Legacy Marine gets the wind in its sails
Low bridges blocking the route between Perseverance and the Port of Port Elizabeth have always been a major constraint for boat-building company Legacy Marine.
The Bay company had been limited to manufacturing smaller boats due to the height restrictions on the road to the harbour.
But the establishment of the Port of Ngqura birthed a new set of opportunities for Legacy Marine, which recently launched and tested its first fleet of aluminium vessels.
Legacy Marine general manager of sales Gary Tait said Ngqura’s proximity would not only increase opportunities for the company, but for the boatbuilding sector at large.
“When we approached the port in 2017 as an alternative port from which to launch newly built vessels, they were very willing to assist us.
“Since then [we have] launched four new vessels at the port, with the last vessel being shipped to Angola in February,” Tait said.
The four newly tested and launched vessels consisted of two passenger transfer vessels for an international cruise liner and two customised dive support vessels for Stapem Offshore, based in France.
The two passenger transfer vessels operate in Mozambique, while the dive support vessels were designed to operate in the oil and gas production sector off the Angolan coastline. The dive support vessels were designed to work alongside a mothership and carry out subsea inspections and repairs to the oil platforms.
These vessels are equipped with a three-man air dive system, a remotely operated underwater vehicle, a subsea high pressure washer and subsea welding capabilities.
Port of Ngqura acting deputy harbour master Vuyani Ntsimango said the port was always open to new activities that made business sense.
“We strive to give the best service possible to our customers – from the moment they enter our gates.
“We are not only focusing on big vessels and revenue, but also on smaller businesses.
“The activities include the vessel launching, ship stability testing, seaworthiness testing, testing of navigational equipment, a survey according to local authority standards and the mooring arrangements – using ropes to keep the vessels alongside the berth,” he said.
“We look forward to assisting more manufacturers of locally built vessels in our ports, helping them to grow their business,” Ntsimango said.
Legacy Marine started its operations during 2004 as an incubator project by the OFT Group as an aluminium marine engineering and construction yard.
“We conducted all the vessels’ commissioning and sea trials with our international clients in the port,” Tait said.
“The Ngqura team has been extremely professional and provided immense support to us.”