AWARDS 2020 | Best Oil Spill Response Boat – Maia – Baltic Workboats
The many and varied output of boats from Estonia-based Baltic Workboats feature frequently on Baird Maritime for very good reason. Apart from being very well built for attractive prices, they are invariably very imaginative in both concept and execution.
The very versatile Maia is no exception. Built for a Romanian government customer, she is primarily an oil or chemical spill recovery vessel that can also serve as a patrol, fire, towing and light transport craft that is capable of 25 knots.
The boat has a most interesting bow arrangement with a door above a distinctly “beaked” bow. As well as her two collector booms, she is fitted with a potent deck crane, towing gear and powerful fire monitor. There is a lot packed into her 18.6-metre overall length – a fairly typical example of Baltic Workboats’ innovation and quality.
“She is multi-functional vessel despite possessing a compact size,” Baltic Workboats told Baird Maritime. “Her large fore deck is equipped with a deck crane and hydraulic bow-ramp to facilitate transport of various cargo or large rubbish collected from sea, and a top speed of 25 knots guarantees a quick response to any incident.
“The vessel is operable by crew of two and is fuel-efficient, hence low operating costs are guaranteed. Furthermore, emphasis is put on crew comfort and the noise level in wheelhouse falls below 60 dB even when sailing at 25 knots.”
“We realise that the driving factors behind trends and regulations in shipbuilding,” added Baltic Workboats, “are green thinking and environmentally friendly solutions, especially in light of IMO Tier III requirements for marine diesel engines in the Baltic Sea area. As a result, customer demand for environmentally friendly solutions is on the rise and about 50 per cent of our newbuilds are hybrid vessels with low fuel consumption thanks to the inclusion of additional energy sources to augmen traditional diesel propulsion.”
The builder added that its products are now also incorporating improved crew ergonomics and reduced noise and vibration levels in response to the growing demand for enhanced crew comfort and safety.
As Covid-19 became inevitable, Baltic Workboats was compelled to make significant changes to its operations to be able to continue doing business in 2020. Fortunately, it succeeded in this regard.
“Despite the pandemic,” the builder told Baird Maritime, “we had quite a good year last 2020 because we were able to quickly adapt to new environmental requirements. We have since been looking optimistically into the future in addition to keeping up with latest trends, developments and innovations in the market. This allows us to offer our customers the products that best suit their needs in addition to ensuring greater comfort and safety and reduced environmental impact.”
Among the developments that the company has recognised is the importance of multi-functional vessels in the oil spill and pollution response sector, with capabilities such as surveillance, search and rescue, and firefighting also often being required by a growing number of operators.
“This means that smart design solutions must be implemented so as to satisfy a customer’s many varied requirements while also taking safety and ergonomics into account.”
Baltic Workboats added that this same concept of multi-functionality — aided by modular design — is becoming increasingly popular in the Estonian market, and that this also applies to workboat sectors other than pollution response.
“We are also seeing progress in research related to autonomous vessel operations,” the company told Baird Maritime.