The SMS Shoalbuster, a 26-meter Damen Shoalbuster 2609 owned and operated by GSS Marine Services from Rosyth, Scotland, has recently completed a 14.572 nautical miles (NM) round trip that included two transatlantic crossings.
The Shoalbuster range is designed as a multi-role workboat optimized for shallow waters, however its high bow and sturdy construction means that it is capable of handling even ocean crossings.
“When the SMS Shoalbuster departed Stathelle, Norway, earlier this year, no one realized that she would be gone for so long or sail so far,” Damen said in its announcement.
At the time, she was on charter to tow some floating pipes to Porto Plata in the Dominican Republic, a distance of 4.400 nautical miles. While she was on this task, GSS was offered a second job.
This involved towing a backhoe dredger from the Dominican Republic 3.700 nautical miles to Vitoria, 20 degrees south of the equator on the coast of Brazil.
“Again, fortune was with them as a third contract came in while the Shoalbuster was at sea, this time towing a crane barge from Vitoria to Setubal in Portugal,” Damen said.
On this leg they met some bad weather in the Atlantic, forcing them to slow down so as to protect the crane on the barge, but aside from that all was well.
From Setubal it was then a relatively short trip back up to Rotterdam.
In all, the SMS Shoalbuster was away for six months, with crew changes at each stop.