The Bristol Port Company has taken delivery of a Damen Shoalbuster 2308S. This is the first contract between Damen and the Bristol Port Company.

Modified with several customised options, the vessel will be able to take on a multifunctional role that includes plough dredging, towing, pilotage and survey duties.

Construction of the new 23m Shoalbuster took place at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld, in the Netherlands. During the handover ceremony on 17 March, the vessel was officially named Graham Robertson.

The Bristol Port Company will mobilise the Graham Robertson in a variety of functions. To this end, the adaptable design of the Shoalbuster 2308S allowed the yard to install numerous extra equipment.

Addressing the primary role of plough dredging activities, the Graham Robertson has an aft-mounted A-frame. “Being able to plough dredge will also ensure the maximum available depth of water can be maintained within the dock,” says Bristol Port Company Deputy Haven Master Christopher Jones.

The vessel will also undertake buoy maintenance and installation and repair works, he continues: “For this her hydraulic deck crane will prove invaluable.”

To further enhance the versatile nature of Graham Robertson, the contract also called for a dismountable pilotage platform to allow for occasional piloting tasks, firefighting equipment and a towing hook.

“A truly multipurpose port craft was a strict requirement when finalising the vessel’s specification,” adds Mr Jones. “Introducing such a multipurpose vessel will allow the port to greatly increase the level of work it can undertake in-house, leading to financial savings.”