The Seahorse Merctator.
Picture: ABPH Stuart Farrow
A new navigational training vessel, built for Defence Maritime Services,
was launched at Tenix Shipbuilding WA.
Named Seashorse Mercator during the launch ceremony, its role will be
to provide support to the RAN's Navigation Faculty. The name Mercato honours
the Flemish chartmaker who invented the Mercator Projection Chart which
is well-known to all navigators.
Based on the highly successful 23 ship Pacific Patrol Boat class built
by Tenix, it was considered to offer the best design and concept with
the best characteristics for the task.
SEAHORSE MERCATOR will train overseas mariners as well as RAN personnel
and carries all modern state-of-the-art navigation equipment to teach
the procedures for coastal navigation, pilotage, and is compatible for
normal naval bridge training management and watch-keeping skills.
The vessel was launched and named by Ms Sue Barry of P&O Australia and
blessed by Navy Chaplain, Father Brian Rayner. Master of the vessel is
Noel Frichot of DMS.
Among those present at the cerermony was the Navy's COMFB CDRE Paul Kable;
CO of HMAS STIRLING, CMDR Alan Johnston; and the General Manager of DMS,
Mr Mark Taylor.
Displacing 165 tonnes the 31.5 metre vessel has a crew of five and will
carry three training staff and 18 trainees. Its maximum speed is 16 knots
and it has a range of 2700 nautical miles at 10 knots. It is powered by
two Caterpillar 3412 engines and has two Caterpillar 3304 generators.
The Mv Seahorse Mercator will replace the ageing former ATTACK-class patrol
boat ARDENT in the navigational training role and will be based in Sydney
and is expected to operate primarily in Sydney Harbour and from Port Stephens
to Jervis Bay.
Jeffery, Navy Public Affairs (WA)