Badinotti Net Services Canada Ltd. (Badinotti Net Services) in Campbell River, B.C., took possession of a 40' catamaran, in January 2017, designed specifically to clean nets on the open sea. The Bravo II is the result of two years of research and planning based off of Badinotti Net Services three-plus years of experience with on-site net washing operations. "We were looking to custom build a boat for on-site net washing that would maximize the efficiencies for the machinery, equipment and crews," says Kevin Onclin, CEO at Badinotti Net Services Canada Ltd., providing essential environmentally sound serves to fish farm sites and aquaculture net pens.
"Bravo II came out of a two-year project involving a concentration of planning and preparation. We are very satisfied with the performance of the vessel. We selected a catamaran design to create a stable safe working platform for the crews and machinery including a crane, since most of the hours of operation occur at the farm sites as opposed to travelling between or to sites."
BRAVO II is a 'cat' built by Armstrong Marine, Inc., which designs and builds welded aluminum boats in a variety of designs in Port Angeles, Washington. "Armstrong Marine were selected primarily due to their expertise in catamaran construction."
Beginning in 2011 in British Columbia the fish farming operations have been moving away from the use of antifouling paints (copper based) to keep the nets clean on the farms. To provide optimum service in this changing market, the on-site net washing vessel Bravo II is driven by two 480 horsepower diesel engines, moving her from site-to-site at about 10 knots.
By now in 2017 most farm companies have completely eliminated the use of antifouling coatings from their operations. The traditional business model for the net service business, which relied upon dipping or coating of nets, had to adapt and reinvent operations to keep pace.
Badinotti Net Services wants to provide eco-friendly methods to clean aquaculture nets on the west coast, allowing fish farmers to deploy clean and repaired nets for longer periods with no anti-foulant. The BRAVO II crews do not use anti-foulant or chemical cleaning of nets when at sea.
Badinotti Net Services added the department of On-Site Net Washing (OSW) over three years ago, "in order to respond to our customers new service requirements. On-site net washing we believe is a long term sustainable business model and although some farm companies are washing their own nets internally, for us, the OSW is our core business and focus. Consequently we believe we can deliver a cost effective service for the farm companies."
The vessel is equipped with many features that allow for ease of maintenance and reduced maintenance costs for the machinery and equipment on board. For example, the vessel produces 750 gallons of fresh water per day which allows all of the net cleaning equipment, which is run with saltwater, to be soaked and rinsed on a routine basis. This will extend the life of all working parts and reduce repair or replacement frequencies, notes Onclin.
The Bravo II is essentially a self-sufficient vessel equipped for the crews with all of the comforts of home. Two crews of highly trained personnel operate the vessel. The company was able to move people from the existing Badinotti Net Services fleet, and was able to draw internally from some of the former commercial fishermen working for them on nets for years who wanted the opportunity to once again work out on the water. Onclin says the move to operation of a boat like BRAVO II is an excellent fit for experienced captains and mariners from the area.
"We believe the Bravo II is a state-of-the-art on-site net washing vessel and is the culmination of input from within our company as well as from our local contractors and Armstrong Marine. Our crews have also benefited from local external as well as in-house training to further enhance their capabilities to contribute to the success of the operations. This project has been a success in part due to the community involvement and support. Consequently, Badinotti Net Services Canada Ltd. is proud to have been able to add to our investments in the North Vancouver Island economy and fish farm business."