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Hervey Bay specialist aluminium workboat builder BtB Marine has announced that their Ultra Long Range 750ULR workboat “Project Indigo” is currently being equipped with 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

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 in new workshop equipment which would streamline operations and allow their workforce to more than double. Production of more vessels in the 750ULR workboat series is currently underway in BtB Marine's Hervey Bay workshop. 

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