Vestdavit aims to make a big splash at Nor-Shipping by showcasing an actual full-size PLR-5000 davit on its corporate stand at the upcoming maritime exhibition in Norway.
Normally mounted on the decks of naval or coastguard vessels for launch of smaller craft, the impressive davit with 5000kg lifting capacity is set to have similar pulling power with the expo crowd to that seen in the market as sales of the PLR have surged over the past few years.
“This will be the largest-ever davit we have put on display at a major exhibition - more than twice the size of one we brought to ONS back in 2014 - and we are very excited to see the response this will receive at our new-look stand,” says Bjørnar Dahle, Business Development Director at the Norwegian davit specialist.
Vestdavit is rightly proud of the PLR davit type after earlier winning a prestigious order with the Norwegian Coast Guard (NCG) for a total of six PLR-5003KV systems being supplied for a series of three Jan Mayen-class polar patrol vessels now under construction at Norway’s Vard Langsten yard, of which the first is due for delivery this year.
Each of the newbuilds, contracted at a total cost of Nkr5 billion ($550 million), will have installed onboard two specially designed PLR systems intended to meet the NCG’s requirement for 330 days a year of operational availability in up to Sea State 5 and temperatures as low as -25C.
In addition, Vestdavit is delivering a TDB-10000L boat-handling system as well as a wagon-based boat transfer system, based on its innovative MissionEase concept, for each of the newbuilds.
Once delivered, Vestdavit will have more than 21 PLR systems in service with the NCG, in addition to 21 systems already operating for the UK’s Royal Navy, to give a total of over 40 installed systems, all of which have come online over the past eight years or so.
Typical applications are on naval offshore patrol vessels, fishery protection and law enforcement vessels, and search and rescue vessels.
The PLR series is designed to handle efficient launch and recovery of a wide range of ‘interceptor’ craft - such as fast rescue boats - that usually range in size between 3.5 and 7 tonnes.
Such launch craft are required to fulfill multiple roles that may vary from interception and boarding in the case of military operations to more benign tasks such as supporting fishery inspection teams.
These can also play an important humanitarian role as was demonstrated recently when launch boats were used by the Royal Navy to deliver vital Covid-19 vaccines to the people of the Pitcairn Islands in the southern Pacific due to the lack of local berthing facilities for larger vessels.
“The PLR series has undoubtedly been one of our best-selling davits over the past five to six years, mainly with law enforcement and naval clients,” Dahle says.
He attributes this to the robustness and reliability of the hydraulically powered single-point davit type that is ideally suited to operations where high uptime and regularity are a priority.
“High winch speeds allow for a greater operational window in concert with shock absorbers and failsafe constant tension systems that are Vestdavit trademarks,” he explains.
“The series has been designed to be as compact as possible, as space on warships tends to be at a premium, while also having space to spare for ‘future-proofing’ should the client upgrade boat size.”
The system has become increasingly compact as materials have improved in strength and become more lightweight so that, for example, the PLR-5002 can fit into an extremely tight boat bay.
Vestdavit is continually adapting the PLR range in line with specific client requirements, which has resulted in development of deck-mounted guiding arms to counter pendulation during launch and recovery that also expands the operational window.
The latest model has been designed especially with upgrade capacity in mind and therefore has removable components that will facilitate the use of larger boats in future.
The compact PLR-type davit can be built to a modular, skid-mounted design for easy installation and maintenance, and can be exchanged between ships to meet changing davit requirements.
Once the PLR-5000 has made its first public appearance at Nor-Shipping, Vestdavit intends to show it off at the SMM exhibition in Hamburg later this year to keep sales momentum rolling for one of the most popular attractions in the davit market.