Five Damen vessels have made their way across the Atlantic Ocean on a unique voyage to Canada. Early this year, Damen Shipyards Group signed a contract with Ontario-based Doornekamp Construction for the delivery of a Shoalbuster 3209. The vessel was formerly part of Damen Marine Services’ charter fleet. What seemed an ordinary ship sale contract was, in fact, just the beginning.
Booking more orders
Shortly after this initial contract, Doornekamp Construction placed on order with Damen for a Stan Pontoon (barge) 7524. It was decided to deliver the vessels with the Shoalbuster, now renamed Amy Lynn D, on her own keel and towing the barge.
Before the vessels began their cross-Atlantic voyage, however, Damen, with the assistance of Alec Laing from ACL Shipbrokers, had booked three more vessel orders in Canada – three Stan Tugs 1205 for two new customers.
When considering the most efficient means of transportation for the vessels, it emerged they could also be towed by the Shoalbuster on board the barge, thus offering the owners of the Stan Tugs 1205 an extremely cost-effective means of delivery for their new vessels.
The shipment left Rotterdam on 27th October. In order to carry out the transportation as quickly as possible, Damen chartered a Shoalbuster from its long-standing client Van Wijngaarden Marine Services to tow the barge to Algeciras where it could meet up with Doornekamp’s Shoalbuster 3209.
A race against the clock
It was important for the vessels to keep their schedule; their only access to the St. Lawrence Seaway being via the Montreal locks. The locks close annually around Christmas and do not reopen until April.
Fortunately, all went smoothly. The first two Stan Tugs 1205 were delivered to the client, Dominion, on 9th December in Halifax. The remaining tug was delivered on the 15th December in Montreal and, finally after a voyage covering 4,700 nautical miles, Amy Lynn D and the barge passed through the locks in the direction of Picton, Ontario and her new owners, Doornekamp Construction, arriving on 18th December.
The recent CETA trade agreement between the European Union and Canada meant that the shipment faced considerably reduced import duties. This agreement ensures Damen customers in the region of easier, most cost-efficient access to vessels in the future.
Confronting complexity with collaboration
Damen sales manager Jurriaan Daams said, “This has been an interesting process and one that demonstrates the synergy within the Damen Shipyards Group. It’s actually quite a complex process shipping multiple vessels to different clients on a single shipment like this. However, applying the synergy within our organisation we were able to get everything done in-house. For example, the commercial process was assisted by Damen Trading, the barge were docked at Damen Verolme, the Shoalbuster at Albwardy Damen in Sharjah and the Stan Tugs at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld before sailing, the towing wire and bridle were supplied by AKF and the tow carried out by Damen Marine Services.”