Growing global demand for sustainable offshore fish farms (see, for example, Ship & Boat International March/April 2022, page 44) is necessitating fit-for-purpose aquaculture support vessels capable of handling large nets and cables and loading/offloading significant caches of fish and shellfish. This booming sector has attracted the attention of Damen Shipyards Group, which has been working with UK boatbuilder Coastal Workboats to produce a series of aquaculture support vessels on spec.
So far, three Landing Utility Vessel (LUV) 2208-class vessels have built on stock, two of which are currently in operation. One of these, Tiffany II, is being operated by Kames at its ecological fish farms at Skye and Argyll, Scotland. In mid-April, Damen and Coastal announced that another four LUV 2208 units are now under build, again on spec.
The LUV 2208 has a length of 21.7m, a moulded beam of 7.5m, a moulded depth of 2.5m and a deadweight of 60tonnes. Designed to draw 1.55m, the vessel type can accommodate four members of crew. The boat incorporates thick steel plating throughout its hull and superstructure, with reinforced boarding ladders and bulwarks, to cope with the rigorous demands of serving offshore fish farms. Heavy rubber fenders are positioned diagonally to protect the sides of the hull.
Meanwhile, the 110m2 deck offers the option of one or two cranes, and it can also be equipped with three 5tonne-capacity capstans. Vehicles access the LUV 2208 via a hydraulically operated, 3.2m x 3.4m bow ramp. Damen adds: “The helm station accommodation with day shelter and small galley can be extended to provide one or two cabins for overnight stays.” The LUV 2208’s onboard tanks can store up to 21,500litres of fuel oil, 1,000litres of fresh water and 1,000litres of waste water.
“The engine room is spacious to provide for extra equipment,” Damen continues. The propulsion arrangement comprises two Volvo Penta DI13 engines, rated 588kW combined, which drive a pair of 1m-diameter, fixed-pitch propellers through ZF W235 gearboxes, resulting in a speed of 9knots. The engines are fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems.
Damen and Coastal Workboats have since announced that they will open a service and maintenance yard on Scotland’s west coast, in close proximity to many of their customers in the aquaculture sector.