Replaces FFS Ares with locally built boat

29. July 2021

For four months after it was bought, FFS Ares is resold. A new boat is already in place.

2021-08-11 11.43.01

FFS Arion is built at the Simek shipyard in Flekkefjord, and has sailed under the name Thor.

- We got a good offer for it, and chose to sell. Buying and selling is part of our core business, says John W. Nilsen, general manager of FFS.

FFS Ares functions both as a tugboat and anchor handling vessel. It became part of the fleet as late as March 26 this year, and has since undergone an extensive upgrade.

On July 11, it was released from the workshop in the Netherlands. The next day, it had wires washed on the towing winch in Stavanger, before some work was done on the boat at the FFS base in Farsund.

JULY 16 BLE FFS Ares sent out on his first job for his new employer - a tow of a floating wind turbine to Vestas on Karmøy. The assignment should also prove to be the last for FFS.

- The buyer looked at the boat before we bought it from Boskalis, but was not fast enough to place a bid. When they got in touch, our starting point was that we did not want to sell. We had just bought the boat, overhauled it and painted it in our colors. At the same time, it is the case in our industry that everything is really for sale as long as the price is right. And that was it in the end, says Nilsen.

IT'S ALWAYS with mixed feelings that he is selling a boat. The FFS commander has previously experienced that boats that are sold can leave large holes in the fleet that are difficult to fill. Therefore, he immediately started the search for a replacement, when it became clear that FFS Ares could disappear.

- We were aware that a fairly similar boat could be available in the market, and contacted the owner - the company Alfons Håkans. After a quick exploration trip to Finland, negotiations began. On Friday 16 July, we signed the contract, Nilsen says.

The new boat is today called Thor, but will traditionally get its FFS name after a Greek war god.

- It will be called FFS Arion, Nilsen reveals.

THE BOAT IS built at the Simek shipyard in Flekkefjord in 1993, and is the same type of vehicle as FFS Ares - which came new from China in 2010.

- FFS Arion is a fantastic boat. It has about the same rope power, the same winch package and the same size as the FFS Ares. That it is built in Norway guarantees quality and largely outweighs the age, says Nilsen.

Until now, FFS has had to hire help to put out large anchors. With FFS Arion in place, the company can handle this itself.

- In addition, we also see the opportunity to use the boat for assignments for the offshore wind industry, Nilsen says.

He hopes to be able to fly the crew on board FFS Ares to Finland during July to muster on the newly purchased boat.


Tugboat / 1993