The second of Damen’s new Shoalbuster 2711 class was handed over to its owner Ports of Jersey on 11 November in a christening ceremony held at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld. First introduced in 2019, the compact, 27-metre Shoalbuster 2711 provides an extra two metres of beam compared to its predecessor, the Shoalbuster 2709, for extra space both on and below decks, as well as added stability.
While Damen won the contract through a tender procedure, the Ports of Jersey took into account the performance and reliability of their existing Damen Shoalbuster, a 2609 model named Duke of Normandy, which they have been operating for the past fifteen years. The new Duchess delivers all the versatility for which the Shoalbuster range is well known and as well as the extra stability her additional two metres of beam keeps her into compliance with MLC regulations, making her easier to operate for clients working under the UK workboat Code. 43 tonnes of bollard pull establishes her towage credentials and, from the wide range of options available, she has been fitted with a large deck crane to assist in marine construction and other harbour works. Anchor handling, dredge assistance and surveys are additional activities for which she is well suited.
As part of the Ports of Jersey’s commitment to sustainability Duchess is being made available to support wind farm operations in UK and French waters, as well as up into the North Sea. The extra space available for equipment and stores plus comfortable accommodation for up to seven personnel gives her enhanced range and durability.
“Damen feels really honoured in supporting Ports of Jersey in their fleet expansion,” said Jeroen van Woerkum, Commercial Manager Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld. “The Shoalbuster 2711 is a great, all-round workhorse for harbours as well as offshore assignments, and we are confident that she will give many years of service and prove to be a great asset to her owners. We look forward to further strengthening the relationship between our two organisations.”
Captain Bill Sadler, Jersey Harbour Master and COO Marine, Ports of Jersey, commented: “It was an important day for our marine services business, and it was special to spend it with colleagues, our friends at Damen and partners in the industry. We look forward to Duchess building its own reputation in the workboat industry, as its little sister the Duke of Normandy has over the years.”
At the christening ceremony the Duchess was officially named by Ports of Jersey employee Fiona Planterose, after which she headed for Le Havre for her first assignment, a towing job.