Dutch-owned Sima Charters has taken delivery of the latest vessel to join its fleet, a CTruk 20T multi-purpose catamaran. Sporting Sima Charters’ eye-catching yellow and blue livery, SC Buzzard is the tenth vessel to be completed at the Brightlingsea yard in two years.
The relationship between Sima Charters and CTruk had an interesting start, with one being in part responsible for the existence of the other. CTruk chairman Andy White recalls being out with friends on a sailing smack near Gunfleet Sands wind farm in 2009 when a Sima Charters vessel passed them, knocking the wind from their sails. Intrigued as to why there were no locally-built and operated vessels at work in this burgeoning industry, Andy later founded CTruk Boats on the site of the old Aldous shipyard in Brightlingsea, bringing the town’s shipbuilding heritage back to life.
It is testament to CTruk’s continued effort to improve on the current market offering that Sima Charters later contacted the company in 2011 and ordered one of their 20 tonne payload multi-purpose catamarans to join its growing fleet.
Anecdotes aside, Ruud Lievaart, owner of Sima Charters and seasoned vessel operator, recalls his early interest in CTruk. "I was impressed with their drive to innovate in this sector. The weight-saving on CTruk’s composite cats makes it possible for us to offer robust workboats that are extremely fuel efficient. In today’s offshore wind support market that is a contract-winning factor," he said.
With fuel costs spiralling and increasingly stringent environmental regulations affecting marine communities, the need to conserve vessel energy is a key consideration for ship and boat operators. Andy White explained how the company’s offering ticks this important box. "CTruk’s resin infusion composite construction process saves up to 40% on weight and enhances hydrodynamic shape, resulting in these vessels burning around 50% less fuel than an equivalent aluminium crew boat," he said.
SC Buzzard was officially named at an informal gathering in Brightlingsea on Friday 2 November. She features the patent-applied flexible pod system developed by CTruk to enhance versatility as well as a large volume fuel transfer system. The 18.5m catamaran is likely to start her working life in UK waters, possibly moving on to Belgian or German offshore projects next year.