Japan’s Kiso Shipbuilding is very well known to regular Baird Maritime/Work Boat World readers. Kiso is renowned for its efficient, versatile and very safe aluminium work and patrol boats and ferries.
Aluminium is not a highly developed boatbuilding medium in Japan but Kiso is an exception to that general rule. The builder very imaginatively uses aluminium in all manner of innovative ways.
Tamashio II is a typical example of the Kiso breed. This high-speed (30 knots) craft was built for the dual roles of disaster response and coastal survey. She is cleverly designed and very well equipped to effectively carry out both roles with no time needed to change from one role to the other.
Owned by the Japanese government, Tamashio II is fitted with twin Caterpillar C12 engines of 479 kW each that drive through HamiltonJet HJ 403 waterjets. They produce a top speed of 30 knots and an economical cruise speed of 24 knots. A comprehensive suite of electronics and rescue and survival equipment is fitted.
“We believe that its dual-purpose design is precisely what makes this vessel unique,” Kiso Shipbuilding told Baird Maritime. “The operators deemed it important for the boat to have a regular specific function but at the same time be also capable of responding adequately to emergencies on short notice. This is why we decided to incorporate that added capability from the start.”
The builder added that, amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the significant challenges that it presented, the manufacture of dual-role vessels like Tamashio II taught the important lesson of being prepared in anticipation of a crisis, no matter how unlikely it is to occur.
“We hoped to be able to adapt to the changing global situation. We believe we have succeeded in this respect as we were able to maintain our momentum as regards newbuilding projects while making sure that our daily operations follow the trend of the ‘new normal’ for our people’s safety. We can therefore say that 2020 still was good for business despite what’s been going on in Japan and around the world.”
Kiso said that consequently, all vessels that the company is currently building as well as those that will be built in the future will incorporate features that will enable sustained operations even under “new normal” conditions.
“No one can say for certain when this pandemic will no longer be a factor in our everyday lives,” said Kiso. “Therefore, we have to adjust our production while adopting the mindset that our situation will remain unchanged over the next few years.”
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