'ISLAND PANTHER' The 2nd Windfarm support vessel built for Island Shipping by Safehaven Marine is now launched.

Safehaven Marine have now launched the second Wildcat 53 / 16m windfarm support vessel for Island Shipping 'Island Panther' a sister ship to the first vessel 'Island Tiger' supplied in 2010. The Wildcat 53 is high bow buoyancy bow design, symmetrical hull, twin chine catamaran of GRP composite construction, princible dimensions are 16m  moulded (17.3m LOA) a 6.1m / 20ft  beam and a 1.15m draft, the design offers excellent sea keeping abilities, being able to push through steep head seas without slamming occurring on the bridge deck by virtue of the fuller bow sections providing adequate buoyancy to lift over waves, this combined with the catamaran designs high levels of transverse stability results in a very stable, seaworthy craft. Island Panther incorporated a number of changes over the first vessel to enhance her functionality in her windfarm support role , most notable being the incorporation of a dedicated fuel and water transfer system with additional fuel capacity totalling 5,000 litres of fuel and 1,000 litres of water. The fuel transfer system features separate reels with 50m of hose stored in the fore peak, these pump fuel / water under 5 bar from high capacity 240v pumps, allowing the vessel to refuel generators / water tanks on the windfarm platforms up to 40-50m above water.

Island Panther is fitted with Scania D16 V8 650hp engines running Ultra Dynamics 451 Waterjets with Joystick control and has a maximum speed of 25kts with an operational speed of 22kts at a lightship displacment of 28,000kg, she has a very soft and comfortable ride, with exceptionally low noise levels of only 67db being recorded in the cabin at maximum speed.

The bow area has been designed to accommodate a specially developed fender system from Ocean 3. The fender design is of high density foam core 500m x 400mm to cushion impacts and stresses in the bow. The fender is retained by straps in a grove moulded into the bow, thereby capable of being quickly changed in the event of damage and is interchangeable to feature either a flat bow or a fender with a nipple incorporated. No stranger to building exceptionally strong GRP hulls, the Wildcat 53 has the same heavy duty scantlings as their renowned pilot boats which are often subject to severe impacts in rough weather, this produces a vessel that can withstand tough use in the harsh windfarm support vessel environment. GRP provides many benefits, being a homogeneous structure it is very strong, it gives a high standard of external finish with the advantage of zero maintenance, it is easily repaired and perfectly compliments Safehaven’s graceful design, resulting in a very striking vessel.

The superstructure is a raised bridge deck design with the helm and navigators position elevated to provide excellent visibility. The cabin is centrally positioned in an ‘island configuration’ with a clear 750mm walkway each side and around the bow where there is a cargo lifting space. This provides a safe passageway and spacious work and boarding area at the bow.

Accommodation is spacious and designed to provide a comfortable and luxurious environment,  with a combination of aircraft style transit seating, and a dinette style seating platform with a table providing a comfortable area during standby with a 20” plasma screen and DVD player. The cabin design is open plan with a full galley in the port hull and bunk berths in the st/bd hull. A useful feature is the incorporation of a wet room, featuring aft cockpit access, hanging space, toilet and shower facilities with a second 'Workshop' compartment to port allowing maintenance and equipment repair on site.  In other respects the ‘Island Panther’ is very highly specified, featuring a 9kw generator providing 240v throughout the vessel. A very comprehensive navigation suite from Raymarine, with twin scanner high definition radar, GPS, all displayed on multiple E140 14” screens, Talk back deck communication, autopilot and onboard Wi Fi. High definition CCTV records boarding and aft cockpit operations. Aft, twin dive platforms protect the waterjets, The vessel is fitted with a Palfinger crane on the aft deck servicing a large clear cargo area. The vessel is contracted to work on windfarms alongside her sister ship Island Panther on the Norfolk coast of the UK .