Vestdavit AS, Bergen, Norway, builds davits for launching and recovering boats from an array of different vessels, with an emphasis on safety and efficiency. The davits are designed for safely launching and recovering boats in rough weather and to widen the operational window.

The company is currently trying to expand its market presence. A subsidiary office, Vestdavit Inc., opened last September in the Seattle area to support its growing customer base in the U.S. Part of that effort included a booth at the International WorkBoat Show last December.

“Right now we’re about 80 percent military and 20 percent commercial,” Magnus Oding, Vestdavit’s general manager, said from the floor of the show. “We’re looking to grow both sectors of the market.”

U.S. customers who are successfully operating the company’s most advanced davits in up to sea state 7. Vestdavit photo

U.S. customers are operating Vestdavit’s most advanced davits in up to sea state 7. Vestdavit photo

Typical davit applications for the company involve offshore support — including offshore wind boats — naval vessels, seismic support vessels, crew transfer boats, tugs, small ferries and other workboats. “We manufacture and market davits — and davits only,” said Oding.

He said the davits function even in the harshest conditions. “The Arctic is a place where we’re seeing more and more activity,” Oding said. Vestdavit uses specially developed, environmentally friendly hydraulic oils to ensure that any leakage will not cause environmental harm all the while performing properly at extremely low temperatures, he added.

Some recent davit placements on U.S. vessels include:

  • Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Whidbey Island, Wash., last year delivered the 238'6"x48'x9'6", 100-passenger vessel National Geographic Quest for Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. Vestdavit delivered two TSB-2500 rescue boat davits that are installed in the aft of the vessel. The overhead telescopic type davits are designed to be as compact as possible. The sistership, National Geographic Venture, is expected to enter service the second quarter of 2018. Lindblad specializes in “expedition travel.” The new vessels have 50 cabins, 22 with balconies, and state-of-the-art expedition technology.
  • PLR-3600 MOB boat davits for all Navy CVN-class aircraft carriers.
  • Eight HN-9000 dual point workboat davits for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research vessels. The most recent NOAA project was the installation of two HN-9000 workboat davits on the NOAA vessel Thomas Jefferson in July 2017. These are the most advanced motion compensated dual point davits on the market and will launch and recover the hydrographic survey launces on the ship, Oding said.
  • PLA-2000 rescue boat davits are being retrofitted on the nine Coast Guard Bay-class icebreaking tugs. The davits are made of aluminum to minimize the weight.
  • Fully electrical TDBE-2000 overhead telescopic davit custom made for the Navy’s LCS Freedom-class vessels.

In a follow-up interview this week, Oding said Vestdavit has U.S. customers who are successfully operating the company’s most advanced davits in up to sea state 7. “To accomplish this a number of safety features are incorporated into the davit design, such as shock absorbers, constant tension and anti-pendulum devices,” he said.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.