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Inverlussa's new workboat will start a long-term contract with Marine Harvest on June 1.
Inverlussa's new workboat will start a long-term contract with Marine Harvest on June 1.

Mull-based workboat operator Inverlussa Marine Services has taken delivery of its latest and most aquaculture-specific vessel, the Gina Mary, built in what is probably a record time of just five months.

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The 25-metre vessel was constructed by Havyard Ship Technology’s shipyard in Leirvik, Norway and designed in close collaboration between Inverlussa and Macduff Ship Design, of Aberdeen.

Work is already under way at the yard on a sister vessel, the Kiera Fiona, which is due be delivered in September. At 25.5m she is a near repeat of the Gina Mary, although she has extra length to allow for salmon treatment operations.

The Gina Mary will begin work for Marine Harvest on June 1.

Inverlussa MD Ben Wilson:
Inverlussa MD Ben Wilson: "We took a big risk but it shows our confidence in the sector."

Inverlussa managing director Ben Wilson said the Gina Mary was far more specialised than the company’s other aquaculture support vessels.

“We have built this specifically for one job and that is fish farm service work," he said.

“We feel in Scotland at the moment that you have to be more specialised. The whole package works well for the customers when it [the boat] is custom-built.

“We have been working in the market for 10 years now and we have tried to use that experience in building new vessels.”

The Gina Mary has been designed so it can be geared up for various tasks simply. The design was changed during the build to add to two extra metres in length – something that also added to the original NK30 million price tag.

Get it right

It’s a decision Wilson feels was worth taking. He said: “You are building something that will last a long time. It is more important that you get it right. Customers’ requirements are important as well.”

He added: “It is very multi-role. It can do mooring work, heavy net handling; it can also do towing work and a variety of de-licing. It has deck space for a hydro-licer and deck space for ISO tanks (for peroxide de-licing).

“There are also a lot of safety features that we have built into the vessel. We have fitted special marine cranes that give you load read-outs. There is also a chain stopper that makes handling, mooring and grids much safer.”

Wilson said Inverlussa took a “big risk” ordering the new workboats, as it did so without having work contracts in place for the vessels.

Confidence

The company does not yet have work lined up for the Kiera Fiona, but Wilson is not losing sleep over it. He said: “We have got huge confidence in the boats we are building.”

Wilson has been impressed with the work carried out in Norway. “The standard and quality of work is very good, but then it's also more expensive than if we had done this at home in Scotland,” he said.

Inverlussa currently has long term service contracts in place with Cooke Aquaculture, Scottish Salmon Company and Grieg Seafoods, providing a variety of support services  including de-licing treatments using peroxide and non-peroxide methods, complete mooring grid installations, net changing and barge towage.

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