$3M-plus workboat tender awarded

8 Feb 2022, 1:30 PM

A $3 million-plus tender has been let for the replacement of the Northland Regional Council’s main workboat the Waikare.

Chair Penny Smart says local Northland firm Circa Engineering was awarded the tender recently and expects to begin physical works on the new 17.5 metre vessel in July.

The council’s Regional Harbourmaster Jim Lyle says the new vessel – informally dubbed Waikare 2 – will replace its almost 20-year-old namesake, the 16-metre Waikare, which has served as the council’s main workboat/pilot vessel since its launch in 2003.

The new multi-purpose vessel – to be based out of Opua – will be used to carry out maintenance on the council’s buoys and beacons, for oil spill response, and attending incidents such as wrecks and sinking vessels.

It’s also designed to act as a pilot vessel for the Bay of Islands, which at the moment is limited to super-yachts, although cruise ships are expected to return at some point.

Mr Lyle says Circa built the original Waikare which had served the council well and he was pleased to see the Northland company would construct its replacement.

Six companies were invited to tender for the project but four had been too busy, leaving the Northland company and one from Auckland in the mix, who both submitted quality bids for the tender.

Mr Lyle thanked both companies for the detailed effort and work required to submit on a build of this size

He says the new boat will essentially be a similar design to its predecessor, but with improvements to the hull design and layout.

Chair Smart says the new vessel will also utilise improved technologies in engine performance and emissions standards where possible.