On August 8, 2008, the keel of the first of a series of two customs vessels for the German Customs Authorities has been laid at TKMS Blohm + Voss Nordseewerke in Emden, a company of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. The vessels have been ordered by the Procurement Office of the German Customs Authorities and are to be delivered in May and November 2009.
The design of the vessels is based on the SWATH principle. SWATH stands for Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull, thus a twin hull ship with a very low waterplane in the waterline. Due to the very small waterplane, sea states are largely eliminated. The result is that SWATH craft show an excellent seagoing behaviour – even at high seas. The Federal Customs Administration deliberately selected a craft with such characteristics to perform its official duties, such as coast guard functions, in cooperation with other authorities at the best.
For TKMS Blohm + Voss Nordseewerke, this order represents a continuation of the SWATH programme, in which the experience gathered with the design and construction of the SWATH research vessel "Planet" leaves its marks. In 2004, the "Planet" was elected “Ship of the Year”. The vessels are constructed inside a production hall independent of the weather. Upon construction, the vessels will be pulled out of the hall into the water for final outfitting at the quay.
The vessels have a displacement of 1,000 tons and will be equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system. They will be built in compliance with the regulations of Germanischer Lloyd. The main dimensions are as follows:
Overall length: approx. 49 m
Moulded breadth: 19 m
Moulded depth: 9 m
Propulsion: 4 x 2,080 kW (mech.)