DISCOVER Magazine #7

Tougher than the rest

Published in category: Offshore Wind

Barry Johnston CEO Scotmarine Ltd


Barry Johnston
Chief Executive Officer
Scotmarine Ltd

It’s no picnic working in the waters around the UK’s Northern Isles. The area’s powerful tidal currents are infamous for their cruelty, and persistently strong winds can whip up the seas into a fury in no time. A perfect setting for the offshore renewable industry then. Scotmarine Ltd – based on Orkney, Scotland – offers services primarily to the marine renewables sector. To carry out their work safely and effectively in this harsh environment, the company needs a vessel that is up to the job.

Keen to stay one step ahead, Scotmarine Ltd recently replaced its Damen Multi Cat 2409 with the larger, and considerably more powerful, Multi Cat 2613. “The new, larger vessel has exceeded all our expectations,” says the company CEO Barry Johnston referring to the 26 x 13 metre Orcadia II. “Our first Multi Cat was great, but this new vessel is considerably more powerful. Her twin Caterpillar engines deliver 3,500 hp, which more than doubles the bollard pull to just over 50 tonnes.”

Foundation layer

The vessel’s large deck capacity along with superior performance of the onboard equipment means that Scotmarine Ltd is also in a position to provide support services to various other sectors such as aquaculture, dredging, marine construction and offshore wind. The Orcadia II is certainly fitted out with an impressive array of kit to handle the diversity of work. She has a 100-tonne anchor handling winch, a 60-tonne towing winch and twin 290 HS Marine knuckle boom cranes.

Scotmarine Ltd has already put this noteworthy winching and lifting power into use on one of the vessel’s first contracts. “We deployed a revolutionary anchoring system for a renewable energy project,” explains Mr Johnston. “This involved installing over 1,500 tonnes of modular foundations built up with interlocking concrete blocks.

The Orcadia II is capable of carrying two blocks at once, weighing in excess of 130 tonnes, to the offshore installation site. There, she deposited them on the sea-bed using a specially designed frame fitted to her bow with subsea cameras and a hydraulic control system. The combined power and winch capacity of the vessel were critical in the success of this operation.”

Targeting multiple sectors

“The crew are delighted with her seakeeping abilities. The engines are smooth and quiet, delivering their power effortlessly. What’s more, the skipper tells me that the vessel uses less than 200 litres of fuel per hour while cruising at 8 knots.” The crew have also given their feedback concerning the 180 m2 of clear deck space – indicating that operations on deck are much safer now due to the hydraulic pins. “Our crew has more than 15 years’ experience working on Damen Multi Cats, so they really understand how to get the most out of these incredibly capable vessels.”

“It was an obvious decision to go back to Damen when we needed a larger vessel,” informs Mr Johnston. “We were happy with the performance and reliability of our former vessel, as well as Damen’s service. The team at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld is a credit to the entire Damen group.”

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