22 July 2015
Dutch-based Sima Charters BV became the first customer to include the Volvo IPS propulsion system on its CTruk 18m. WFSV and has already reaped the benefits.
Having favoured water jets, Sima's move to an IPS has enabled fuel savings of some 25 per cent and offers considerable advantages in speed, even with heavy loads, according to Sima Director Ruud Lievaart.
He explains: "We bought our first CTruk boat in 2012. It had good fuel consumption but we wanted more bollard pull so we went for a new 18m. but didn't need a water jet because we wanted to take the boat into the North Sea where there were fewer tidal constraints. We wanted to be the first to fit IPS propulsion and the results have been impressive with big fuel savings and good speeds achieved."
Sima's CTruk built catamaran SC Falcon is part of the company's ten-boat fleet, which comprises a mix of composite and aluminium craft.
SC Falcon has really demonstrated its value in the demanding task servicing the Nordsee Ost (NSO) wind farm, which is being installed up to 60 miles off Cuxhaven in Germany and where the boat makes two round trips a day seven days a week.
Besides crew transfer of up to 12 technicians, she carries out tasks such as fuel transfer and generator servicing, carrying some 12 tonnes of fuel to re-stock generators.
"The feedback has been very positive. We work in wave heights up to 1.5 metres but the real selling point has been the fuel consumption. The clients love the performance because we can almost do the same job as a 26m. boat but with half the fuel consumption," adds Ruud.
"We have a little bit more in the engine – about an extra 100hp – but the other major advantage is the extra bollard pull you get from an IPS."
The mix of the Sima fleet has also given Ruud the opportunity to compare the merits of composite and aluminium and he says: "The big advantages with composite are that there's no condensation inside and it's virtually maintenance free. The Falcon has definitely increased the all-round capability that we can offer wind farm operators."