Martek Marine has supplied 125 Navgard Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm Systems (BNWAS) to Tidewater’s fleet on the coast of Africa, in a significant six figure contract. Martek’s Navgard was reportedly chosen because it is particularly easy to install and fully complies with the fleet’s classification society’s requirements.
Martek said that its Navgard is the only system available which has type-approval from all major classification societies, an important factor for fleets using a number of different classification societies because, while most companies want to buy and fit one system across the whole fleet, it can be expensive and onerous to get additional certification for unapproved BNWAS.
Navgard is designed for absolute simplicity during installation, two examples of this are the screwed connections which avoid the need for soldering and a market-first bridge motion sensor which is built into the device’s control panel.
While many systems require separate interface modules to be wired to the panel using different wire types, Navgard’s alarms and resets are wired directly to the control panel using a single wire type, reducing the time and cabling needed for installation. Martek guarantees quicker and cheaper installation of Navgard, promising to refund the equipment if customers do not find this to be the case.
Martek started the installation project by training the fleet’s engineers while the first few vessels were in dry dock in Las Palmas. The Tidewater engineers were quickly happy with the simplicity of the installation, at which point Martek simply supplied the equipment for the engineers to continue the installation – saving them thousands of dollars and not interrupting the vessels’ operations.
Navgard, which comes with a two-year warranty, uses real-time data logging, providing essential evidence in the event of an incident. Unlike some competitors that use simple key switches, Navgard requires a master password to disable, also noting when the system is switched on and off so that checks can be made to ensure it is being used continuously. When MV Karin Schepers grounded in 2009, the accident report noted that a BNWAS was present but had been switched off by crew.
Lyall Smith, Tidewater’s Regional Technical Manager, said: “After some consideration, I chose Navgard for our African fleet of offshore support vessels because the system had no hidden costs – our own engineers fitted them, the installation did not disrupt our operations at all, it already had type approval under ABS and all our flag states, including USCG and Martek were able to obtain blanket plan approval quickly and at very little cost.”