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New Docking System To Be Trialled In Picton

14 August 2002

New Docking System To Be Trialled In Picton

A Christchurch company’s new QuaySailor automated docking system, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, is to be trialled at the Interisland ferry terminal in Picton.

Mooring Systems Ltd (MSL) will be installing the equipment later this month in Picton and testing will be conducted through to November this year.

The company recently received a development boost with an Industry New Zealand business growth grant of $100,000.

MSL managing director Peter Montgomery said the Industry New Zealand grant will help the company carry out the patenting and commercialisation work vital to bringing the QuaySailor to world markets.

MSL has completed 20 months of design of the QuaySailor product and the company is confident that the QuaySailor system is capable of mooring a wide variety of vessels in a range of locations and conditions.

“We have designed and developed the product in conjunction with a number of prominent potential customers.

“It is a highly complex and technical area of marine research as we are not just designing a product to moor ships. We have to take into account environmental conditions, loads, hull forms, civil requirements and customers needs.

“No-one has been able to develop an automated mooring system on a generic basis before,” Mr Montgomery said.

The QuaySailor uses vacuum pad technology and the vacuum pads are able to position ships, sense loads, and can detach and reattach to accommodate vertical travel with rising and falling tides.

“We have had keen interest in the product from Australia, Europe and the United States of America, as it would provide shipping companies with a number of advantages.

“They would have the autonomy to decide when their ships dock and depart and have faster turnaround times in ports thus reducing costs. By providing an alternative to roping ships to the wharf, the number of accidents will also be reduced.”

A single QuaySailor sells for between $400,000 and $600,000 dollars and generally four units are required for a single berth of an average-sized vessel.

MSL anticipates signing several million dollars worth of sales for QuaySailor later this year.

The company has also received support from Technology New Zealand which helped fund the construction of a full-scale 40-tonne model of the unit at Lyttelton Engineering.

Ends/…

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