SMS Southampton has won the contract to build a new 24m aquaculture workboat for a tuna farm operator in Malta.

SMS are specialists in ship repair, marine engineering and major fabrication projects in the commercial marine, defence and superyachts sectors.

The company also builds workboats, under the Bulldog brand, for the marine civils, aquaculture, fisheries and ports and harbours sectors.

This latest vessel, ordered in early September 2018, has 24m LOA, a 8.5m beam, and a 3m draft.

She will be built to the MCA-MGN-280-Category 1 (150nm from safe haven) workboat code.

The vessel is expected to be delivered to the owner mid-summer 2019.

Her principal purpose will be tuna harvesting and aquaculture/fish farm logistical and maintenance support.

John Buck, the business development manager of SMS, said: “This is a big win for us, given both the scale of the opportunity and the obvious competition from Europe. We’ve listened to the client, customised our offering, and via a competitive process we’ve won the build. This project is particularly exciting given the size of the market in Malta and the environmental innovation that we’ve built into the design with regards to the containment and management of fish oil.”

He added: “It is good news for SMS, good news for workboat building in Southampton, and good news for UK plc.”

David Azzopardi, director of Fish and Fish Ltd said: “It’s been a great pleasure working through the specification with John and the team at SMS and we look forward to the build process.  This represents a major investment for Fish and Fish Ltd, and it illustrates not only the strength of our business but also our belief in the environmental sustainability of the aquaculture industry here in Malta.”

He added: “Having met John and SMS at Seawork in 2017, and then latterly concluding the purchase post Seawork 2018, we’re looking forward to supporting workboat building the UK. We think the quality of the product is superb – and the level of flexibility and customer commitment illustrated by SMS is genuinely exceptional.”

Workboat Principle Particulars

Workboat Code: MCA-MGN-280-Catergory 1 (150nm from safe haven)

Length Overall:  24.45 metres

Length Waterline: 24.00 metres

Load Line Length: 22.80 metres

Maximum Draft: 2.87 metres

Breadth:  8.50 metres

Fire suppression:     Engine Room – Fixed

Main Engines: Caterpillar Acert 18 600bhp 448kw 1800rpm

Gear Box:  ZF 560W (inline)

Bow Thruster:    1 x Veth VT-50

Propulsion:   Twin 4 Blade FFP

Generators:    2 x Caterpillar Acert 7.1 148 KVA

Cranes: 2 x Palfinger PK32002M (CPO73)

Hydraulic System:  Engine driven hydraulic pump (4 x independent electrical pumps)