A Cork shipbuilder is setting the bar pretty high for new year’s resolutions with a record-breaking circumnavigation attempt of Ireland their goal for 2017.
Youghal and Little Island based shipbuilder’s Safehaven Marine have just launched their newest vessel the 60ft high speed boat Thunder Child in Cork harbour and after a few final seakeeping and endurance tests they will set off on their record-breaking round Ireland attempt.
Almost 1 year in development and manufacture Thunder Child, a naval patrol search and rescue vessel, is valued in excess of 1 million euro and Safehaven Marine MD, Frank Kowalski believes it will be more than capable of setting a new record thanks to its many advanced features such as wave piercing technology and surface drive propulsion.
The planned route for the circumnavigation will include Rockall, the small and distant rocky outcrop in the Atlantic approximately 460km north west of Malin Head.
“We have been designing and building boats here in Cork for almost twenty years now, and our vessels are in use worldwide in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. We continuously innovate to build faster, stronger, more effective, multi-functional boats that are not only built for the incredibly difficult conditions at sea, but also high speed marine operations,” Kowalski said.
“Setting a new record for the circumnavigation of Ireland via Rockall is a real challenge for any vessel. The route involves a 1,000 km open ocean crossing into the North Atlantic, one of the roughest and most notorious seas on the plant. But for Thunder Child, I am confident that we will set a new record and have a safe, albeit nail biting, trip!”
The trip will involve several hours navigation in the dark and will inevitably encounter rough conditions which will put incredible stress on both vessel and crew. However Thunder Child is well equipped for all such challenges, with HD radar, high spec thermal night vision cameras, shock-mitigation seating, a range of over 750 nautical miles, surface drive propulsion and advanced composite construction that is both strong and light give the boat its unique properties, another of which being that it is probably the most striking and stylish boat of her type.
As an internationally recognised designer and manufacturer of high speed commercial craft, Safehaven Marine has already built a reputation for exceptional sea keeping capabilities, stealth and strength. The company’s boats are deployed internationally for search and rescue missions, security and patrolling in open water and piloting in harbours as well as military and naval operations.