Incat Crowther is pleased to announce the launch of Reef Resilience. Delivered by Norman R. Wright & Sons, the new generation Incat Crowther 24 patrol boat will join Reef Ranger in protecting the Great Barrier Reef.
Reef Resilience will service the southern region of the Reef from her home port in Gladstone, whilst Reef Ranger will continue to service the northern region from Cairns, meaning the entire reef will now benefit from the capability and operability this class of vessel offers. The vessel’s remit includes compliance monitoring, marine park and island national park management, diving and research operations. The vessel will also operate in remote offshore waters within the Australian EEZ for extended periods of up to 3 months.
Incat Crowther collaborated with the Department of Environment and Science (DES) to optimise the latest design with a focus on operational efficiency. The most significant enhancement is immediately apparent, with the vessel sporting a new hull form.
“The new hull is designed to handle Queensland conditions up to 200nm from the coast with strong winds and 3 metre significant wave heights.” reports Dan Mace, Incat Crowther’s Technical Manager. “Long transits at 20 knots in these seas can lead to uncomfortable slamming on a vessel of this size, but with this latest hull form we have been able to eliminate this, making a smoother ride and enhanced crew comfort.”
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was used to optimize the hull, and the performance was independently verified by speed and seakeeping tests at the Australian Maritime College’s (AMC) towing tank facilities. Powered by twin MAN D2862 LE463 main engines, Reef Resilience easily cruises at 20 knots at efficient RPM and impressively low fuel burn. Recent sea trials saw a top speed of 27 knots. Humphree interceptors with auto trim and active ride control are utilised to increase comfort for crew.
Combining the hull performance with the increased internal space afforded by its large beam, Reef Resilience offers capability unparalleled in a vessel of her size.
The vessel is constructed and fitted out to a very high standard by Norman R. Wright & Sons. The fit out focused on the use of lightweight construction techniques to keep the vessel’s weight in check whilst maintaining a robust hull structure.
A 6.2m RHIB tender is fitted in a fast launch cradle between the hulls aft, with the ability to launch whilst underway at 6 knots in offshore sea conditions of 3m significant wave height. The upper deck cargo area is rated to 1 t/m2 and designed to accommodate two (2) x 4.4m RHIB tenders and one (1) x 5.5m work barge.Operational flexibility is provided by large transom platforms which allow the tenders to tie-up to the mothership in-between tasks.
Energy efficiency is aided by 6kW of roof-mounted solar panels to maximise the use of available renewable energy and reduce environmental impact.
Reef Resilience is the second Incat Crowther-designed vessel for the Marine Parks fleet. Two more vessels are under construction, a 17m patrol boat and a recently-signed 20m landing craft. Incat Crowther is proud of its collaboration with the Department of Environment and Science and joint contribution to the success of the Great Barrier Reef Field Management Program.