Gael Force unveils new features to its SeaFeed barge range

Gael Force SeaFeed 350 T concrete barge (front)

The established feed barge builder Gael Force Group has unveiled a series of 2022 Sea Safe features and enhancements on its extended SeaFeed barge range, encompassing modernised concrete and steel designs.

The supply partner, which recently celebrated a landmark 100th feed barge build, revealed the range ahead of exhibiting at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore next week (May 3–5)

Adding to their existing range of 150T to 300T SeaFeed steel barges, and 600T SeaFarm steel barge, are the newly launched range of 400T and 500T SeaFeed steel barge designs, and their SeaFeed concrete barge range now comprising standardised models with 150T, 200T and 350T feed load capacities.

The barges are designed and built in accordance with NS9415 by a well-established and skilled in-house team based in Scotland.

Gael Force SeaFeed 350T concrete barge (back cutaway)

Their 2022 Sea Safe features across the full range of SeaFeed barges include:-

• Freeboards designed to be significantly greater than the requirement as set out in the NS9415 standards for Hs 5-6 rating. For example, the SeaFeed 200T Concrete Barge has had its freeboard massively increased from previous models – more than 2 metres when fully loaded.
• Load line markings are clearly marked on the barge hull to indicate minimum working freeboard, light ship and fully laden levels to the operator.
• A smart new hatch alarm system is connected to all external hatches, doors, or openings. If any hatches are left open, the alarm system will notify the operator with a combination of audible and visual alerts both inside and outside the barge, meaning operators will not be able to leave the barge without knowing that a hatch or opening has not been closed correctly. This is additional to existing automated bilge alarm systems.
• Throughout the lower levels of the barge, Gael Force has introduced robust DNV compliant watertight doors and hatches, increasing segregation between rooms.
• Watertight cable glands have been implemented in the design to ensure all cable transitions through walls keep each void watertight.
• All new barge designs feature a new heat venting arrangement meaning any heat generated from the plant inside the lower levels of the barge is now vented directly outside thus removing any source of heat build-up. As a result, the inside of the barge is kept close to ambient seawater temperature, and this benefits the plant on board and ensures that feed retains its quality in the best available environment.
• Optional Hybrid Power Systems can be installed or retrofitted to existing barges. With Fjord Hybrid, fish farms can run their generators for as little as three hours per day, instead of 24 hours, which is the current norm. This can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent compared with traditional operations. Moreover, Fjord Maritime has reported that the reduced running time can extend the lifetime of fish farm power supply systems by up to 60 per cent.

Group Managing Director, Stewart Graham said: “With the price of steel trading at peak levels, continuing to provide our customers with an economical choice of reliable, stable concrete feeding platforms remains important for the safety of farmers and cost-efficient husbandry of fish.

“Our feed barges have gradually evolved over many years as fish farming methods have advanced, however, by modernising our concrete designs within the SeaFeed range and implementing our collection of 2022 Sea Safe features we see this as a significant leap forward, building a stronger more competitive offering in support of our customers.”

Gael Force Group Managing Director, Stewart Graham

Visitors to Aquaculture UK are being invited to visit Gael Force’s Stand 140 to witness the unveiling of the 2022 Sea Safe features in their barge range.

Guests can also sign up for the limited spaces available at their ‘Meet the Expert’ sessions during the three-day event.