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Displaying items by tag: Safehaven Marine

#safehaven –A €1m-plus stealth style Irish built military vessel is creating waves along the Cork coast. 'Barracuda' is a new high speed Interceptor/Patrol vessel for military and law enforcement applications designed and built by Cork Harbour's Safehaven Marine.

Following a year and a half of design development and building work at its hi-tech manufacturing facility in East Cork, Cobh-based Safehaven Marine has unveiled the prototype of its latest design. And she's as mean as she looks!

Safehaven Marine is one of the world's top manufacturers of pilot boats and rescue vessels, and now the company hopes to use this new design to branch in to the world's military market.

The vessel can be produced at lengths of between 11 – 13m. Typical operational roles include patrol and surveillance duties around harbour installations and offshore anchorages, as well as high speed pursuit and apprehend when required. An array of both lethal and non lethal weapons can be carried concealed below decks in a separate compartment in the forward cabin, and raised when required. The vessel can be deployed by helicopter utilising its in-built lifting points on deck and at its 11m length, transported easily by ship or road.

Propulsion on the 11m version featured here is by conventional stern gear supplied by Clements Engineering and chosen for its weight carrying capabilities and durability, alternatively water jets can be fitted for higher speeds and low draft. Capable of maximum speeds of 40kts+ depending on the propulsion system and equipment installed, 'Barracuda' is fitted with a pair of Caterpillar C9 diesel engines rated at 560hp supplied by Finnings UK.

The innovative design of the vessel utilises various stealth technology's to produce a lower RCS (radar cross section), allowing it to operate with reduced degree of visibility to an adversary's radar. The design uses an innovative solution to weapon deployment. Various different types of both lethal and non-lethal weapons, including a remote control gyroscopically stabilised machine gun can be fitted to Barracuda. (A non functioning replica is fitted to the prototype featured here for demonstration purposes) In Barracuda the weapons are cleverly concealed below decks in the f/wd section of the superstructure, and are raised up to above deck level for deployment through large watertight carbon fibre hatches built into the f/wd cabins roof section. In this way when the vessel is in engaged in surveillance or patrol, the weapons are concealed and the vessels RCS signature is reduced. When the vessel is engaged in pursuit or apprehend modes, the weapons are raised for deployment.


Airborne – Barracuda is powered by twin 560hp Caterpillars giving her lift off at a top speed of 38–knots for this Cork Harbour photo shoot

Another advantage being that the weapons are hidden when not in use for security, durability and covert reasons, as well as greatly reducing the vessels VCG when beneficial, such as in heavy weather. The superstructure and hull design utilises flat plane principles to its surfaces in its f/wd and side projections to deflect radar beams away from source, which together with specialized construction and outfitting, which include minimal metallic fittings exposed above decks, or where necessary being fully recessed. All of which combine to produce a vessel with a significantly lower than normal RCS.

The design however does not compromise on practicality or usability and provides for a high level of crew safety (wide side decks) for offshore boarding capabilities.

The vessel is constructed from advanced lightweight FRP cored composites, with extensive use of carbon fibre in its outfitting. Substantial in size yet lightweight Manuplas foam cored fenders with a polyurethane skin are used to minimise weight and offer maximum protection to the hull. The vessel can be moulded at lengths between 11m and 13m, and has a 4m beam, longer length versions benefit from a longer aft cockpit providing an increased working / crew area. The hull design below the waterline is an all new constant deadrise, twin chine deep V hull form capable of high speeds. A 22 degree deadrise at the transom and a wave piercing bow form, with a very fine wave cutting waterline entry at the bow of 70 degrees, which very effectively minimizes vertical accelerations at speed in waves, thereby maximising crew endurance. The hull provides exceptionally high levels of seakeeping abilities on all course, very much as one would expect from a builder renowned for its highly seaworthy pilot and S.A.R. vessels. The hull's special spray rail and twin chine arrangements provides for excellent spray suppression and on deck dryness, and her wide beam provides high levels of dynamic and static stability.


Not out of place in a James Bond film. This totally new hull has a constant deadrise Deep V with a wave piercing bow. Safehaven marine say they are just exploring its sea keeping abilities, but early reports say 'fantastic so far'! There is a really soft ride into a sea (see below) and good down wind in following seas even with such a fine bow

The design is capable of operating in up to sea state 7-8, and maintain operational speed in sea state 4-5, and can accommodate a crew of 4-6 in her main cabin, all on high tech shock mitigation seating supplied by X Craft, Holland.

As well as a full array of navigation equipment, a range of sonar equipment can be installed to monitor the underwater situation. FLIR Thermal and night vision infrared cameras are integrated for surveillance. A full digital Can Buss electrical system supplied by ETA has been integrated with all onboard systems controlled by touch screen computers at the helm and navigators positions, and expandable to potentially allow all crew members the ability to monitor and control the vessels navigation and onboard systems. Optionally ballistic protection can be incorporated to provide protection to the crew compartment utilizing lightweight composite ballistic panels. The front and side glass is ballistic and is directly bonded into moulded recesses without metallic frames. Barracuda will be produced alongside Safehaven's highly successful existing range of pilot, SAR vessels and patrol boats.


Big seas. Big test. 'Barracuda' during rough weather sea trials taking a pretty large breaking wave. Designed to have high levels of seakeeping and, depending on specification, she can be self righting as is the prototype here.  Barracuda is 11m  length overall. The top of the mast is 4.2m above the waterline so.... is this a 6m wave?...


....Yep..... it sure is..... pass the sickbag please!

Published in News Update

#Search&Rescue - Surfers haven't been the only ones benefitting from the recent stormy weather, as RTÉ News reports on a Cork-based boat builder that's been testing its top models in the wild Atlantic swell.

Youghal-based search-and-rescue (SAR) and pilot boat builder Safehaven Marine took its SAR vessels based at Roche's Point in Cork Harbour to the limit during sea trials earlier this week. Click HERE to see video of the sea trials in action

It follows similar trials of the company's pilot boat Interceptor 48 late last month as conditions turned for the worse off the Cork coast.

In waves reaching heights of 20 metres and winds breaking the 100km/h mark, the boats were tested in the extreme this week, but it was more than necessary for the hard work they'll be put through in service.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#storm – December storms provided Cork harbour boatbuilder Safehaven Marine with the perfect test bed for sea keeping trials with winds of Force 12 and near 30ft waves off the coast of Cork Harbour. On test was Safehaven's Interceptor 48, a self-righting pilot/ Search and Rescue vessel.

Almost the ultimate conditions prevailed for the test, storm force winds of a sustained duration and fetch creating mountainous seas nearly 30ft high, a strong ebb tide running out against the waves creating a maelstrom of steep breaking waves over the harbour rock at the entrance to Cork Harbour, all combined with perfect visibility.

Safehaven Managing director Frank Kowalski told Afloat, 'I think this video portrays the immense power and danger of the sea'. It certainly does and it also shows the seakeeping abilities of Safehaven's Interceptor pilot and rescue designs.

Published in Cork Harbour

The Cork Harbour based Safehaven Marine, specialist builders of pilot boats and rescue vessels have undertaken probably an industry first, by capsizing their latest Interceptor 48 Pilot / S.A.R. vessel in a live condition with two crew inside during the roll over.

In the ultimate expression of confidence in the vessels design and integrity, Safehaven's managing director and designer, Frank Kowalski, volunteered to be inside the vessel during the roll over. Strapped in with a full harness at her helm position he commented "it was a bit stressful when she was over at 90 degrees about to go over, and the motion past 180 during recovery was pretty violent, but it went off without a problem"

The above youtube video Safehaven made with multiple cameras both inside and outside during the test makes very interesting viewing in clearly showing the forces involved.

Look closely and you can see her crew inside at the time.

Published in Rescue

#corkharbour – Back in 1992, we were sailing a true cruiser-racer which was moderately competitive despite going off for a proper cruise or two each year. In that year we did Cork Week and lived aboard the boat in true cruiser-racer fashion – in fact, the security man checking my pass at the end of the week said it showed I'd never gone to the landward side of the Royal Cork compound throughout the regatta, which on reflection I had to say was indeed true.

Anyway, on that last day before I finally ventured into nearby County Cork, we had a breezy race with lots of wind between south and southwest, and as the ebb was running hard I can remember taking it easy going out to the start, because for once we had time in hand and the space to avoid the tide rip which develops in those conditions off Roche's Point.

We were trundling along, and suddenly Ted Crosbie's boat (it would have been one of his earlier excursions into the X Boats) came rocketing past heading seaward at full speed carrying all sail. His start was earlier than ours, and he was late. It may be that he wanted to teach whoever had kept him late a fierce message, or maybe he did it for the hell of it, but he just went straight through the breakers at full chat (despite his affable appearance, Ted is one tough cookie) and came out the other side still going strong, and with us marvelling that his boat was still in one piece, and joking about the citizens of Cork having such an excellent boat test tank right on their doorstep.

Mock not, lest your predictions come true. Since 2006, Frank Kowalski and his team at Safehaven Marine in Cobh have been putting their Pilot and Search & Rescue boats through the demanding test bed off Roche's Point, and the success of the company is testament to the thorough nature of the conditions experienced when there's an onshore gale and the ebb is running strong.

It all started with a boat for Cork Harbour, though I should imagine the Cork Harbour authorities have mixed feelings about the way the entrance to their "safest harbour in the world" is now being used to publicise the marque. But fair play to the men of Cork, they backed a winner, and these days the Safehaven boats are sold to harbour authorities and other maritime bodies all over the world, with the company employing 25 highly skilled staff between their factories on Little Island in Cork Harbour, and in Youghal.

It's very much a team effort, and usually when they want to take a boat out to test, other boats may go along to observe and photograph. But if things are just too much, or the factories are extra busy, all they need is one guy with a camera down on Roche's Point.

This recent sequence was taken from another boat, and it shows former naval diver Ciaran Monks putting the newest in the sequence of pilot and rescue vessels through her paces. For once, the word awesome can be allowed. No other word will do. Frank Kowalski and his team are an inspiration to us all.

Published in W M Nixon

A summer gale provided the perfect test bed for Sea trials of pilot and rescue boats in Cork Harbour in August. Two Interceptor pilot boats were put through their paces in a big storm with 10m breaking seas off Roches Point, Cork on 16 August 2012, by their builders Safehaven Marine of Cobh.

The boats are designed and built by Frank Kowalski's Safehaven Marine Ltd of Cobh who employ 25 people in two factories that produce pilot vessels for port authorities.


Published in Cork Harbour

#POWER FROM THE SEA – Wicklow based Island Shipping's twin-screw tug Husky returned to her homeport last month having completed a 300-day charter at the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind-farm in the North Sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The multi-purpose 10 tonne bollard pull tug had provided logistical support to and from turbines and sub-stations at the SCIRA (Statoil & Statkraft) windfarm off the north Norfolk coast.

She leaves two of her fleetmates Island Tiger and Island Panther, a pair of 23-knot Wildcat 53 wind-farm support vessel (WFSV) catamarans based at the Sheringham Shoal where they are engaged in 24/7 crew transfer operations. In the meantime the Husky is now available for charter.

As previously reported they had previously worked at the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind-farm in the North Sea after each of the 16m newbuilds where completed by Safehaven Marine in Cork.

Published in Power From the Sea

The Port of Cork has today announced that local Cork Company, Safehaven Marine have been awarded the contract to build the Port of Cork's new pilot vessel. Due to be delivered in 2012, Safehaven Marine beat off strong competition from several other companies to win the contract.

Commenting on the contract Captain Paul O'Regan, Deputy Harbour Master, said: "As part of our planned renewal of equipment and vessels, the port recently advertised a contract to build a new Pilot vessel on e-tenders. We are pleased to announce that "Safehaven Marine", a Cork based boat builder has been successful."


He continued: "Safehaven Marine pilot boats are highly regarded in the industry and have a reputation as very sound sea keeping vessels; this is in part, as a result of extensive design trials undertaken in large swells and rough seas around the entrance to Cork harbour, during winter storms."

Since building the last Cork pilot boat in 2006, Safehaven Marine has specialised in the 'niche' pilot boat market and continuously expanded. Currently employing 30 staff, Safehaven Marine operates out of two factories, one in Little Island and a new state of the art facility built in Youghal. They have supplied pilot boats worldwide, from Scandinavia, Europe, and the Mediterranean and as far afield as Asia and the Middle East, and in 2012 will pass a milestone by launching their 100th vessel since being established in 1996. Safehaven are now probably Europe's leading manufacturers of GRP pilot boat.


Safehaven Marine, Managing Director Frank Kowalski commented "This was a very special award for us as this is our local Port, and having built their last new pilot vessel six years ago, we have built up a great relationship with all the crew and pilots, and are delighted to be once again, six years later building their new pilot vessel. The Port of Cork's new pilot boat will be an example of our high level of design and engineering, and we all look forward to delivering their new pilot vessel in 2012".


Published in Port of Cork
1st September 2010

Wicklow's Wildcat Wind-farmer's

The County Wicklow based firm, Island Shipping which ordered a pair of Wind-farm support service vessels starting with the Island Tiger, recently took up station on charter work at the world's largest offshore wind-farm construction project, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Island Tiger is working at the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind-farm in the North Sea, which is located 25km off the Suffolk coastline. The site of the £650m project is identified as one of three strategic locations for offshore wind-farm development identified by the UK Government. The 140 wind-turbine project with a 504MW capacity is owned by joint venture partners Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and RWE npower (RWE).

The second newbuild Island Panther, is currently under construction at Safehaven Marine, Cork and available for charter in 2011. Both craft are of the WildCat 53 design catamaran, that are robust to handle in heavy seas. The 16m craft are designed to go at high-speed at a maximum of 27 knots and are water-jet propelled. The craft are manned by a crew of two and can carry 12 passengers, which is the craft's primary role to transfer wind-farm support personnel, equipment and their supplies to land at the offshore wind-turbine installations.

The charter market for such service-support craft is increasing as the number of offshore wind-farm projects continue and the need to maintain them when completed. Before Island Tiger took up North Sea duties, the newbuild was show-cased at SeaWork, the shipping industry's event for small workboats that was held in Southampton during June.

Apart from experience in serving the offshore wind-farm industry, Island Shipping also operate vessels for charter management; marine construction and underwater operations which involved the company's tug Husky in assisting in the contruction of the new River Shannon road tunnel, close to Limerick City.


Island Tiger in rough seas passes a wind-turbine

Published in Ports & Shipping
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