A MULTI-MILLION POUND deal has been signed between marine firms on the Isle of Wight for the construction of a high tech catamaran designed in Southampton.

The offshore energy support vessel (OESV) has been designed by naval architects Chartwell Marine.

It has been by ordered by Seacat Services for use in the off-shore wind farm sector and will be built by Diverse Marine and Aluminium Marine Consultants (AMC) in Cowes.

The contract includes an option for a further vessel, which would see Seacat Weatherly joined by a sister vessel in the Seacat fleet.

The Seacat Weatherly will be the first of a new generation of OESV design, the Chartwell 24, which can accommodate 24 industrial personnel, alongside four crew.

It will boast one of the largest foredecks on the market, enhancing her cargo-carrying capacity, and has been optimised for safety, with designated walkways, handrails and safety sliding rails.

Ian Baylis, managing director of Seacat, said: “Despite ongoing uncertainty in Westminster and Brussels, the offshore wind sector has repeatedly demonstrated its capacity to get on with the job in hand – and, frankly, faced with rising demand for high quality vessel support, this was an order that couldn’t wait.

“The Chartwell 24 is the vessel the market has been calling for. It not only responds directly to our needs as a vessel operator, but also ticks all the boxes for our offshore wind farm customers. Seacat Weatherly will help us collectively set new benchmarks for safety, availability and performance.”

Andy Page, managing director, of Chartwell, added: “We look forward, not only to the deployment of Seacat Weatherly into UK and European waters, but also to exporting this exciting product overseas as international offshore wind development picks up pace.”

The vessel is set for completion in March 2020.