Boat launch and recovery systems supplier Vestdavit has secured a far-reaching frame agreement to provide service, support and spares for the variety of marine davits it has supplied to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA operates a fleet of research and survey vessels that conduct a wide variety of missions, including oceanographic research, marine life studies and hydrographic surveys. Davits are needed to handle RIBs of different sizes and 30' hydrographic survey launches, depending on the NOAA mission.

The all-embracing five-year contract is valued at up to $2.5 million and aligns with U.S. Department of Commerce requirements. It covers 20 davits delivered to multiple NOAA ships and calls for the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to provide annual and five-year davit inspections, hook inspections, and full training and technical support.

“This is a prestigious contract in its own right but also demonstrates the way customers are increasingly favoring OEM expertise for service work,” Magnus Oding, general manager of Vestdavit’s U.S.-based operation, Vestdavit Inc., said in a statement announcing the new contract. “Our davits are selected for performance, reliability and long life, so it is no surprise that purpose-built parts and authorized service engineers are best suited to maintaining full functionality, especially given the harsh conditions in which NOAA vessels often operate.”

Whether needed to support security, research or offshore operations, the ability of davits to launch and recover small boats safely and efficiently is pivotal if mission ships are to perform their full range of duties.

“It is critical that original and fully tested spare parts are used and that they are maintained by qualified personnel,” added Oding. “Non-OEM davit parts compromise not only performance, but safety, while rogue technicians are not authorized to offer certification no matter how convincing the documentation may appear. All Vestdavit technicians and service partners have gone through our extensive training and work on Vestdavit systems every day.”

International Maritime Organization resolution MSC.402(96) indicates that, to certify service and spare parts agreements, any third-party must follow certification programs based on OEM guidance. Use of unauthorized spare parts or service technicians can therefore be considered a breach of SOLAS.

“We are delighted that our efforts to establish Vestdavit Inc. as a U.S. subsidiary with its own service technicians and spare parts warehouse continues to be vindicated by growth in our business with U.S.-based clients,” said Rolf Andreas Wigand, managing director, Vestdavit. “We believe this commitment has once more been key in this contract from NOAA. Not only can we respond quickly when clients need ad hoc assistance, we are also able to plan upcoming jobs with maximum efficiency and at the convenience of the client.”