The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has selected Vestdavit’s PLAR-4000 davit boat-handling technology to operate realistic working environments (RWEs) at its new Devonport Naval Base training facility in Auckland.

RWEs include equipment that replicates the operational units installed on-board navy vessels to allow training to be conducted in a controlled environment.

Vestdavit representative agency and partner Antelope Engineering New Zealand manager Alasdair Morrison said: “The PLAR davit has been especially adapted to replicate the keel supports and boarding arrangements for port and starboard handling.

"The PLAR davit has been especially adapted to replicate the keel supports and boarding arrangements for port and starboard handling."

“Load testing was completed successfully at the end of October in Ruakaka, before the davit was transported to Devonport.”

The new training centre is slated to open in March and includes a purpose-built landside facility that accommodates a replica in-shore patrol vessel, in addition to a new Seamanship Training Aids Facility Pontoon (STA).

The 45m-long STA features a wide range of equipment, enabling new trainees to develop their seamanship skills in boat handling, rope work, anchoring, berthing and towing through repetition before performing the same activities in an operational environment.

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Vestdavit’s PLAR-4000 davit is mounted on the starboard side of the pontoon to enable navy personnel to practice boat approaches, as well as the launch and recovery of rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs).

RNZN Capability Branch deputy maritime lead lieutenant commander Angela Barker said: “Unlike a ship, the pontoon could only take one davit, but the requirement to train both port and starboard approaches remained.

“In order to achieve this, we have had a dual-receive cradle put in place and this will allow both approaches to be used.”

In addition, a seawater cooling system has been installed to increase the training time of the equipment.

Load testing was previously completed on the PLAR-4000 davit in Ruakaka at the end of October last year.