On our way to the caravan rally at Foxton Beach on Thursday, we joined crowds of interested locals and visitors alike who had descended on this sleepy little place to check a huge catamaran plonked down on a large grassed area beside the Manawatu Marine Boating Club. The 34m catamaran Offshore Guardian had just been transported to Foxton Beach in two pieces, where she will be joined and have her final electrical and interior fit out completed.
We found out that this large craft was constructed by Profab Engineering, not too far away in Palmerston North. Profab Central Engineering Ltd was created in 1996 by Carl Ferguson and Tony Drysdale. Originally Profab serviced the local dairy industry with their primary focus on stainless steel fabrication, but in a quiet period they decided to build an aluminium boat and they have been building them ever since.
Work was also going on at the boat-ramp to enable the massive craft to be launched. There were interested people wandering around with cameras, snapping away at all the action.
We came back the following day to find that the top half had been lifted by crane and carefully put in place. It will be several weeks until all the work will be completed. Seeing the Offshore Guardian launched would be rather exciting, don’t you think? Once on the high seas it’s job will be to service offshore oil rigs, we understand.