In the midst of the most challenging global pandemic, The SMS Group in Southampton has delivered a new build 24m aquaculture vessel to a Tuna farm operator in Malta. The SMS Group has an enviable reputation as specialists in ship repair, marine engineering and major fabrication projects in the commercial marine, defence and superyachts sectors.
The company also builds workboats for the marine civils, aquaculture, fisheries and ports and harbours sectors. This latest vessel has 24m LOA, 8.5m beam, and a 3m draft. She’s been built to the MCA-MGN-280-Catergory 1 (150nm from safe haven) workboat code. Her principle purpose will be tuna harvesting and aquaculture/fish farm logistical and maintenance support.
David Azzopardi, Director of Fish and Fish Ltd, said: “This represents a major investment for Fish and Fish Ltd, and it illustrates not only the strength of our business but also our belief in the environmental sustainability of the aquaculture industry here in Malta.” He concluded: “Having met SMS at Seawork in 2017, and then latterly concluding the purchase post Seawork 2018, we think the quality of the product is superb – and the level of flexibility and customer commitment illustrated by SMS is genuinely exceptional.”
Dave Chaffers, the General Manager of SMS in Southampton, said: “It’s been a pleasure concluding the build with both David and James Walker of Walker Marine Design. “The finished project is fantastic, and this is another great example of ‘best of class’ British engineering and our proven partnership with Walker Marine Design.” He concluded: “As a business our focus clearly remains on ship repair, however this build helps to illustrate both our capabilities and our expertise. We’re currently exploring two further new build workboats and several major pontoon projects. As we look forward to a return to the new norm bespoke marine fabrication is very much on our agenda.”
The SMS Group has changed the way that it works since the onset of the pandemic. It has new risk assessments which are frequently updated and method statements, increased on and off-site hygiene and sanitation. It is also enforcing social-distancing across all working environments. The firm is also following the advice of the Government, the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and the National Health Service.