UK-based CTruk is utilising its extensive experience in building for the offshore wind support market to develop a new series of workboats tailored for the military market
CTruk has built nearly 30 composite Wind Farm Service Vessels (WFSV) extending up to 22m and benefiting from a unique, patented flexible pod system that enables the deckhouse configuration to be changed in around eight hours, meaning that passenger or other specialist pods can be fitted or the deckhouse moved to configure more deck space.
CTruk Chief Executive Andy White believes the flexible pod concept will be popular with military workboat users who are seeking to get the maximum utilisation out of their craft. The catamaran hull form will also enhance the amount of deck space.
He explained: “Like most users, military customers are looking to get the most value for money out of their investment. It is no longer economically viable to procure a platform to fulfil one task and our workboats can be re-configured to serve as a survey vessel on one mission and then be refitted overnight to work as a dive boat the following day. The concept has already been proven in the offshore wind market.”
A modular philosophy and the genuine capability of platforms to offer multiple roles is appealing in a sector where reliability, availability, maintainability and durability (RAMD) are standard Key User Requirements.
Using its facilities in Essex, CTruk has already built a vessel for the military sector with the THOR (Twin Hulled Offshore Raider) demonstrator, an 11m. craft that can be configured as a TCV (Troop Carrying Variant), FSV (Fire Support Variant) and Riverine and Coastal Patrol Variant. CTruk has THOR designs extending from 11m to 19m and the craft is designed to be rapidly deployable via a number of assets.
The catamaran hull of THOR will be used as the basis for the new class of CTruk military workboats, which are expected to be powered primarily by water jets, although other propulsion options are also available.
The boats will be built from advanced composite materials to give a strong and robust structure, with reduced overall vessel weight. Reduction in weight translates directly into greater payload, range and speed. The use of corrosion-resistant composite materials also saves time on operational and maintenance routines, and offers significant cost savings in through-life maintenance.
Andy White adds: “The durability and low maintenance of composite have been well documented but, in a workboat environment, it’s also important to note that it is energy absorbing, so more resistant to impact damage, and acts as a good thermal insulator protecting the inside of a craft from extreme external temperatures – an important aspect for crews operating in all weathers.
“Wind farm operation and equipment maintainers have found that the composite, catamaran hull form is the ideal solution for workboat requirements and the military can take advantage of this experience to fulfil their requirements.”