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Steel Cutting for the first WB-18 CTV from Wallaby Boats GmbH

World premiere for a commercially used vessel with a suspension system.

With the traditional steel cutting at Ostseestaal in Stralsund on 17.01.2022 the starting signal for the newbuilding with the hull number WB-18#001 of Wallaby Boats GmbH, in cooperation with its production partner, Hitzler Werft in Lauenburg, has been given. Due to Corona, this ceremony was celebrated in a small circle at the Hitzler shipyard.

The groundbreaking innovation with the hull number WB-18#001 is the world’s first ship with a suspension system for commercial use. This suspension system, developed by the Australian engineering firm Nauti-Craft, enables the catamaran’s two hulls to independently balance and compensate for wave forces and the resulting motion. As a result, the so-called chassis already remains relatively still in the passive mode of the system or absolutely motionless in the active mode. This makes transit much more comfortable, even for smaller ships, and the transfer of technicians to offshore structures or pilots to large ships, much safer. As part of a development partnership resulting from a collaboration with the Carbon Trust, the innovation will initially be tested with EnBW during operations at their Baltic Sea wind farms.

In January 2022, the development of the Wallaby-18 was selected “best innovation 2021” by the technical magazine WINDPOWER. “This award, from one of the leading international magazines in offshore wind, fills us with pride. We are happy about the great interest and the many registrations for test drives with the prototype!” says Eike Kristian Höper, Managing Director of Wallaby Boats GmbH.

“We are happy to now be able to start construction soon and thus deepen our partnership with Wallaby Boats GmBH. The development of such an innovative vessel is always a great challenge. Since the takeover of Hitzler Werft in March 2021, we have been committed to just such innovative projects that make shipping more environmentally friendly and Germany a more attractive shipbuilding location,” said Marek Klimenko, managing director of Hitzler Werft in Lauenburg.

Among the ship’s most innovative features are an upper main deck structure and two separate hulls connected by a hydraulic suspension system that can be used actively or passively. Furthermore, the (waste) heat energy generated by the hydraulics will be used in the ship’s system (including for deck de-icing) and the deck superstructure will have integrated photovoltaic elements to reduce resource requirements during operation. The ship will meet all requirements for the highest environmental standards, such as TIER-3, Blue Angel or Hybrid Power plus, and will be significantly more efficient in operation than other ships with the same performance in high sea state.

The newbuilding will be accompanied by Lloyd’s Register and will receive the class mark+100A1 SSC Workboat, Catamaran, HSC, G2A +LMC, UMS.
“It is very helpful for us, especially because of the logistical challenges in CORONA times, to be able to rely mainly on local or national suppliers,” Höper said.

These include the company HYDAC (Hamburg office) with its Dutch subsidiary HYCOM for the hydraulics, the companies Zoller (Elmshorn) and Noris (Rostock) for the electrics and automation, the company Thitronik Marine (Kiel) for navigation and radio, the company SONO MOTORS (Munich) for the photovoltaic integration and the joinery Wessels (Haren/Ems) for the superstructure and interior.

“As a young shipping company from the small town of Kappeln on the Schlei, we are very proud to operate the first Wallaby-18. We are already planning to order the second WB-18 as well and are very excited about the performance of this new technology, which will enable us to reach our environmental goals faster and at the same time be maximally efficient” says Harald Hübner, Managing Director of OFFCON GmbH.

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