Richardson Devine Marine’s RDM055, named “OUTER LIMIT”, is the new flagship of the Offshore Unlimited fleet.

Described as a ‘Multi Purpose Offshore Support Vessel’, Outer Limit represents four years of industry feedback and one of the worlds most versatile offshore support vessels.

The Offshore Unlimited team have listened attentively to their crews and their charterers and have strived to provide a fleet of vessels that meet or exceed demanding industry standards for safety and environmental management. To this end, nothing has been overlooked in the design and execution of their latest addition to the fleet.

With experience gained from their previously built vessels and an empathetic relationship with Hobart aluminium vessel specialists, Richardson Devine Marine, a plan was developed to expand on the success of the 24m and 28m RDM built workboats, Unlimited and Limitless.

Incat Crowther was once again commissioned to design the vessel with strong input from both Offshore Unlimited and Richardson Devine Marine. Having studied the work patterns and historical load profiles for the engines on Unlimited and Limitless, it was decided to stay with the proven and reliable Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines and Twin Disc gearboxes. With the engines rated at 1655bhp ‘Outer Limit’ cruises comfortably at 22 knots carrying 30 tonnes of deadweight.

Versatility is this vessel’s major attribute. She can carry up to 125 tonnes of deadweight, with an aft deck measuring 16 x 11 metres and suitable for transporting four 20’ shipping containers. There is a 1200 x 1200 moonpool and the aft deck is structured to suit a 20 tonne A frame with appropriate hydraulic capacity on hand and the structure forward to support a suitable hydraulic winch. The Heila deck crane mounted to starboard will lift 12 tonnes at 3 metres and 2.1 tonnes at 13 metre reach. Aft, under deck mounted hydraulic reel winches and anchors neatly stowed against the transom make up the aft component of the four point mooring system. The Muir VRC8000 fwd capstan winches with their own dedicated hydraulic powerpack look after the bow anchors. Under survey for up to 50 persons for day trips she is suitable as a crew transfer vessel and with NSCV 1A survey to 600nm for 32 persons she makes an excellent support vessel.

Like her predecessor, Limitless, Outer Limit is set up for underwater survey / sonar work. An array of sonar mounts with ducted wire runs to the wheelhouse control stations allows researchers to comfortably monitor and map the seabed. The vessel is fitted with the latest Kongsberg C-Joy system which allows automatic station keeping and joy stick control for manoeuvring. With her expanded wheelhouse, divided  into three practical zones for navigation, communication and research, there can be in excess of 20 people seated or working without the slightest feeling of being overcrowded.

The main deck has a direct access into a large laundry / wet room with storage for safety and wet weather gear. With three commercial washers and dryers, the crew will always have a fresh towel! There is overnight accommodation for thirty two in 14 cabins. Considerable thought has gone into making the time aboard for crew and research scientists as comfortable as possible. All cabins and living/work spaces are individually air conditioned using Cruisair self contained units. Satellite TV, DVD and Internet is available in all cabins and living spaces. The galley is of a commercial standard with a large crew mess area and separate lounge. There is a walk in coolroom and separate walk in freezer room, each with dual operating systems for redundancy. There are two dedicated coffee stations with a state of the aft coffee machine and filtered chilled water available.

Nothing has been spared in the areas of communication and navigation equipment with the specification exceeding survey requirements and the primary systems duplicated for redundancy.

Almost 12 months in the making and now ready to start work, Outer Limit sets a new standard for fast, versatile workboats. She offers her operators a hugely diverse range of functions whilst accommodating her crew and guests in comfort almost akin to a luxury yacht.

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