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French shipbuilder Socarenam has delivered a multi-role service vessel to Belgian group DAB Vloot for a range of harbour and coastal duties.

Buoy laying, hydrographic surveys, pilot transfers, assistance to vessels in distress, firefighting and more. The Sirius is a truly multi-purpose, multi-role vessel. French ship- and boatbuilder Socarenam of Boulogne-sur-Mer delivered the Sirius to the Belgian DAB Vloot group on 19 January. The order, for a ship designed by naval architecture firm Bureau Mauric, was placed in 2015. The vessel is 45.1 metres long for a beam of 10.6m and a draught of 3.6m. This ‘Swiss army knife’ of harbour and coastal service vessels will serve Ostend, its homeport, and the entire Belgian coast. To perform its many and varied roles, the design includes a range of equipment. The Sirius has Fire Fighter 1, or FiFi 1, class notation thanks to two water cannons, also known as monitors or deluge guns, offering a minimum capacity of 2,800 m3/h at 12.5 bar. Other facilities include buoy laying winches, a deck crane that can lift 6t at 9 metres reach, two boats on davits for pilot transfers, and a tow hook. For hydrographic surveys, the Sirius is equipped with a Kongsberg EM2040 multibeam echo sounder. The Sirius also carries a gyroscopic stabilisation system by Gyromarine to limit role and thereby improve the ship’s operational availability even at very slow speed.


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The propulsion system uses a 1,325-kW ABC 6DZC diesel or a 250-kW ABB electric motor driving a shaft line fitted with a Masson fixed-pitch propeller. Three Caterpillar generator sets supply power to both the electric drive motor and the ship’s distribution system. “This hybrid system, combined with a heat recovery system, ensures economical performance over a wide range of speeds — including low-speed operations as required, for example, for hydrographic surveying or pilot transfers — while leaving the main motor’s power free for other duties” says a Socarenam engineer.


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The bridge (© SOCARENAM)

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Gyroscope (© SOCARENAM)


Sea trials confirmed the full extent of the design’s capabilities. “The Sirius achieved a top speed of 13kts while meeting the noise specifications in the living areas. MacKartney France and Kongsberg tested the ship’s hydrographic survey capabilities on the Ophélie wreck off Boulogne with good results at all speeds up to the recommended maximum.”

The Sirius offers accommodation for a crew of 20 plus 10 passengers (pilots, hydrographers, students, etc.) and ten days’ endurance.


Translated and adapted by Steve Dyson


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Testing the echo sounders on a wreck (© SOCARENAM)

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Testing the echo sounders on a wreck (© SOCARENAM)

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The mess (© SOCARENAM)

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