Safe current at sea

Dockstavarvet delivers state-of-the-art military, patrol and pilot vessels worldwide. The only things the boats face that are tougher than the seas are the safety and quality requirements of their customers.

Since its start in 1905, when the company traded under N & C Sundin Båtbyggeri, Dockstavarvet has moved from being a small family business selling wooden boats to private people and smaller companies – to a position of a small but significant niche aluminum boat builder for, among others, the Mexican, Norwegian and German states.

The company is still rather small in size, with offices that literally fit onto a barge, but between Örnsköldsvik and Härnösand, boats produced by the company the like of which most of us only get the chance to see in movies or on TV.

“We don’t produce the most common of products,” explains Leif Lindgren, the electrical manager at Dockstavarvet. “We specialize in the production of boats for military, coast guard, as well as pilot purposes.

The shipyard’s flagship model was for a long period the Stridsbåt 90H – a vessel designed and produced in the late 1980s for military use after a contract was signed with the Swedish Defense forces. The model aroused great interest at home and abroad and put Dockstavarvet on the sea chart:

“The Stridsbåt 90 is perhaps the product for which we are best known,” says Leif. “It brought us where we are today. It is not produced to any great extent anymore but there's still a lot of maintenance work.”

Today the most recent export product is called the Interceptor Craft 20M. It's an impressively fast kind of patrol boat, which has been delivered in two types to the Norwegian Defence forces.

“The challenges for the design engineers are many,” explains Leif. “The combat-patrol boats we make nowadays are very technology-dense vehicles. The IC 20M requires a lot of equipment on a small surface. We spend an astonishing number of hours per year just installing electrical equipment.  The size and weight of components are important considerations, especially on a rescue vessel, which has to be able to reach someone in need quickly or on a patrol boat that has to get out and chase drug smugglers in Mexico. Weight must be kept low in order to maintain vessel speed of around 50 knots.”

Another important aspect is electrical safety: if an electrical failure occurs at sea, vessels from Dockstavarvet have to be able to break more than just the waves. Here ABB's two pole MCBs, the so called miniature circuit breakers are used. These, besides being light, rugged and small, are already approved and ready to be used at sea. If the radar system or a battery charger is suddenly knocked out of action, it is the circuit breakers' task to prevent other equipment on the same network being affected.

“We work on very interesting vessels, the pressures they must cope with are huge and the components have to endure a great deal,” says Leif. “ABB's automatic circuit breakers are approved by Den Norske Veritas and Lloyds, among others, which is very good “since it means that they have proved suitable for the marine environment.”

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