Named for a legendary Zulu snake, Inkanyamba was ordered by ARMSCOR, the maritime purchasing division of the South African National Defence Force for its Special Forces.
A very substantial 20-metre aluminium workboat, she was built locally to the designs of globally renowned Australian naval architecture firm Incat Crowther and is, somewhat unusually for that firm, a monohull.
Classed by BV, she is a truly multi-purpose craft that will be used for training, cargo carrying, dive support, and much more. She has a top speed of 18 knots, a 25-square-metre cargo deck, two small holds and plenty of fuel capacity.
“Accommodating all of the client’s requirements into a such a compact package proved to be a challenge,” Incat Crowther told Baird Maritime, “but we succeeded in this endeavour. With robust fendering, galley, mess and berthing for 12 personnel, space for a six-metre container on the main deck and two 7.5-cubic-metre cargo holds below deck, she packs quite a punch for her size.”
Designing such a compact yet highly versatile craft was indeed an achievement on the part of Incat Crowther, as is its being able to sustain its operations even as Covid-19 made it difficult for anyone to do business in 2020.
“Fortunately, our product diversity served as a good hedge for us during instances of low demand in certain markets.”
Incat Crowther is also quick to recognise the growing trends in emissions reduction and in digitisation, both in construction and in regular vessel operations. Digitisation, the company believes, should be given greater attention since it contributes to reductions in fleet capital costs and operational costs.
“The greater availability of maintenance information, which is a result of digitisation, is driving these costs down,” Incat Crowther commented.
Inkanyamba is an achievement in itself, but Incat Crowther is aware there are other areas that deserve to be further explored with regards to the ever changing global market.
“We are seeing a large increase in the use of hybrid and electric technology,” the company told Baird Maritime. “We are seeing applications across the board, from passenger vessels, through workboats, research vessels and military vessels. Still, the focus of the market will be on greater efficiency and capability even as operators also consider factors such as affordability and reducing emissions.”
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