TV explorer Monty Halls will unveil a revolutionary new dive and expedition vessel at DIVE 2014 at the Birmingham NEC this weekend.
The boat is the result of over a year’s collaborative work between Halls and many of the leading brands in the fields of marine exploration and design. The 7.5 metre fast RIB – called “Odyssey” – is designed to access remote regions at high speed, ferrying divers, scientists and natural history film makers through challenging environments in comfort and safety. And it is not just the exterior of the boat that is special.
“Much of the cutting edge technology in this vessel is unseen,’ said Halls. “For example the lean burn engine uses far less fuel than standard engines, giving us greater endurance and a lower environmental footprint. The electronics are absolutely space age, and give what is a relatively small craft genuinely large boat capabilities. The design work of the boat manufacturers at Humber has also created ground breaking stowage facilities and safety features. There really is nothing like this boat anywhere in the UK, and possibly the world. It has been designed from the keel up for adventure and exploration.”
The boat is a truly collaborative venture, involving equipment manufacturers from all spheres of both the diving, adventure, and boating worlds. The main aim from the outset was to create something unique, to shake up the design of RIB’s which has essentially remained unchanged for many decades. Halls has no doubts that it will prove a genuine talking point at the show and beyond.
“I can’t wait for the covers to come off this weekend. I’ll be very interested to see what the diving public make of it, and how commercial users such as expedition teams and scientists view some of the features we’ve incorporated.”
The next question is which projects the boat will be involved in after the launch? Halls is already discussing options for expeditions with various conservation groups and charities, as well as collaborative ventures with those involved in the build.
“It’s one thing at a time with this vessel. So much has gone into the design and the build, that I think we’ll pause for thought before our first expedition with it. There are a few ideas on the table, all of which will present real challenges to “Odyssey” after the launch. Suffice it to say that she will soon be on the water working, and hopefully pushing the limits of small boat exploration.”