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Shetland boat manufacturer has designs on new vessel

21 July 2014

A Shetland boat manufacturing and engineering business has been approached to design an innovative new type of vessel for use in the oil & gas industry.

Unst Inshore Services Ltd has been successful in being awarded £47,103 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the project and the experimental development of the boat.

The prototype model will be produced later this year and will be subject to rigorous testing in line with strict criteria, including high specification durability, safety and low carbon emission standards. It is planned that the project will lead the company to valuable extra business and to create two skilled jobs in Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands.

Brydon Barclay from Unst Inshore Services said, “We were approached by a company when exhibiting at the Seawork Commercial Marine Exhibition 2013 in Southampton. We had done some work for them before, which had obviously been well received. The offer was ‘if we could build them, they would buy them.’ So now we need to get it done. It is a new line for us, but one that sits very neatly into the company’s capabilities.”

Unst Inshore Services Ltd has worked supporting aquaculture in Shetland for many years but has also developed a successful line in fast support craft – the `Fluggaboat’ range. The new design incorporates the Fluggaboat’s unique features and will be valued in the oil & gas and the renewable energy industries.

Fluggaboats are uniquely designed to meet the demands of the commercial sector, whether for oil support boats, fish farms, diving or personnel transport. Despite looking like an ordinary Rigid-Inflatable Boat (RIB), the Fluggaboat is constructed from aluminium and the collar is fabricated from a very hard wearing, high density polyethylene plastic pipe. The design therefore has all the benefits of a conventional rigid inflatable but is much stronger. The rugged construction means lower overall maintenance costs and greatly increased working life.

David Priest from HIE said “We are delighted to be in a position to support this project from Unst Inshore Services Ltd. The company have spent many years developing their product range and capabilities and have identified a key opportunity area. They should now have the support they need to develop a quality, high specification product which will further enhance their reputation within the oil & gas offshore services industry.”

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