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At a ceremony held on Friday 17 November at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld (DSHa), the naming of ISA Towage BV’s new Damen Shoalbuster 3209 ‘ISA’ took place.

The Shoalbuster 3209 is the second vessel to be purchased from Damen by ISA Towage B.V. A smaller Shoalbuster 2709, also called ISA, was delivered at the close of 2016, and it has now been replaced by the 3209.

The decision to make the upgrade is the result of an offer made to Willem-Harm Mastenbroek by Jos van Woerkum, Managing Director of DSHa.

“When he offered us the opportunity to upgrade to a Shoalbuster 3209 that had just been just completed, it was just too good to miss,” says Willem-Harm Mastenbroek.

ISA Towage’s current client at the time had recently informed them that their existing vessel did not have sufficient bollard pull for their next contract and that 50 tonnes of bollard pull would be needed. So the decision to make the step up to a bigger vessel with more capabilities was easily made and later in the summer the new 3209 replaced its predecessor in the Baltic Sea.

In addition to allowing the company to fulfil its current contract, the new acquisition allows them to explore new and better opportunities, and to take on a wider range of contracts.

Shoalbusters are among the most versatile vessels in Damen’s unrivalled range of workboats. The name references their ability to operate in shallow waters, but the 32-metre long, 9-metre wide ISA is also ready for a broad spectrum of operations including towing, mooring, pushing, anchor handling and dredging support.

To achieve this, ISA Towage specified an equipment package that includes twin Caterpillar engines delivering 3500 bhp for 52 tonnes of bollard pull and a top speed of 11 knots, an HS Marine deck crane giving 8 tonnes of lift at 16-metres, and a 50-tonne towing and a 12-tonne tugger winch.

The fully air-conditioned interior has comfortable accommodation for up to seven crew. All the necessary modifications were carried out within a four-week period.

We planned the christening for the 17th of November back in the summer, although that was a wild guess as we didn’t know then if the ISA would be available,” said ISA Towage’s Willem-Harm Mastenbroek.

“She started in service with us at the end of July, so we knew there was a very good chance that the vessel would not be there but on some contract far away. Fortunately that was not the case and on the day the ISA was moored at the Damen yard in Hardinxveld.

It was a beautiful, cold autumn day with lots of sunshine, which made it extra special! After the bottle broke - in one go – we had a great party. All in all it was a beautiful day for my wife and me!”

Jos van Woerkum, Managing Director of DSHa, added: “This was the result of a fortuitous concurrence of circumstances in which a customer seeking a Shoalbuster 2709 allowed us to offer them the smaller ISA while at the same time we at DSHa were able to give ISA Towage B.V. the opportunity to upgrade to a Shoalbuster 3209.

In the event, the proposition worked well for ISA Towage while we at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld were able to complete both sides of the deal. We can now look back both to a productive partnership between ISA Towage B.V. and our yard, as well as to a successful naming ceremony and party for the Shoalbuster 3209 ISA, and we wish her and her crew safe voyaging.”

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