Thursday, May 23, 2024

Northland council workboat blessed

Northland Regional Council’s new $3.2 million locally-built workboat has been blessed and officially named at Opua today.

The 17.5-metre catamaran Waikare II – built at Whangarei by Circa Marine – replaces the 16-metre, 20-year-old Waikare.

Council Chair, Geoff Crawford says the new vessel is critical for maritime operations around Northland.

“It will be used to maintain Aids to Navigation around the East and West coasts, as a pilot vessel in the Bay of Islands (where 90 cruise ships are expected to visit this season) and as an oil spill response vessel,” said Cr Crawford.

He said the Waikare II was gifted its name by Te Kapotai, who blessed the vessel at today’s ceremony.

Youngsters from te Kura o Waikare played a key role – leading waiata – at today’s blessing of the new Northland Regional Council workboat Waikare II. 

Cr Crawford said the boat will be used frequently to carry out salvage and dive operations and is an asset ratepayers can be proud of.

“Circa have delivered the vessel on time and on budget, in very trying financial times. Council is extremely satisfied and pleased with the build quality, layout and finish,” he said.

Regional Harbourmaster, Jim Lyle says the vessel – which will typically carry a crew of two or three – will officially start work in March.

Its predecessor will be sold once the cruise ship season finishes in April.

The new vessel, which has its own crane, has a top speed of 20 knots, and a cruise speed of 16 knots and is powered by two fuel-efficient diesel engines compliant with the latest international emission standards.

The newly blessed and named Northland Regional Council workboat Waikare II at Opua today.

“Council was keen on electric power options but given the size of the vessel and its required range this wasn’t an option. So a lot of time was spent optimising the hull form for fuel efficiency.”

The vessel is expected to work from Mangawhai in the south to North Cape and back down to the Kaipara and as far out as 12 nautical miles.

Mr Lyle says the new vessel has a smaller wheelhouse with improved access around the sides.

“It’s increased waterline length, and moving the wheelhouse forward, provide a much-increased working deck.”

He says the vessel has improved buoyancy in its upper hulls to prevent slamming in heavy seas.

“It has also been wrapped in a special environmentally-friendly silicon wrap antifoul which will save on haul outs, annual antifoul and loss of performance due to fouling.

The wrap self-cleans each time the vessel reaches sea speed.

Latest Articles