Growth in export for Cheetah’s Survey Series

Amongst a string of exports this summer, Cheetah Marine based on the Isle of Wight has delivered two 7.9m hydrographic survey vessels. Both vessels feature Cheetah Marine’s patented Hydropod housing enabling easy deployment of Multibeam Echosounder (MBES) technology through the moonpool. The first 7.9m based in Hong Kong will be operating in the South China Seas. A second 7.9m complete with trailer was delivered to Basel in Switzerland.

SONUS in Switzerland

7.9m SONUS, towed to Basel in Switzerland will be used to survey and monitor twenty miles of the upper sections of the Rhine. Purchased by the Port of Basel, Cheetah’s long survey style wheelhouse was selected to accommodate the 6 person crew. A triple axel, 6 wheel trailer also built by Cheetah Marine enable launch and recovery from different survey sites to remain within the organisation.

Propulsion is provided by 2 x Honda 100hp extra longshaft engines with hydraulic steering. Surveying can take place at 6-10 knots with the engines providing additional speeds of up to 27 knots during transit between survey sites. Cheetah Marine’s standard survey package for the wheelhouse fit out included two suspension seats on storage pods and a port side worktop with stainless steel computer racking below on rubber mounted rack supports.Additional electrical power is provided by a Honda 2Kva generator and wiring for 240v shore power is fitted in addition to the 12v circuit. A Webasto heater & demister ensures that work can continue throughout the year. Stainless steel rails, keel bands, engine protection bars and the 150 litre inbuilt fuel storage tanks were fabricated within the Cheetah workshop.

Survey 1 in Hong Kong

Recently arrived in Hong Kong is a similar specification 7.9m Survey Cheetah.Unlike its Swiss counterpart, Survey 1 commissioned by Engineering Surveys Ltd features Cheetah’s full Hydropod electronic lifting system. The overhead stainless steel frame and awning boasts a triangular support frame to ensure maximum accuracy when surveying, and removing the requirement for recalibration after transit. Four lifting points for a single point lift complete with strops make launching and recovery easy. 


Shipping services to Hong Kong were provided by Sevenstar Yacht Transport. Survey 1 was shipped onboard the MSC Oscar famed for being the largest container ship in the world. ‘We collected the boat from the Cheetah workshops and transported it to Felixstowe. The boat was then craned off the truck and leashed onto a 40ft flat rack before being placed in a storing area ready for loading. The MSC Oscar, due to its size spent three days in port loading other cargo, the Cheetah being one of the last to be placed on deck.Once the MSC Oscar arrived in Hong Kong – Transit time of 36 days, the Cheetah on the flat rack was lifted onto a low loader truck and delivered to a cargo handling area outside of the port where she was discharged into the water.

Elliot Samson, Sevenstar Yacht Transport Agency UK Limited

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