Ready for action
With European renewables activity set to rise, MCS has just the fleet
Scotland-based Maritime Craft Services Clyde Ltd (MCS) operates a fleet of modern, fully equipped, fully classed workboats, complete with highly trained and STCW certified crew, many of whom have served with the company since it was founded in 1977. From the very beginning, MCS has used Damen vessels and today 14 of their 23 strong fleet are Damen built. Of these, 8 are FCS 2610 Twin Axe vessels. The company is operating internationally, doing a lot of work in the European renewables sector, as well as in the Middle East oil and gas markets. Currently, MCS is active on a number of renewables projects in the German North Sea – including DanTysk, Global Tech I, Amrumbank West and Godewind.
MCS took delivery of its first FCS 2610, the MCS Sirocco, in 2011 and the latest vessel in 2015. The catamaran design of the FCS 2610 is well-suited to the company’s profile in offshore wind. The superior sea-keeping characteristics of the Twin Axe hull shape combined with the vessel’s aft located superstructure ensure the comfortable, fast and safe transfer of personnel to offshore turbines.
MCS’s Managing Director, Menno Kuyt, explains his confidence in Damen vessels: “The product is good. Damen is world renowned for quality and reliability. For us, a large factor is that Damen vessels are built on stock. For a vessel like the FCS 2610, if we were to go to another shipyard, we’d be looking at a lead time of at least 12 months. With Damen stock building, some vessels we have had delivered and working within one month.”
He offers an example of this speed; a Damen Multicat 3013 that MCS purchased this year. “It was a vessel that we didn’t have in our fleet and we knew Damen had one for sale in the Middle East. From placing the order to taking delivery was less than 4 weeks. The same thing happened last year when we required another Shoalbuster – all of ours were working – Damen had one available and we received it within 3 weeks.”
The regular purchase of vessels, Mr Kuyt explains, keeps the MCS fleet up-to-date. “We always try to keep a modern fleet, so we sell off our older vessels to make room for new tonnage. This is another benefit of Damen vessels – Damen’s good reputation, coupled with the standards to which our crew maintain the vessels, ensures we always receive good resale value.”
An example of MCS’s drive to keep its fleet as modern as possible can be seen in the custom touches of the latest FCS 2610 – the first vessel of its kind to have controllable pitch propellers (CPP). “We took delivery of the vessel last year,” Mr Kuyt says. “For a time we operated it as a standard FCS 2610, but then early 2015 we had the CPP propulsion system fitted to give us even more manoeuvrability.”
And, if the market functions as Mr Kuyt expects it to in the not-too-distant future, this could be a decisive advantage. From the second half of next year, things could well be busier than they’ve ever been – especially once the UK Round 3 projects get underway.
“We’ve got faith in the market and we’ve backed this up by making sure we’ve got the right type and number of vessels combined with our excellent crew and experienced back office support.”