Hoorn, 9 juni 2023 De Marine heeft bij Stormer Marine in Hoorn een serie werkboten gekocht voor dienst in de Nieuwe Haven.

The three new aluminum work boats for the navy are robust, tough and, above all, friendly to the environment. Defense also takes global greening seriously and an electric drive has therefore been chosen. The project team, supported by senior project engineer Willem Burger, explains the background of this logical choice.

From left to right: contract manager Remy de Bruin, project leader Remco Bouma and senior project engineer Willem Burger.

Replacement of Scheldt class

The three boats are built by the Stormer company in Hoorn. They will replace the current five Scheldt class work boats, which are being replaced after 35 years of loyal service. Until the newcomers are ready in 2023/24, some of these steel vessels will remain available for manual services in the Helderse Nieuwe Haven, the Wadden Sea and the adjacent inland waterways. Towing sailing boats from the Defense Sailing School, laying oil screens, moving fenders and pontoons, but also helping to secure the Nieuwe Haven, are all part of it. “The intention is for the new vessels to take over all these tasks,” says Willem. The engineer explains that the zero-emission boats are also used where diesel-powered boats are no longer welcome. Such as at the Marine Barracks Amsterdam.

Hoorn, 9 juni 2023
De Marine heeft bij Stormer Marine in Hoorn een serie werkboten gekocht voor dienst in de Nieuwe Haven.

The complete boat is made of aluminum and is of Dutch manufacture. The cutting package is assembled by a welding company in Leeuwarden, after which a spraying company in Harlingen coats the hull. The hull goes to Stormer in Hoorn for finishing. Number one is expected to be launched at the beginning of July, after which the vessel will be commissioned and tested. It has been agreed that the Stormer company will do the maintenance for two years, according to project leader small above water at Commit Projects Remco Bouma. With a length of over 11 meters and a width of almost 4, the boats have a robust appearance. This is further accentuated by the thick rubber fendering, which protects against all the heavy work of the small powerhouses.

Burger says that the new boats have a range of 80 kilometers and a displacement of 9.5 tons. The aluminum hull makes the boat lighter in weight, allowing the electric drive to better meet the performance requirements. The powerful battery pack basically lasts the entire lifespan of the boat (30 years). “Replacing these batteries is very expensive, says Willem. The technician says that battery technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. When the North Sea class tugboats were acquired in 2015, a lifespan of seven years was assumed. “Now we are easily talking about thirty.” “After the first tender in 2019, it turned out that the aspirations for emission-free tugboats were too high for the budget,” adds contract manager Remy de Bruin. “We then held a second information round. On that occasion it turned out to be possible to opt for fully electric propulsion.”
Initially, no specific training was required for the two-man crew to operate the boats. Later, the Port Authority CZSK made a small boating license mandatory, which removed the restriction that the boats could not sail faster than 20 kilometers per hour. Outside of the crew, the boats have a maximum capacity of eight passengers. Because they also operate outside the naval port, they must comply with civil regulations and must have additional rescue equipment, including a life raft and signal guns. The three boats form the so-called Bolder class. In addition to the Bolder, it consists of the Beting and the Bakspier; terms from the towing world. An interesting detail is that a generator is available for when the boats want to go beyond their range and there is insufficient charging power available in the port. This option will be used exceptionally, says Willem. “Because otherwise the boat will no longer be emission-free and nothing will come of greening. Of course, you shouldn’t want that at all.”