Innovative Hervey Bay specialist aluminium workboat builder BtB Marine has announced that their multi-award-winning Ultra Long Range 750ULR workboat “Project Indigo” is currently being equipped with state-of-the-art hydrographic survey equipment and autonomous operations technology, in preparation for service with a Prime contractor for the Department of Defence’s HIPP HydroScheme Industry Partnership Program.

“Indigo” will soon be operating unmanned while surveying and 3D mapping the ocean floor around Australia. The program is a $150-million Government investment in Australia’s commercial hydrographic industry over the next five years.

BtB Marine is leading the way in next generation cost-effective commercial workboat designs in the Asia-Pacific region, embracing new diesel outboard technology to reduce emissions and improve efficiency and OPEX. BtB Marine’s 7.5m Ultra Long Range 750ULR workboat series is a trailerable design powered by a 200Hp OXE Diesel Outboard, giving it a range of 600 nautical miles at wide-open throttle and requiring only 200-hour service periods.

“Our 750ULR vessel with the OXE Diesel Outboard is a boat that can deliver a wide range of work, patrol, survey and transfer operations cost effectively, both with its initial cost and operating costs,” BtB Marine’s General Manager Chris Hough explained. “We believe environmental issues are more important than ever and feel that our vessels lend themselves to these many and varied roles particularly well”.

On the back of these contracts, BtB Marine is about to invest significantly in new workshop equipment which would streamline operations and allow their workforce to more than double, which is great news for the Hervey Bay region. Production of more vessels in the 750ULR workboat series is currently underway in BtB Marine’s Hervey Bay workshop. BtB Marine has been building award-winning vessels for the commercial marine industry since 2008.