The Seafari Group is one of the largest, longest-serving large RIB operators in the UK.
Seafari Marine Services (SMS) is an ISO-9001-accredited and Achilles-FPAL-registered company that specialises in personnel and equipment transfers, safety and guard boat duties and logistical support for the emerging offshore renewables and offshore construction industries. The company operates a modern fleet of 10m open and 11m cabin rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RIBs). The vessels are all a maximum of three years old, and use the latest Yamaha 300 horsepower outboard motors and electronics.
SMS is committed to providing quality of service as well as being able to provide the safest, most suitable, versatile and modern support vessels operated by experienced crews to the emerging tidal and wave industries, as well as offshore construction and survey.
As well as ISO 9001 accreditation and Achilles FPAL registration, SMS will shortly be completing its BS 18001 and 14001 accreditations as well as becoming verified by Achilles UVDB. The company believes that this commitment to quality and training and continuous investment in infrastructure will substantially reduce the risk factor for potential clients within the offshore renewables industry.
Long and short-term RIB charters
The Seafari Group has been operational for 16 years, and is one of the largest, longest-serving large RIB operators in the country. The 11m cabin RIBs provide an efficient, dry and safe method of transferring personnel and equipment onto devices, installation barges and tugs in a similar fashion to offshore windfarm transfers. Their unique front door cabin design and bow boarding platform enable passengers to simply exit the cabin and transfer over the bow in a safe and controlled manner.
Seafari Marine Services
SMS has a conducted a wide variety of tasks for many different companies on long and short-term charter, with the majority of contracts running simultaneously. These include a current five-year survey programme on the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm as well as a recently renewed four-year contract with the Northern Lighthouse Board to provide engineer transfers to remote locations around Argyll. The company also provides personnel and equipment transfers for major tidal and wave developers, from EMEC at Orkney down to the north coast of France. These contracts have been ongoing since 2011.
Skippers and crew have a tremendous amount of experience working in waters with strong tidal currents and unpredictable weather. Sister company Seafari Adventures runs wildlife trips to the Gulf of Corryvreckan, the world’s third-largest whirlpool area.
Through commercial RIB outfitting company Quinquari Marine North, SMS is able to build new, versatile, bespoke vessels to any specification given by a client. The company is also able to modify its existing fleet to suit exact job requirements. Its ability to construct its own vessels enables it to use its experience gained working on offshore installations and work with the ever-changing industry to design and modify vessels to suit.
SMS operates as a completely self-sufficient unit, non-reliant on any outside support. Vessels can be deployed to anywhere in Europe, complete with a launch and recovery trailer and mobile workshops. Spare engines and other major components are kept in the company’s workshops near Oban, and can be transported to any location within the UK and become operational within 24 hours.
SMS can also call on 24hr support from Quinquari Marine North, Humber RIBs and Yamaha UK. Skippers often work with SMS in the company’s workshops, and they accordingly have an excellent inside knowledge of the vessels and their construction. This allows them to deal with most situations themselves on-site should any problems arise.
Multi-role support vessel improvements
The aim of SMS as a company is to ensure that safe, dry, versatile and modern multi-role support vessels, complete with a quality assured and comprehensive support infrastructure, are available to the tidal industry as it shifts towards becoming fully commercial.
The company’s new 14m bespoke multi-role tidal support vessel, currently in the planning stage, is based on the success of its 11m cabin RIB within the industry so far. Additions will include a W/C, a small galley and a larger fuel capacity. MCA CAT 2 coding will also enable the vessel to spend longer periods of time at sea, as well as the ability to carry up to 1.5t of cargo on a standard-sized pallet on the open bow or on the stern for oversized equipment. SMS has additionally redesigned its bow-loading platform to further ensure the safety of personnel transferring onto offshore structures and vessels.