The Robert Allan designed RAscal 1600 mooring launch EIMEO has been completed by Cheoy Lee Shipyards in Hong Kong and is on its way to the east coast of Australia on a heavy lift ship.
The launch was built for Half-Tide Marine of Mackay in Queensland, Australia who will employ it at the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, south of Mackay.
The terminal, one of the largest coal terminals the world, has a ship loading facility some three kilometres off the east coast suitable
for up to four 200,000 dwt bulk carriers.
Although protected by the Great Barrier Reef, the fetch to the reef is enough that a considerable chop can develop which is not a problem for the bulk carriers but presents an operating challenge for a small line boat trying to pick up and deliver heavy ship’s hawsers. The EIMEO is designed to provide improved efficiency, comfort, and safety for this task.
Although having the outward appearance of a tug, the EIMEO is a launch with lighter construction and slimmer, more streamlined hull. The hull and deckhouse are steel, constructed to Lloyd’s rules, and outfitted to Australian regulatory standards.
It is powered by a single Caterpillar C18 engine rated 447 kW (600 hp) driving a one metre diameter four-bladed propeller in a steering nozzle via a Twin Disc MGX-5146SC, 2.5:1 “Quick Shift” reduction gear and a stainless steel shaft. The steering nozzle provides good efficiency and manoeuvrability ahead as well as excellent stopping and reverse performance and control.
Although expected to be operated as a day boat with a crew of three, comfortable overnight accommodations are provided in the foc’sle. Fit out includes two cabins, a pantry, mess, and washroom with shower. There is also a crew rest area in the spacious wheelhouse.
Half-Tide Marine had specific requirements for the wheelhouse layout including a compact free standing control console slightly aft of the wheelhouse centre to improve visibility to the aft deck where most of the crew work is done. Visibility to the sides, forward, and overhead is also excellent.
For the choppy conditions at the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal the boat has ample freeboard, regulation height bulwarks all around, good stability, and oversized bilge keels to reduce rolling. A protective pipe cage is fitted over the house to prevent the ship’s mooring lines snagging on the house.
On trials the EIMEO achieved 10.2 knots and proved to be exceptionally manoeuvrable ahead and astern as expected.