SEAQUEST - the largest purpose-built marine wildlife-watching RIB in the UK - is now back in the water after a four month refit and overhaul.
Marine Trak Engineering, based at Mylor Yacht Harbour, has fitted the 35 foot long rigid inflatable boat with two new efficient, low-emission, 245 horse-power Yamaha engines, giving a cruising speed of 30 knots and a maximum speed of 44 knots.
Marine engineer, Nathan Percival, said the RIB had to be stripped down to the bare hull to allow it to be completely re-wired. “We also modified the 15 foot high spotting tower to give it more strength and adapted the structure of the boat to accommodate two new plastic fuel tanks,” he explained.
“Seaquest is an amazing boat to have worked on and we are pleased Orca Sea Safaris chose us to carry out the overhaul,” he added.
Louise Green from Orca Sea Safaris said Seaquest has a busy year in store.
She said: “We run wildlife-spotting and coastal trips throughout the year and cover quite a large area between Dodman Point and The Lizard. Each trip involves looking for wildlife such as dolphins, basking sharks, seals and many other species that are regularly spotted around the Cornish Coastline. Our skipper provides an informative and entertaining commentary along the way, describing fascinating facts about shipwrecks, smugglers, local history and the marine environment.”
The crew onboard Seaquest is also responsible for actively recording sightings and taking identifying photographs to pass on to marine research and conservation groups.
Louise said: “A diverse number of species inhabit this area and our aim is to enjoy their presence without disturbing their natural behaviour. We are WiSe accredited, which means that we have undergone training on how to operate around wildlife in the most sensitive and unobtrusive way possible.
“We aim to gather (and encourage our passengers to help us) as much data as possible regarding our wildlife sightings that we pass on to organisations such as the Cornwall Wildlife Trust of whom we are corporate members. This data can then be used for scientific research to explore marine conditions and the patterns of marine life within these conditions.
Anyone enjoying a trip on Seaquest will also have the added bonus of getting into the National Maritime Museum Cornwall free of charge on the day of the trip and getting a 10% discount in the museum’s restaurant .
Anyone wanting more information or to book a place onboard Seaquest, can log onto www.orcaseasafaris.co.uk or call Louise on 01326 214928