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Vestdavit to deliver advanced boat-handling systems to U.S. Navy

Vestdavit Inc., the US operation set up by industry-leading davit supplier Vestdavit, has won a contract to deliver boat launch-and-recovery systems to two Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessels belonging to the United States Navy. Currently under construction by global shipbuilder Austal at its yard in Mobile, Alabama, the EPFs will assist the Navy’s military and humanitarian efforts worldwide.

Vestdavit will supply a 2TDB-7000 davit system to each of EPF 13 and EPF 14, the latest vessels to be commissioned as part of the US Navy’s EPF program. With EPF 13 due for delivery in late 2021, both ships will be deployed in the high-speed, intra-theatre transport of personnel and supplies as well as military vehicles and equipment.

“When they join the US Navy’s EPF fleet, these two vessels will be facing unpredictable and potentially very challenging conditions,” states Vestdavit Managing Director Rolf Andreas Wigand. “Because of this, they require flexible, high-performance marine davits that can keep up with their fast-paced and dynamic operations. As our most sophisticated dual-point system yet, the 2TDB-7000 meets all of these criteria and more.”

Wigand explains that the hydraulically operated 2TDB-7000 davit will enable the safe launch and recovery of 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats in conditions up to sea state 6 and at 10 knots. The system is specifically designed for flexibility, he says, and features a painter boom, a wire hauler, shock absorbers and dual independent winches with constant-tension, controlled by PLC. It is made of robust steel, with an aluminum foundation frame minimizing overall weight.

Vestdavit’s selection to provide boat-handling systems for EPFs 13 and 14 reaffirms its standing as the preferred davit supplier of international navies and coast guards. In addition to signing agreements with the Royal Navy, the French Navy and the Royal Australian Navy in 2020, the Bergen-based company recently won a contract to supply davits to two Expeditionary Sea Base ships for the US Navy.

The latest deal also reinforces what is already a strong relationship between Vestdavit and Austal. Over the course of their long-standing association, Vestdavit has provided Austal Australia with over 60 davit systems for deployment on a variety of ships.

“2020 is proving to be a big year for investments in security and defense forces around the world, and we are honored to have been chosen to supply the US Navy’s forthcoming Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels,” says Magnus Oding, General Manager, Vestdavit Inc. “Our credentials and portfolio are speaking for themselves but we would also like to acknowledge our continuing exceptionally good relationship with the world’s largest navy, as well as the insights offered by Austal in serving its needs on this occasion in particular.”

 

For further information, contactRolf Andreas Wigand, Managing Director, Vestdavit AS, ph. +47 99 46 48 62, email: rolf.andreas.wigand@vestdavit.no  or Magnus Oding, General Manager, Vestdavit Inc., ph. +1 425 501 5936, email: magnus.oding@vestdavitus.com

 

 

Seafood specialist selects Vestdavit

Vestdavit has won a contract with sustainable seafood specialist Sanford, in New Zealand, to replace the boat launch-and-recovery systems it supplied 30 years ago on three deep-sea trawlers and one freezer trawler with its latest versatile marine davits. Each of the vessels will be supplied with a new PLi-2000 davit to support operations off the coast of New Zealand.

Sales and Business Development Director Bjørnar Dahle explains how the deal marks a two-fold success for Vestdavit: “When these vessels were built in Norway between 1989 and 1992, they were each fitted with Vestdavit PL davits. These boat-handling systems have not only stood the test of time but have measured up to the challenges of operating in some of the world’s most unforgiving waters. This is testament to the longevity and quality of our products – characteristics that convinced Sanford to choose us as supplier of their latest marine davits.”

The oldest of the four vessels, San Granit, is a 67-metre freezer trawler, while San Waitaki, San Enterprise and San Discovery are stern-type deep-sea trawlers measure 64 metres in length. Waitaki and Enterprise were both built in 1990, with Discovery following in 1992. All four trawlers began operations in the North Sea and now sail under the New Zealand flag.

Specially designed for vessels in the fishing and ferry sectors, the Vestdavit PLi-2000 is a hydraulically operated single-point A-frame davit with a safe working load of up to 2,000 kilograms, allowing it to handle man-overboard boats both safely and efficiently. Its robust design is based on previous models that have proved their worth through decades of service in the harshest of marine conditions.

The agreement with Sanford is one of several recent successes for Vestdavit in New Zealand and comes as the company announces an additional contract with the country’s navy. Dahle cites the input of Vestdavit’s representative agency Antelope Engineering as being crucial to these deals: “As an expert in marine engineering for the Australasian market, Antelope has been an exceptionally helpful partner in our dealings with Sanford and the New Zealand Navy, putting its local knowledge and connections to good use. We greatly appreciate its ongoing contribution and support.”

For more information, contact: Bjørnar Dahle, Sales & Business Development Director, Ph. +47 45 21 95 73, email: bjornar.dahle@vestdavit.no

Vestdavit deploys augmented reality to enhance remote support

Vestdavit is enhancing its remote support offering with augmented reality software from UBIMAX, the world’s leading provider of wearable technology solutions for enterprises. The platform, named ‘xAssist’, will be used in conjunction with head-mounted hardware ‘RealWear HMT-1’ to provide customers with consistent levels of service when Vestdavit engineers are unable to work on site.

After Sales Director Henric Collvin explains that the idea is not to replace Vestdavit technicians, but to ease the burden on them. “Our engineers are highly skilled professionals with many years of experience servicing marine davits, and there is no replacement for that. However, they cannot be everywhere at once, and it is often far more practical to provide remote support.”

For example, if a client requires a small adjustment to one of its boat launch-and-recovery systems, Vestdavit can send the RealWear HMT-1 along with the necessary spare parts. Equipped with the headgear, the customer’s in-house engineer can perform the maintenance task with visual and audio instruction from a Vestdavit expert, who can see what the on-site technician is doing through xAssist.

This, says Collvin, brings great flexibility. “We can provide remote support even if all of our specialist technicians are occupied. For instance, an engineer from our hydraulics or mechanical team will be able to guide the customer through any simpler tasks.”

The current global health crisis has exacerbated the need for this kind of service, explains Collvin, but Vestdavit was planning to adopt the UBIMAX platform even before the outbreak. “Many companies are responding to the pandemic by investing in new technology, but remote maintenance had been gaining traction for some time. Customers are always looking for more efficient, cost-effective ways to operate. With xAssist, we maintain our usual service levels without having to send technicians to our client’s location. This reduces cost and saves time for both parties.”

But the benefits to Vestdavit could be further reaching. “While making things easier for our customers, we are highlighting our engagement with modern technology – and that, today, is key to success,” concludes Collvin.

For more information, contact: Henric Collvin, After Sales Director, Ph.+47 47 91 15 59, email: henric.collvin@vestdavit.no

Safe return for painter boom

A well-known shipowner with a ‘colorful’ brand recently had a change of heart on the value of the painter system as a tool for safer boat launching and recovery, after early stage operations led it to re-evaluate and request a quick turnaround on the installation of the Vestdavit solution.

A fast ferry that recently entered service using a competitor’s davits was subsequently retrofitted with a painter line and boom solution from Vestdavit, after initial boat launch and recovery operations proved below the owner’s expectations.

Bjørnar Dahle, Vestdavit Sales & Business Development Director, outlines the issue. “Used with a painter line that connects to a hook in the bow of the crew boat, the painter boom ensures that the boat runs parallel to the vessel during the launching and recovery operation. By allowing it to pick up the painter line without veering towards the ship`s side.”

Vestdavit Area Sales Manager Martin Sundgot Hansen picks up the tale behind the recent painter boom retrofit episode, although he is unwilling to point the finger when it comes to competing equipment.

“When the ship was under construction, we had discussions with the builder about the painter system but for one reason or another the decision was handed down that the installation would continue using a competitor’s davit solution, without a painter boom. Not long after the ship went into service, the customer got back in touch to say there had been hard lessons following delivery. The MOB-boat had to be handled at such a height that there were impacts against the ship side during launch and recovery. Not only did crew feel unsafe – the MOB-boat was also damaged.”

Sundgot Hansen says the owner made it known that not only did the new installation need to be standalone, feature its own power supply and offer an electrical interface for remote painter boom control by the davit operator; it also needed to be delivered fast.

“We had to come up with an adapted version of an existing telescopic painter boom design that could work for their situation, with only 11 weeks for design work, manufacturing and delivery.” Further challenges emerged to coincide with the short stays common in the fast ferry market, although in this case a timely maintenance layover provided the opportunity to deliver and install the new painter boom within the schedule.

“Of course, in painter booms as in everything else, the customer is always right,” adds Dahle. “This is simply an opportunity to highlight that, when Vestdavit says it delivers telescopic and rotatable painter booms in all shapes and sizes, with shock absorbers, remote control and automated tensioning, it can include occasions when the customer exercises the right to change its mind.”

For more information contact: Bjørnar Dahle, Sales & Business Development Director,  Ph.+47 45 21 95 73, e-mail: bjornar.dahle@vestdavit.no

Vestdavit fulfils four-davit order for Trinidad and Tobago coast guard

Leading davit supplier Vestdavit has completed the delivery of four boat-handling systems to Australian shipyard Austal. The PLAR-4501-type davits are due to be installed on two Cape-class patrol boats acquired by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to enhance the island nation’s border protection capabilities.

The cutting-edge launch-and-recovery systems – part of a lightweight, robust and reliable family of A-frame aluminium davits for man-overboard and fast-rescue craft – are designed according to new standard DNVGL-ST-0498 for safer and more efficient boat handling. Due to their compact and resilient structure, they offer high performance without compromising vessel stability or manoeuvrability.

“As the newest addition to the PLAR family, the PLAR-4501 is as light, tough and flexible as previous iterations, but offers even greater safety and efficiency in line with the latest performance standards. This makes it highly-effective as a davit system for fast-patrol craft – and the perfect choice for the dynamic and unpredictable operations of coast guards and navies,” says Vestdavit Sales and Business Development Director Bjørnar Dahle.

With this most recent delivery, Vestdavit has now supplied Austal with over 60 marine davits. Between 2004-2006, Vestdavit delivered 28 units of the PLAR-4500 – the PLAR-4501’s predecessor – to the Henderson-based shipyard for installation on the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of 14 Armidale-class patrol boats.

The latest announcement follows a run of successes for Vestdavit in the first half of 2020 with shipbuilders fulfilling navy contracts, including orders for Royal Navy, United States Navy and French Navy ships.

Dahle sees Vestdavit’s relationship with Austal and some of the world’s most prominent naval organisations as testament to the company’s ever-growing reputation. “This is another significant deal with a big name in shipbuilding for navies, and it reinforces our status as a supplier of premium-grade davits for high-stakes missions. Clearly, navies and coast guards – like that of Trinidad and Tobago – need reliable, high-performance systems for boat launch and recovery, and they are increasingly opting for the credentials and expertise of Vestdavit.”

For more information contact: Bjørnar Dahle, Sales and Business Development Director, Ph. +47 45 21 95 73, mail: bjornar.dahle@vestdavit.no

 

SOLUSV outgrows the cradle for unmanned boats

The established method of using an intermediary ‘cradle’ to connect davits and unmanned surface vessels for safe launch and recovery is being challenged by a lighter weight, more cost-effective alternative – the SOLUSV.

With applications that range from minesweeping and research to environmental monitoring, inspection and surveying, the unmanned surface vessel has become a utility asset enjoying ever wider deployment across the offshore, service and naval vessel sectors.

The USV’s rise has been matched by the emergence of an intermediary ‘catcher’, ‘cage’ or ‘cradle’ that attaches the davit to the vessel itself. The cradle clamps over the USV’s central pillar to ensure that, with no one on board the boat, launch and recovery is nonetheless accomplished safely and at no risk to what is a very expensive item.

Mature and adaptable, cradles require no design modifications or additional equipment as far as the USV is concerned. Again, the strong grip placed on the USV means that handling can be supervised by a single operative with no intervention required by personnel near or on the USV, even in sea states up to 5-6. Cradle systems can also be adapted to handle Underwater Vehicles and to work with Active Heave Compensation included in the davit design.

If the ‘pros’ are well-established, there are also ‘cons’. Cradles eat up deck space and add weight – enough to become factors at the ship design stage; again, while providing an efficient solution for USVs weighing up to 4 tonnes, heavier loads can be challenging. The cradle also adds complexity to boat handling – a definite drawback for any equipment used in harsh conditions on the high seas. Avoiding shocks or other impacts during ‘docking’, for example, demands a sophisticated guidance system.

To compound its operational inflexibility, getting access to a USV that is ‘docked’ in the cradle to switch payloads or for maintenance is often difficult while removing the USV will only be  possible if the cage is ‘split’ or divided in two, which itself will demand special tools that take up deck space.

These challenges affect costs, operational efficiency and maintenance, leading a growing number of USV users to seek an alternative solution.

Urgent and frequent inquiries made to Vestdavit and H. Henriksen – two of the leading forces in advanced boat launch and recovery solutions – have driven the development of the SOLUSV hook system, a powerful challenger to the traditional cradles used in USV handling.

Used in combination with single and dual point davits, the SOLUSV includes an integrated/dual lifting hook/painter hook system for safe and easy USV launch and recovery. Patented by H. Henriksen, the solution is marketed through Vestdavit, with both companies offering through-life product support.

Approved by DNV-GL, SOLUSV uses standard H. Henriksen hooks but deploys a unique spring-loaded rope drum mounted on the USV, tuned for easy connection to the fall rope via a special soft link. The low weight and compact handling system is easy to operate and offers a plug and play solution that also demands minimal design work for the mother vessel.

Because a member of the crew needs to ‘catch’ the retrieval line, the SOLUSV is acknowledged as limited to a maximum operational window of sea state 3. However, for a wide variety of conditions,  this is a limitation counterbalanced day-in, day-out by the flexibility of added access for maintenance or payload switching.

In short, if there are pros and cons when it comes to the ‘cradle’ vs. the SOLUSV, it is also fair to say that – now, at least – the user has a choice!

For more information, contact: Atle Kalve, Development Director, +47 908 93939; atle.kalve@vestdavit.no

Safe hands from Female-led production

Earlier this year, Vestdavit took ownership of its principal assembly partner Tritec Production, gaining full control of its supply chain and establishing a stable sourcing platform for its davit systems. Based in Redzikowo, Poland and now operating as ‘Vestdavit Production’, the plant’s four most senior positions are occupied by women, which Managing Director Katarzyna Stańczyk describes as “refreshing, but not surprising”.

“My senior female colleagues and I have worked our way to the top of what is traditionally a challenging industry for women to progress in,” the Vestdavit Production MD muses. “We have achieved this through hard work and determination, but also with the support of our team. We never doubted our ability to succeed, and nor did our male colleagues.”

Women have played an integral part in Vestdavit Production’s transition from independent marine-davit manufacturer to company subdivision. Of the 70-person team led by Katarzyna, nine members are women, and four of those hold senior positions: aside from Katarzyna, who has seven years’ experience in management, Monika Pankratowicz, Anna Leśniak and Justyna Karol also run their own departments.

Like Katarzyna, Monika has significant experience in her field. She admits that reaching the top of a male-dominated environment has been challenging, but she now feels at home as Vestdavit Production’s customer service manager. Head of Finance Anna has a similar level of experience; she has worked for manufacturing facilities previously but believes that her current position provides the perfect conditions for professional development. Technical Manager Justyna, responsible for overseeing engineering projects, takes great satisfaction from working – and excelling – in a sector that some consider to be a ‘man’s world’.

Katarzyna is proud of the success that she and her colleagues have enjoyed, and she anticipates further improvement under their new owner. “Our production provides Vestdavit with a more stable source of supply, and we in turn see greater demand for our products. This gives us a platform to build on, and as we strengthen our relationship, our processes will become more and more efficient. By working together, we will promote growth throughout the organisation.”

For more information about Vestdavit Production, please contact Managing Director Katarzyna Stańczyk, Ph. +48 698 521 311

Vestdavit wins contract for US Navy Expeditionary Sea Base duo

Leading boat launch and recovery systems supplier Vestdavit will deliver the most advanced motion-compensated davits in the world to the US Navy, following orders placed with Vestdavit Inc. by General Dynamics NASSCO to equip two Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ships. The US shipbuilder’s San Diego yard will deliver ESB 6 and ESB 7, the latest in a series of ships renowned for flexibility which act as mobile sea bases to support mine countermeasure, counter-piracy, disaster-relief, crisis-response and other operations.

Vestdavit will supply one 2TDB-7000-type davit for each vessel. With a safe working load of 14,000 kilograms, the high-performance davit can handle boats of varying size and weight, including seven- and 11-metre rigid-hulled inflatable boats and the Combatant Craft Assault. The first davit system is due for delivery to ESB 6 in early 2021.

“ESB ships are built to support the US Navy on critical and potentially hazardous missions, so they need highly flexible and responsive marine davits, says Vestdavit Managing Director Rolf Andreas Wigand. “The 2TDB-7000 type will allow safe operation in much higher sea states than has been possible for the davits used on any previous ESB vessels.”

Wigand explains that the hydraulically operated overhead telescopic davits can function in both single- and dual-point configuration, with the latter mode enabling synchronised movement of the two davit arms. They also include dual independent self-levelling winches that offer hoisting/lowering speeds of up to 40m/min, an anti-pendulation system and an automatic wire hauler and shock absorbers on each arm – among other features.

Proud of his company’s longstanding relationship with the world’s largest navy, Wigand sees the new agreement as the latest endorsement of Vestdavit’s products and services: “We have worked with the US Navy for over 20 years now,” he says. “Over that time, we have proved our worth by providing tailormade davits of the highest quality. Supplying ESB ships is a great honour and outstanding recognition of our boat-handling expertise.”

Renewed selection HMS Protector

Vestdavit has brought new fast craft handling capability to HMS Protector, the only Royal Navy ship dedicated to Antarctic Patrol & Survey duties, following an order which once more saw our boat launch and recovery systems preferred for a vessel operating in the harshest conditions.

The advanced icebreaker HMS Protector provides a UK presence in the Antarctic and meets treaty obligations on inspections, hydrographical charting and in support of scientific research. As part of its latest refit, the state-of-the-art vessel has been equipped with a specially-enchanged PLR-5000 davit from Vestdavit. All seven of the davits onboard HMS Protector have been supplied by Vestdavit.

The latest davit addition is supporting missions by a newer and larger Fast Rescue Craft (FRC). The new PLR-5000 unit is fully winterized to function in line with the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters in Sea State 5 conditions. Its wide operating window is made possible by proven features supplied by Vestdavit as standard, including shock absorbers, high performance winches and a constant tension system.

In line with the Royal Navy’s exacting requirements for its harsh Antarctic operating environment, the PLR-5000 davit system supplied will be certified in accordance with DNV-GL Rules as having been designed and built to operate in extreme temperatures of -40C.

HMS Protector plays a key role in ensuring the safety of navigation and understanding the marine environment in the Antarctic,” says William Goodall, Area Sales Manager for Vestdavit in the UK. “Vestdavit is delighted to continue making a critical contribution to the Royal Navy’s commitments in unforgiving seas. Having been stationed in Antarctica during my naval career, I am well aware of the challenges presented by extreme conditions and temperatures in the operation of advanced launch and recovery systems.”

The latest order calls for the 19th PLR-5000 delivery to the Royal Navy, confirming the equipment type’s position as preferred technology for the Hydrographic Flotilla and Fishery Protection Squadron. Overall, this will also be the 30th davit supplied to the RN.

For more information contact: William Goodall, Area Sales Manager, UK, Ph. +47 46 89 56 39, e-mail: william.goodall@vestdavit.no

Milestone project for French Navy gets underway

Work is now fully underway in support of Vestdavit’s major recent success with Chantiers de l’Atlantique, covering the supply davit systems for four new logistic support ships (LSSs) due for delivery to the French Navy. The modern, double-hulled vessels will ultimately replace the Navy’s current, single-hulled LSSs.

With the new ships expected to operate for 40 years, Vestdavit project lead Redouane Lahsen explains that Chantiers de l’Atlantique demanded launch-and-recovery systems that would be built to last and allow easy, low-cost maintenance. It was only in “meeting and exceeding” the shipyard’s requirements that Vestdavit was able to add “one of the most sought-after contracts in European naval shipbuilding in recent years to its reference list”, he says.

The deal is a huge breakthrough for Vestdavit, following months of intense engineering work behind the scenes, and one that Redouane says “strengthens our relationship with one of the world’s most important navies”. With Chantiers de l’Atlantique the latest of several major French-owned yards to collaborate with Vestdavit, the agreement also reinforces the company’s growing presence in the French market.

Clearly, the order also represents a personal success for Redouane, who proved tireless in his efforts to land the contract. Acknowledgement is also due to  the team supporting the bidding process and, indeed, to technology behind the PLD-6000 A-frame davits for interception craft PL-3600R davit for fast craft handling that forms the basis for winning such a prestigious contract.

For more information:

Redouane Lahsen, Area Sales Manager, Ph.+47 90 99 89 71, redouane.lahsen@vestdavit.no