VESSEL REVIEW | Gelderland – Compact hybrid electric boat for river surveys in Netherlands

Photo: MVO

Dutch marine projects company Martens en Van Oord (MVO) has taken delivery of a new shallow-draught survey boat for use in some of the country’s inland waters.

The hybrid-powered craft is named Gelderland after an eastern Dutch province. It will be operated in the Upper Rhine and Waal Rivers where it will perform surveys in support of the Vaarwegen Oost-Nederland project, a waterway maintenance and dredging campaign that encompasses the eastern part of the country. MVO is working on the campaign as a subcontractor of local construction company Heijmans.

Photo: MVO

Built by local company Stormer Marine, the all-aluminium Gelderland has an LOA of 9.4 metres, a beam of three metres, and a draught of 0.9 metres. The vessel’s multi-beam echosounders and other survey equipment are installed flush within the bottom of the hull rather than underneath the hull itself to help reduce resistance.

MVO opted for hybrid propulsion to minimise the vessel’s environmental impact whenever it performs surveys in sensitive waterways. The diesel engine will be used to enable transits at high speeds to and from survey sites while the battery propulsion, which guarantees reduced noise and emissions, will be utilised when gathering survey data wherein low speeds are ideal for ensuring greater accuracy. The vessel’s battery packs will be charged at dedicated port facilities in Tiel and Nijmegen.

Photo: MVO

Stormer equipped Gelderland with VHF radios to enable the crew to easily contact other nearby vessels during regular operations. This installation was done in anticipation of surveys being conducted along the Waal River, which is one of the busiest waterways in the Netherlands in terms of inland vessel traffic. As a workaround when operating while there are other vessels in the vicinity, the entire 93-kilometre-long stretch of the river will be divided into five-kilometre-long sections with the boat focusing on one section before moving on to the next.

A specialised inland navigation radar from JRC is also fitted to enable the boat to return safely to port even during instances of poor visibility. An array of solar panels is installed on the roof of the wheelhouse to supplement the propulsive power of the batteries. Despite the vessel’s rather compact size, the wheelhouse still has sufficient space to house a dedicated worktable for the equipment that surveyors use for monitoring sounding data in real time. The helm seat for the wheelhouse was provided by Norsap.

Photo: MVO

Maarten Spronk, director of MVO, expects Gelderland to operate in support of the Vaarwegen Oost-Nederland project over the next five to eight years.

Type of vessel: Survey vessel
Flag: Netherlands
Owner: Martens en Van Oord, Netherlands
Builder: Stormer Marine, Netherlands
Hull construction material: Aluminium
Superstructure construction material: Aluminium
Deck construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 9.4 metres
Beam: 3.0 metres
Draught: 0.9 metres
Radar: JRC
Radios: VHF
Other electronics: Raymarine displays
Other equipment installed: Solar panels
Seating: Norsap
Type of fuel: Diesel
Operational area: Rhine River; Waal River

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