Mönch US correspondent Marty Kauchak is attending the 2018 Surface Navy Association 30th Annual National Symposium in Arlington, Virginia/USA. He files this end of day report with highlights from the exhibition floor and conference rooms.
Small boat handling in any sea state can be a dangerous event. Vestdavit, Inc. [Edmonds, Washington/USA] is focused on making the lowering and raising of small boats safer. While the company’s focus has heretofore been on manned craft, the company (the US subsidiary of Bergen Norway-based Vestdavit AS), is exploring expanding its expertise into the unmanned systems market space.
Vestdavit has delivered davits to US Navy ships of the TICONDEROGA-, LCS (Freedom variant), CVN-classes and even part of some current service, “classified work,” according to Magnus Oding, the company’s US General Manager.
Beyond its products, the company is refining its technology baseline, in particular with its MissionEase system. “It allows you to launch many different types of boats from the same davit. This could be a small jet ski up to 50ft [15m] craft from the same system,” Mr. Oding explained. “This prevents you from having davit after davit on the ship, but rather a smaller number which can handle a larger number and types of boats. We have customers using this system up to sea state 7 [Douglas sea scale - 6.00–9.00m].”
A number of features help enable safe operations on a rolling and pitching deck in these higher sea states, some of which include shock absorbers on each davit arm and anti-pendulum devices.
Vestdavit is delivering davits for its first US Coast Guard contract – the BAY-class icebreaking tug (140 foot). The story line with this contract, is the company is providing high-strength, yet lighter weight, aluminium products. Further, the firm is eyeing a larger, dual-point davit to handle the demands of the harsh polar environment for the sea service’s first new heavy icebreaker in more than a generation, on track to launch in 2023.
Vestdavit systems are also fielded to the Royal Navy and other navies in Europe and Asia.
The company also has its business development sights set on the rapidly evolving and expanding unmanned craft markets in both the undersea and surface domains. Whereas these craft have been predominantly shore-based, “they will increasingly be part of a ship’s company. Customers are going to want to include in their davits manned and unmanned craft – launching both from the same davit system. This is something else we are working on. We have a concept, Solus, to allow us to launch and recover unmanned vehicles from our standard davit.”