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Vestdavit multi-boat handling system secures US patent

Vestdavit has secured a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for MissionEase which protects the multi-boat handling system’s unique mode of operation from plagiarism.

MissionEase

Boat-handling specialist Vestdavit has developed MissionEase as a more efficient and safer transfer method for RHIBS, USVs and other craft within mission bays between their storage and the davit launch areas. Mission bays allow boats and other equipment to be stored, maintained, prepared and launched safely from a protected area within the ship’s profile.

Patented feature

MissionEase turns boat-handling within the mission bay ‘on its head’ by replacing overhead gantries with a system of deck-mounted, hydraulically-operated cradles. Developed for simplicity and cost effectiveness, the solution avoids the hazards of swinging loads when the ship is in motion, and time-consuming slinging and unslinging, while also lowering the vessel’s centre of gravity.

However, unlike previous solutions, MissionEase also includes a unique apparatus that allows boats moving forward along longitudinal rails to be delivered to a cradle feeding davits on either side of the bay without any rails intersecting. This patented feature means that more boats can be handled more safely and more efficiently using fewer davits.

Already patented in Norway and with an application pending to cover all EU territories, the US patent provides decisive protection for the solution, which is as useful for cruise ship owners as it is to navies, coastal authorities, offshore support vessels and SAR craft.

“This patent is a crucial milestone for MissionEase, in a market where mission ship flexibility is vital, and the expedition cruise sector is opening a new chapter in multi-boat handling,” says MissionEase inventor and Vestdavit Business Development Director, Atle Kalve. Given that the US has the reputation as perhaps the least tolerant regime in the world on patent infringement, the award sends a strong signal of the originality of MissionEase IP to the wider market, he adds.

“Customers are already acknowledging the way MissionEase can make boat handling safer and more efficient, and we are very proud that the original thinking that has made this possible has been formally recognized by US patent authorities,” says Rolf Andreas Wigand, Managing Director, Vestdavit.

MissionEase allows boats to be moved safely and quickly on cradles, even in high seas or during a vessel listing. The system also enables one operator using a remote control to control the entire mission boat handling operation, from the storage position to launch, and from boat recovery to storage.

For more information on this topic please contact:

Atle Kalve, Development Director, Phone +47 908 93 939, atle.kalve@vestdavit.no

MissionEase shortlisted for prestigious Safety at Sea Award

Vestdavit is both proud and excited that its unique MissionEase boat launch and recovery system for mission bays has been shortlisted by judges at this year’s prestigious and popular Safety at Sea Awards 2018.

MissionEase has been shortlisted in the Best Safety Product of the Year (hardware) category, where the Safety at Sea panel of judges recognise products that support safe and secure work practices within the commercial shipping industry.

The Awards will be held on the 18th October 2018, at what promises to be a special evening at the Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel, Mayfair, London bringing together shipping companies, maritime authorities, suppliers of safety products and services to applaud individual and industry achievement.

We are delighted that judges consider the first multi-boat handling system designed from concept stage to meet boat launch/recovery challenges set by dive support, oil spills, piracy, terrorism, minesweeping, border security, SAR and humanitarian aid as worthy of closer scrutiny.

Our hope is that they go on to acknowledge the original thinking behind MissionEase, which turns conventional multi-boat handling thinking on its head by replacing overhead  gantry cranes with a boat transfer system in the floor of the mission bay. As well as enhancing stability by installing handling systems lower in the ship structure, this avoids the risks of overhead handling when ships are in motion, and of slinging and unslinging boats.

Patent-protected multi-boat cradle system

In doing so, they would be acknowledging the patent-protected multi-boat cradle system invented by Vestdavit Development Director Atle Kalve to feed boats to/from dual or single-point davits on either side of the vessel which is integral to the success of the MissionEase concept.

MissionEase can accommodate the widest array of ancillary craft and is already in service in its offshore configuration. However, it can also match the needs of any vessel featuring a mission bay. As part of their deliberations, therefore, we also hope that judges consider the way MissionEase can ensure the safety for growing numbers of cruise passengers transiting polar waters, where getting on an off the ship ‘in the wild’ is part of the adventure, but cruisers may not be experienced sailors.

 

A new lead for after sales

Over six months into his appointment in the newly created post of Vestdavit After Sales Director, Henric Collvin has formulated a clear path towards growing a part of our business that plays to an unsung company strength. Developing strong, long-term relationships can be decisive, and it is certainly something Vestdavit does well, but Henric is also aware that the company earned customer trust in the first place by meeting best practice expectations, including in its performance to support equipment in service.

Previously Vestdavit’s service assignment and spare parts staff worked independently, but Henric has brought the two groups together into a focused, 10-strong internal team that works in the same office area. “There are synergies for customers and Vestdavit if service and spare parts staff work together: service excellence and timely spare parts go hand in hand,” he says. “The goal is to simplify matters for the customer, but it’s also the case that servicing activities are an opportunity to identify spare parts business, and vice versa.”

Flexible and customer-focused package

While essential, service and spare parts are also overheads that customers seek to minimise. Henric believes clients will welcome plans to develop frame agreements which allow them to budget for service, maintenance and parts supply in a single, flexible and customer-focused package with price incentives.

Henric remains convinced that customers also benefit from keeping davit operators well trained. In fact, he is developing Vestdavit’s training offering to be delivered in the field, on-board ships using the customers davits as the training ground. By performing user and maintenance training on-board, customers get more relevant experience.  The training course focuses on davit operation and maintenance, prioritising safer davit operations. This is important as statistics show that more than 70% of marine accidents happen due to human error.

After sales business

With a target to double Vestdavit’s after sales business within 2-3 years, “I am also seeking to increase the number of parts held close to market and develop and grow the service network,” Henric adds. “For example, our recently-established subsidiary in Seattle has its own spares warehouse, and that may provide an opportunity to grow service later. Again, we are investigating how to grow service activities through our existing partners.”

For inquiries on after sales agreements, please contact Henric Collvin, After Sales Director. Tel: +47 47 91 15 59, email: henric.collvin@vestdavit.no

Invitation to Lorient for NAVEXPO

In May, Vestdavit will be at NAVEXPO, which takes place at the French Port of  Lorient La Base in southern Brittany. This is the third NAVEXPO for Lorient, and the event has become a busy show for French and international businesses involved from the public and commercial sectors. It is also characterised by interactive business meetings on stands, as well as onboard visits, sea trials and demonstrations in the harbour.

Those attending NAVEXPO come from a range of sectors, including the safety and security, harbour service, fishing and aquaculture, the offshore industry, dredging and other transport services, and include vessel owners and operators, administrations and harbour authorities. Exhibitors include shipyards, harbour service companies, professional diving equipment suppliers, renewable energy specialists and other maritime service providers.

During the three-day event, which takes place May 15-17, Vestdavit will be showcasing its launch and recovery systems for boat-handling in difficult conditions at sea across naval, coastguard, pilot boat, seismic vessel and offshore applications.

Please visit us at Stand A27 in the main hall.

For more information, please contact Redouane Lahsen, Area Sales Manager. Tel: +47 90 99 89 71, email: redouane.lahsen@vestdavit.no

Successful cooperation with Socarenam

Vestdavit’s relationship with specialized French multi-function fast patrol boat builder Socarenam is going from strength to strength, following the renewal of our agreement to work together with this most specialized of shipbuilders at the beginning of 2018. What is more, there are many exciting projects ahead.

Boat launch and recovery

Socarenam’s success centres on vessels for the defence and security sectors, where boat launch and recovery can be mission-decisive. Vestdavit’s ability to deliver davits capable of operating up to Sea State 5 has become a significant attraction, since Socarenam identified us as a reliable partner able to deliver high quality equipment and outstanding technical support in 2013.

Our association has since flourished in the domestic and export markets, following an initial breakthrough order for one PAP-6000 and one PAP-3250 davit for a 50m length French customs patrol boat built, delivered in 2015.

This was followed in 2016 by an installation of PAP-5000 davits on board La Confiance, and La Résolue the first two 61m (‘PLG’) light patrol boats destined to upgrade French Navy operations off Guiana. A contract for the third ship has been secured, to include the same package. These vessels are used for patrolling, surveillance and monitoring the territorial waters of Guiana and the exclusive economic zone of the French West Indies or French Antilles, while also being in position to carry out disaster relief operations.

Finally, two PAP-5000 davits have been delivered for the 45m multi-purpose vessel Sirius for the Flemish governmental shipping organisation Vloot.

For more information, please contact Redouane Lahsen, Area Sales Manager. Tel: +47 90 99 89 71, email: redouane.lahsen@vestdavit.no

Always ready for the US Coast Guard

The platform Vestdavit is building for further success in the US is being broadened through our deliveries to the US Coast Guard. We recently completed factory testing of another PLA-2000 rescue boat davit for the Coast Guard, which has since been dispatched to the USCG Yard in Baltimore.

This is the eighth PLA-2000 davit delivered to the USCG under the current contract, which ultimately covers installations of systems on board nine of the organization’s Bay-class icebreaking tugs, used for the launch and recovery of Zodiac 540 rescue boats. The aluminium PLA-2000 is extremely light in weight, occupies a small footprint and is delivered on a skid as a self-contained unit with its HPU mounted on the skid.

“The feedback from the US Coast Guard on the PLA-2000 systems we have delivered for their Bay-class tugs over recent years has been very positive,” says Vestdavit Managing Director Rolf Andreas Wigand.   “Recently, we’ve also noticed that the weight advantages of aluminium davits, which have been long-accepted by navies, coastguards and fast ferry operators, are convincing owners in new markets to look again at the structural alternative to steel.”

For more information about aluminium davits, please contact: Bjørnar Dahle, Sales Director. Tel: +47 542 19 573, email: bjornar.dahle @vestdavit.no

US Army Corps’ first F-10000 Davit

The first compact F-10000 work boat davit ever to be specified by a US-based customer has successfully completed factory testing in Poland, ahead of installation in the early part of 2019. The contract, which also represents a breakthrough for Vestdavit with the US Army Corp of Engineers, calls for the retrofitting of the 10,000 kg SWL, dual davit unit on board the trailing suction hopper dredger Yaquina.

Safe operations

The Army Corp takes responsibility for keeping US waterways and navigational channels clear for navigation. Based in Portland, Oregon, the 2,943dwt dredger Yaquina’s mission is to maintain federal navigation channels in the Pacific Northwest. According to Army Corp of Engineers figures, between 3.5 million and 4.5 million cubic yards of material is dredged from the mouth of the Columbia River each year.

With space onboard Yaquina for davit operations limited, the F-10000 unit will be required to launch and recover a 27-ft length work boat from a vessel which is itself only 200ft in length. In addition to its space-saving footprint, the F-10000 benefits from a dynamic shock absorber system and offers adjustable capabilities in terms of hook distance.

Strong regional reputation

The US Army Corp breakthrough builds on Vestdavit’s existing strong regional reputation and vindicates our decision to open a US subsidiary office in Seattle last year, managed by Magnus Oding. Our davit systems are already widely used by the US Navy, the US Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and in the offshore oil industry among others. Our strategy includes plans to expand after sales support in the US and to grow locally-based service team numbers over time to make OEM servicing more available and affordable, reducing the need to send service technicians from overseas.

 

For inquiries in the US, please contact: Magnus Oding, General Manager, Vestdavit Inc. Tel:  +1 425 501 5936, email: magnus.oding@vestdavitus.com

New Zealand Navy turns to Vestdavit for hands-on experience

Boat handling technology from Vestdavit is playing a central role in The Royal New Zealand Navy’s drive to operate Realistic Working Environments (RWE) at its new Devonport Naval Base training facility, Auckland, which is set to open in March.

RWE uses ‘like for like’ equipment to that installed on board RNZ Navy ships, working within a controlled training environment. The new centre includes a purpose-built landside facility housing a replica Inshore Patrol Vessel, plus an innovative Seamanship Training Aids Facility Pontoon (STA). The STA is kitted out with a range of equipment designed to allow new trainees to develop their seamanship skills in boat handling, rope work, anchoring, berthing and towing through repetition before they need to perform in an operational environment.

A PLAR-4000 davit from Vestdavit is a major feature of the pontoon, where it is mounted on the starboard side to allow personnel to practice boat approaches, launch and recovery of RHIBs. For obvious reasons, however, the RWE approach envisages operational training that equips seafarers to operates davits on both sides of a ship.

“Unlike a ship, the pontoon could only take one davit, but the requirement to train both port and starboard approaches remained,” explains Lieutenant Commander Angela Barker, RNZN Deputy Maritime Lead, Capability Branch. “In order to achieve this, we have had a dual receive cradle put in place and this will allow both approaches to be used.”

In addition, a sea-water cooling system has been installed to lengthen the training time of the equipment as the trainees will be repeating the activity at a much higher rate than would be the case at sea.

“The PLAR davit has been especially adapted to replicate the keel supports and boarding arrangements for port and starboard handling,” says Alasdair Morrison, New Zealand Manager for Vestdavit representative agency and partner Antelope Engineering. “Load testing was completed successfully at the end of October in Ruakaka, before the davit was transported to Devonport.”

Since 2000, Vestdavit has supplied 14 davits for seven NZ Navy vessels. The new NZ Navy fleet replenishment tanker Aotearoa, under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea and due delivery in 2019, will also feature twin davits from Vestdavit.

Naval architect Worley Parsons designed the STA project, with South Pacific Industrial acting as ship builder working with contractor H-Infrastructure Limited. The pontoon is fixed to two piles using an articulated truss. Other features include an accommodation ladder, Pilot and Boarding Assault ladder positions, a life raft launcher, a HIAB Crane and a Swimmer of the Watch Gantry.

For more information on this topic please contact:

Rolf Andreas Wigand
Managing Director, Vestdavit
Tel: +47-99 46 48 62
E-mail: Rolf.Andreas.Wigand@vestdavit.no

Vestdavit agrees dive boat cooperation with Hukkelberg

A new cooperation with specialized diving boat manufacturer Hukkelberg Boats brings together two like-minded companies renowned for innovation, in an informal partnership that both believe will generate new business opportunities.

The new associates aim to work together in forthcoming projects involving dive-boats, ROVs, wind turbine support vessels and crew transfer boats, with each recommending the products of the other.

Vestdavit Sales and Business Development Director Bjørnar Dahle says that established PLR-12000 and PAP-15000 davits provide the focus for the new agreement. The proven performance of these davits in the demanding seismic and windfarm vessel sectors should prove persuasive for new clients in the dive boat sector, where safe and reliable operations are no less critical, he says.

Opportunities in the offshore market are resurfacing after a long dry spell, according to Hukkelberg Boats sales manager Kenneth Dale. “Our boats are very well known, especially in the oil market, but there is significant potential from other sectors, such as the aquaculture industry and wind turbine markets. We look forward to working with Vestdavit in an exciting initiative for both companies.”

“The offshore market is changing,” adds Bjørnar Dahle. “We are seeing new requirements in the North Sea, for example, as new technology unlocks the potential for more subsea operations. Dive boats and ROVs are increasingly becoming tools of choice for maintenance activities.”

As companies of around the same size and with the same philosophy when it comes to design innovation and product performance, Vestdavit and Hukkelberg make a formidable team, he says.

 

The new pairing made its presence felt at the Offshore Technology Days, Stavanger in mid-October, where Hukkelberg customer SubseaPartner exhibited a state-of-the-art light dive boat, held in place by a davit from Vestdavit. The outdoor exhibit drew a stream of visitors, according to Dahle.

PLAR-4000 plays role in NZ seamanship excellence

Load testing was completed at the end of October in Ruakaka on the PLAR-4000 davit from Vestdavit that will grace the New Zealand Navy training centre at their Devonport Naval Base in Auckland, which is due to begin full operations in 2018.

The Auckland facility is a major commitment to the Navy’s ‘Reclaiming seamanship excellence’ initiative that includes land-based training facilities, and a new 45m long pontoon featuring a range of equipment to educate trainees in the arts of deck handling.

“The PLAR davit concerned has been especially adapted to replicate launching and retrieval of boats on both port and starboard sides of a ship” says Alasdair Morrison, New Zealand Manager for Vestdavit representative agency and partner Antelope Engineering. “The tests went very well, and we were delighted to welcome a Navy delegation, the members of which were keen to see the boarding arrangements with the boat facing each way.”

The relationship between Vestdavit and Australian-headquartered Antelope Engineering extends back to 2000, since when its New Zealand operation has overseen the supply of 14 davits for seven NZ Navy vessels. Antelope Engineering also takes responsibility for the Navy’s requirement for annual inspections to be carried out.

The satisfactory nature of arrangements is demonstrated by the fact that new NZ Navy fleet replenishment tanker Aotearoa, under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea and due for delivery in 2019, will also feature twin PLR-4000 davits from Vestdavit.