The Leeway Striker

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 2.11.14 PM

This article first appeared on the Yarmouth Vanguard’s website Aug.28, 2018

One of the benefits of the Cape Cottage’s location is the vantage point it provides for vessels departing and arriving in Yarmouth Harbour. With its distinctive camouflage paint job and sleek profile, a  74-foot patrol boat generated lots of conversation when it arrived for fuel and to clear customs on Aug. 26.

The Leeway Striker cost close to $10 million to build. Captain Jamie Sangster, CEO of Leeway Marine in Halifax, wouldn’t disclose how much he paid for the vessel, one they worked nearly a year to acquire.“It’s an interesting boat,”he said.

“There was no expense spared in the development of this boat at all.

Leeway Marine operates in a number of different sectors, but mostly hydrographic survey. Sangster and his team aspire to enter into a few other sectors in the market with the new vessel – ocean technology-related and defence-related.

The mid-shore surveillance and patrol vessel was built by RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames for a military application in a military competition several years ago. The prototype vessel never went into use because competitors won the bid.

“It worked out well for us,” said Sangster. “We were the lucky Nova Scotians that were digging hard to find an appropriate, unique vessel and we’ve certainly found it in this one.”

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 2.14.53 PM
Crew: Mark Decker, Grant Heddon and captain Jamie Sangster.

The unique camouflage exterior is difficult to see, especially in colder ocean waters as it tends to blend in with the waves.

There are also very few 90-degree angles on the vessel so the radar cross-section is a lot smaller.

“For a defence application, having a small radar cross-section certainly makes you much more difficult to detect. So that’s a nice advantage for some of the clients we hope to attract,” said Sangster.

The interior features shock absorbing seats, small galley and six bunks.

Sangster says it took a little while to learn the technical components of the vessel during the trip as it didn’t come with a user manual.

“We’re new to the boat and there are so many things you have to learn. It’s all monitored remotely through the computers,” he said.

“It feels good to almost have it home. It’s been kind of a long journey since last June, when we started working on the process to get this vessel. The team left Tampa in mid-August and stopped in a few places on the way up to work out the kinks.”

The vessel docked at the COVE – the Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship – in Halifax when it arrived. In Spring 2019, Leeway Marine signed a partnership with Newfoundland’s Kraken Sonar Systems. The Striker will be deployed as a mine hunting and hydrographic patrol vessel to survey areas in littoral and offshore waters.

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 2.15.35 PM
Control panel of Leeway Striker.

More on the Leeway Striker

Length: 74 feet with 6.5 feet beam

Speed: 58.5 knots

Range: 510 NM

Engines: Three x V12MAN diesels; 2 Kamewa 45 S3 w/1 x Kamewa 45 B3 Booster waterjet

Other features: removable shock-mitigating seating for crew and mission personnel, stern ramp to accommodate a five-metre interceptor or unmanned scout boat.