Better Buoys for Bigger Ships


| LAUTINDO | Buoy | International | The Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest seaport hired French manufacturer of Aids to Navigation Mobilis to design and install a bespoke mooring system with more capacity to handle the increase in vessel numbers and size, and to replace single point mooring buoys with larger multiple point mooring buoys. “Better Buoys for Bigger Ships”.

Approximately 30,000 seagoing vessels and 110,000 inland vessels visit the Port of Rotterdam every year. Mobilis were the natural choice to design and install a bespoke mooring system as they have had a close association with the Port of Rotterdam for over 20 years.

The brief was to design a modern mooring buoy with more capacity to handle the steady increase in vessel numbers and size. The solution would also need to replace existing single point mooring buoys with larger multi point mooring buoys. The system would need to provide simple and easy mooring and release of ships while ensuring the security of mooring operation staff.

Mobilis worked with the Port to ensure that the technical specifications required were met by a new bespoke design; the Mobilis AMR 14000.

The mooring buoys are manufactured from flexible polyethylene UV16-20, High Strength Steel S355 with a 5 layered protective coating including a final bio anti-fouling layer, which are easy to maintain and fully recyclable.

All materials used were selected for strength, flexibility and resilience. Extensive testing was carried out before launching to study the behaviour of materials in the environment.

It was agreed with the Port of Rotterdam that mechanical devices such as ‘Quick Release Hooks’ would be avoided due to concerns of corrosion. Service and safety were fundamental to the project’s success.

Port of Rotterdam opted for a custom-designed mooring system.  The four point mooring system with eye/bollard combination allows for a quick release operation without using quick release hooks; the first of its kind on the market. This provides a solution suitable for use globally.

The safe working load increased from a single point 90 Tonne Safe Working Load to 4 x 108 Tonne Safe Working Load per buoy.

This has resulted in a mooring buoy that has been designed to be as ergonomic as possible, ensuring maximum safety and efficiency in all weather conditions. The conclusion reached is that the new Mobilis AMR 14000 mooring buoy provides an easy mooring and release of ships while ensuring the safety of mooring operation staff.

UK company Hydrosphere has a long-standing relationship with Mobilis as its distributor into the UK since 2001. Hydrosphere represents world-leading manufacturers and supplies data buoy platforms, navigation buoys, mooring buoys, marker buoys, navigation lights, AIS, monitoring, power supplies, solar panels and moorings. In addition, Hydrosphere manufactures and designs ancillary equipment including power supplies, monitoring and control systems, and masts, and backs this up with a full installation and maintenance service. The company’s customer base in the UK and Ireland include all the Lighthouse Authorities and most major ports and harbours as well as offshore oil and gas companies, the offshore renewable energy industry, the MOD, marinas, aquaculture sites, research institutes and universities, marinas, and sailing clubs. [By Jake Frith –]

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