The vessel will enable Kongsberg Maritime Ltd to introduce a practical element to the courses already offered at its training centre in Westhill, Aberdeen, on the company’s products for the offshore survey industry. True North, which works out of Stonehaven just a few miles from the training centre, will initially support courses on the HiPAP (High Precision Acoustic Positioning) system.
Euan Duncan, training manager at Kongsberg Maritime Ltd, says, “True North will allow us to provide on-water training to consolidate what delegates learn about our products in the classroom.
Operational systems are critical to maintaining an ongoing service, so any down time to allow employees to train in the offshore environment is often financially prohibitive. This new element to our portfolio of training courses allows for a holistic approach in that training can be undertaken in an offshore scenario – something which will be extremely valuable for operators.”
True North has been chartered for one year from McLachlan Marine, which also supplies crew transfer services for Kongsberg Maritime Ltd’s engineers.
True North can accommodate up to a maximum of six delegates at a time, along with an instructor, skipper and mate. The vessel is a Blyth 33 catamaran – 10.11m long and with an operational capability of up to 20 miles offshore.
It has been kitted out to Kongsberg Maritime Ltd’s exact specifications and includes the HiPAP 35P acoustic referencing system; C-PAP 34 ROV positioning system with two transducers; APOS computer system and EA400 single beam echosounder.
The vessel has also been equipped with a sophisticated hoist system for deploying pole-mounted equipment through the deck – the first of its kind in Scotland on a small survey boat.
Courses will be running every two weeks between March and December.
Duncan adds, “The HiPAP courses are just the start of a full programme of training for offshore surveyors and survey engineers that will focus on using high-end technology and techniques to achieve the best results.
“We also plan to introduce new training with a practical element on True North for training with AUVs, which is a growth market for Kongsberg Maritime Ltd, and multi-beam products for hydrographic surveys.”