics has been installed on a waterjet-equipped, aluminium workboat built by Stormer Marine of the Netherlands.

The boat has an LOA of 9.4 metres, a beam of 3.65 metres, a draught of 0.95 metres, and seating for two crewmembers and four other personnel in the wheelhouse. The propulsion arrangement consists of two Yanmar LV 230 engines driving Hamilton 241 waterjets to propel the workboat to a cruising speed of 30 knots. HamiltonJet’s AVX system is also fitted for use in conjunction with the waterjets.

The boat utilises a design that was originally created by Stormer Marine to be highly manoeuvrable and capable of performing a variety of roles such as mooring, line handling, oil spill recovery, and other duties in support of harbour operations. With the installation of the remote control system, the vessel’s operational flexibility will be further increased.

Photo: Stormer Marine

The Sea Machines control system consists of a wireless portable joystick interface through which an operator can remotely control the vessel including its propulsion and steering. The system can also ensure autonomous operations with the aid of features such as dynamic path planning, obstacle avoidance, and station keeping that utilises GPS.

The Sea Machines system was developed to be readily integrated with new or existing vessels to allow crews to manage vessel control from personal locations that offer improved communications, greater visibility, or increased safety. This will enable the crew to navigate the vessel from any suitable onboard location outside the wheelhouse. The system has a maximum range of one kilometre, thus presenting operators with the option of being able to control the vessel either from a shore position or from another vessel within the vicinity. One benefit of the technology is that a single crewmember can safely and effectively navigate the vessel in more restrictive waters without having to rely on visual signals relayed by another crewmember, which would otherwise increase the risk of miscommunication and mishaps.

The portable interface also provides operators with remote control of the vessel’s auxiliaries, thrusters, lights, and payload equipment such as fire pumps, sonar, winches, and cranes.

Photo: Stormer Marine

Click here for more news stories, feature articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on unmanned craft.

9-metre Autonomous Workboat
Type of vessel: Harbour workboat
Flag: Netherlands
Owner: Stormer Marine, Netherlands
Builder: Stormer Marine, Netherlands
Hull construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 9.4 metres
Beam: 3.65 metres
Draught: 0.95 metres
Main engines: 2 x Yanmar LV 230
Propulsion: 2 x Hamilton 241 waterjets
Cruising speed: 30 knots
Other electronics: Sea Machines Robotics remote helm control system; HamiltonJet AVX control system
Crew: 2

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