Introducing Our Newest Vessel: The Sara

The team at Sea Transport Solutions is very excited to announce the addition of a new vessel—The Sara. Specifically designed to haul heavy mining machinery, this vessel is already hard at work assisting a range of key mining contracts.

ship design model testing by sea transport solutions

Sea Transport Ship Model Testing

ship design model testing by sea transport solutions
ship design model testing by sea transport solutions

The model testing period of designing a marine vessel plays a critical role right from the very basic design stages.

Ship model testing by Sea Transport Solutions began in 1986 with bulbous bow developments on catamarans. Various bulb shapes and sizes were tested including pear, circular and elliptical. Hulls without bulbs were also tested.

The most effective bulb improved calm water speed by an impressive 1.5 knots and significantly reduced the motions and accelerations during a sea-state could better maintain head speed in comparison to conventional catamarans and mono-hull vessels.

In 1997, STS won an international tender for P&O in India for a 15-metre passenger ferry. The ferry design required low accelerations at the LCG (the main aspect of sea-sickness, yet frequency dependent) without the use of external appendages for ride control. An efficient hull was required and so tests were undertaken on a 1:3 scale model that proved beneficial.

Additional tests conducted were on varying LCB-LCF separations and locations with a 1:10 scale semi-SWATH model located at the Australian Maritime College’s towing tank. These tests quantified both the accelerations and motions as well as the frequency of the heave and pitch RAOs. The results found by STS correlated well with similar research papers.


Bulb modifications were made and the testing process was repeated, which resulted in a 23% pitch-motion reduction. Vertical accelerations at the LCG were reduced by 15% and considerably more at the vessel’s wheelhouse. Calm-water resistance was recorded post-modifications revealing that very low resistance was maintained.


STS CEO, Mr. Ross Ballantyne, concluded that development and research work should be constant for leading-edge innovations of the Australian marine industry to be sustained into the future.

For more information on Sea Transport Solutions’ bankable feasibility studies and vessel design services, contact us today.

lucky eyre transhipment vessel

Lucky Eyre Transhipper Vessel Arrives Safely in Shanghai

lucky eyre transhipment vessel for grain

Transhipper Vessel Lucky Eyre leaving shipyard at Guangzhou, China

The team at Sea Transport Solutions is proud to announce that the new transhipment vessel dubbed ‘Lucky Eyre’, has successfully completed her one week journey from the shipyard in Guangzhou to Shanghai in China, covering her first 1,670 kilometres with ease.

The new vessel departed for Shanghai early last month, where she will be retrofitted with the STS designed Materials Handling System (MHS) for the export of grain.

transshipment ship by sea transportLucky Eyre, an 87M grain transhipper designed by the ship design experts at STS (partnering with T-Ports), is right on schedule to begin operation at the new grain port in South Australia’s Lucky Bay where she will responsible for delivering an estimated 10,800 to 13,250 tonnes of cargo daily from the port to larger, deepwater vessels.

Upon completion of the MHS retrofitting work in Shanghai, Lucky Eyre will be departing China for South Australia to start exporting this coming harvest season.

Once in operation, the new Lucky Bay port is estimated to provide grain farmers with savings up to $5 to $20 per tonne in transportation costs along with another $25 to $40 per tonne when importing fertiliser back to the port.

transhipment vessel lucky eyre leaving shipyard

Transhipment Operations and Ship Design Services

For more information on our transhipment operation and ship design services, please contact the friendly team at Sea Transport here or call us at +61 7 5529 5777.

DSRS vessel stability system

Supporting Innovations in Marine Safety

Our team of naval architects are excited to be in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s University of Strathclyde in testing a new, potentially life-saving technology suitable for existing and new vessels referred to as DSRS or (Damage Stability Recovery System).

Read our full article to learn more about this exciting new innovation in marine safety.

87 metre transhipment vessel

Brand New Transhipment Vessel for Farmers at Lucky Bay Grain Port

The new vessel dubbed “Lucky Eyre” was specially designed by Sea Transport Solutions (partnering with T-Ports), who are both proud and excited to see the final build complete and ready to be fitted in Shanghai with a material handling system, before setting sail for South Australia.

artist rendering lucky bay port

Lucky Bay Port Development Breakthrough for EP Growers

artist rendering lucky bay port

An artist’s impression of how the new port and storage facility will look at Lucky Bay. (Supplied: T-Ports)

South Australia is expected to have its very first farmer and private equity partnership port built and in operation for the 2018-2019 grain harvest. The port has been proposed to be built at Lucky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula and will provide an alternative grain storage and export option for local Australian growers.

These growers will acquire equity in the port over the next seven years and are expected to save from $5.00 – $20.00 per tonne in transporting grain from farm to port, depending on their proximity to Lucky Bay.

After last year’s expression of interest phase where 120 EP grain growers gave their support for the new port, the new $115 million infrastructure and supply chain project was officially finalised this past week and on-ground works are due to begin immediately.

The key features of the Lucky Bay development include:

  • The Lucky Bay Port Facility – This is a shallow harbour port located in the upper Eyre Peninsula grain catchment zone.
  • Transhipment Vessel – The port will have a cutting-edge shallow draft transhipment vessel, with an approximate capacity of 3,400 tonnes, that will allow Panamax vessels to be loaded within the five-day industry standard. This new vessel, designed by the naval architects at Sea Transport Solutions – specialists in transhipment vessel design and operation, is currently under construction in China.
  • Grain Storage Facilities – New storage facilities located at the port will have an approximate capacity of 430,000 tonnes.
  • Up-country storage at Lock – Storage capacity of 150,000 tonnes.

The development of the new port has been a joint venture between Duxton Asset Management, Inheritance Capital Asset Management (ICAM) and Sea Transport Solutions. This joint venture has resulted a new company dubbed ‘T-Ports’, an abbreviation of transhipment ports, that will act as the operating entity following settlement.

T-Ports’ Chairman Rob Champan stated that the company’s ports infrastructure strategy focuses on establishing a more financially feasible ports model. This includes providing both shallow water ports with a lower build cost and smaller environmental impact requiring modest throughput and providing sound financial returns to investors.

The ports will be multi-user and multi-commodity transhipment ports, with the first at Lucky Bay and a second under investigation for the Yorke Peninsula.

“South Australia is in need of new export infrastructure in order to improve agricultural economics and allow development of its mining assets in an increasingly competitive world environment,” Said Mr. Champman.

“While this port development is based on agricultural product, it can readily expand to allow exports of local minerals and T-Ports will be pursuing opportunities to further diversify and grow the commodity base”.

lucky bay transhipment port finalised

Click image to enlarge

Lucky Bay grain port to be open by harvest

Click image to enlarge.

T-Ports’ CEO Keiran Carvill says that clear direction from growers has been to increase supply chain efficiency which we will achieve through Lucky Bay as a low capital expenditure and flexible port close to the product origin.

“This investment innovates upon the traditional port model and almost monopolistic grain supply chain in South Australia through proven transhipping technology that has been utilised in other industries for the past 20 years,” said Mr Carvill.

“The lower build cost and lower environmental footprint compared with traditional export port facilities in South Australia has made the financial feasibility of the investment easier to attain with a lower throughput requirement from growers.”

“This model means growers can access multiple small ports that can load vessels up to and including cape size, allowing product to be exported profitably, which will prove a great benefit to EP growers and South Australia.”

Andrew Polkinghorne, Lock grain grower and T-Ports Board Member, stated that the Lucky Bay development has been the breakthrough that man EP growers were waiting for in the supply competition.

“While there have been a number of projects flagged for EP, Lucky Bay is a reality, it is funded and work is starting. The benefits of this project will flow through to farming families, and their local communities, as they secure equity in T-Ports and, as a result, a share of the profits of storing and shipping their grain.”

“EP growers who did not respond during the EOI period can still be involved. A retail fund will be set-up before June 2018 that gives growers the opportunity to have some cash ownership in the development and either become involved or further increase their support.”

“It’s a great outcome for EP growers, the investors who supported it and the state as a whole.”

Mangalo farmer Isaac Gill, whose farm is approximately 60 kilometers from Lucky Bay, agreed stating that the Lucky Bay development will help save growers a lot of money in the long run.

“It’s fantastic because we are going to save off our bottom line extra freight which we have been doing down to Port Lincoln and we often can’t deliver straight to port at harvest time… now we will be able to deliver it straight off the header, straight out of the paddock and straight to port and it could be saving us around $15.00 a tonne” says Gill.

Sea Transport Solutions is excited to be a contributor to the Lucky Bay port development and will publish further information on its progress as it becomes available. For more information on Sea Transport’s transhipment vessel design, management and feasibility services please click here or call our head office on +61 7 5529 5777.

sea transport logo icon

Sea Transport Announces New CEO

aurora ferry design

Starting off the New Year in 2018, Sea Transport Solutions welcomes our newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Ross Ballantyne.

Ross brings with him a Master Class IV coastal ticket, a BEng (Hons) in Naval Architecture from AMC in Tasmania and has made invaluable contributions to STS in his seventeen (17) years with our company.

Sea Transport Solutions has been instrumental in contributing innovative and durable vessel designs for transhipping on a global scale and we will continue in doing so under the direction of Mr Ballantyne who has worked on both national and international projects.

With ship designs and services sold to forty-seven countries already and new contracts being secured on a regular basis, including the most recent projects in South Australia, Queensland, and Far North Queensland, our team is anticipating another exciting and successful year ahead.

In closing we wish to acknowledge and thank Dr Stuart Ballantyne for his contribution to Sea Transport. Stuart recently retired from the CEO position and will remain with our company as Chairman of Sea Transport.  

Pacific Titan Tug Vessel

Utility Tug, Pacific Titan, Adapted for Australian Service

STS Designed Pacific Titan

The East Coast Maritime (ECM) Group of Gladstone, Queensland, Australia has acquired a brand new 31-tonne bollard pull, shallow draft, twin screw utility tug, dubbed the Pacific Titan.

The design for the new tug was developed by Sea Transport Solutions with the initial concept inspired by European work boats – with the exception of a hull that is better suited to offshore conditions.

ECM’s operations manager, Lindsay Toy, states that “She (the Pacific Titan) features several unique design elements to maximise her performance when bed levelling, which is something we do plenty of.”

With an overall length of 25.8 metres, a beam of 9.1 metres and a draft of 2.6 metres, the Pacific Titan is powered by a pair of Yanmar IMO Tier II diesel engines – making it capable of reaching up to 12.7 knots. A certified bollard pull of 31.6 tonnes, provides additional maneuverability, with the tug also equipped with a 2-tonne Nakashima bow thruster. Designed for plough dredging, dredging support, barge handling and towing due it’s anchor handling capabilities, this impressive vessel also features:

  • Fully air-conditioned and heated crew quarters
  • 5 single cabins with individual wash basins
  • Heated shower compartments
  • A combined galley and mess
  • Satellite compass
  • Two radars
  • AIS
  • Sounder
  • Autopilot
  • VHF
  • MF/HF
  • Deck machinery
  • Heila crane capable of lifting 12.5 tonnes at 10m
  • Timber clad decking
  • Double drum HES Australia winch
  • Dynamic tugger and plough winches
  • Stern roller
  • HES anchor windlasses
  • WK Hydraulics towing pin
  • 30-tonne Mampaey towing hook

The Pacifc Titan will be serving Australia’s eastern coastline from operation bases at Gladstone and Brisbane.

Photo Credit: East Coast Maritime








transhipment port south australia

New Transhipping Port | Upper Eyre Peninsula

transhipment grain port

South Australian grain farmers have been given more export options thanks to a new purpose-built grain transhipping port in Lucky Bay, Upper Eyre Peninsula that is expected to be in full operation for the 2017 harvest. This has been made possible thanks to the hard work of our team at Sea Transport Solutions.

The Lucky Bay ferry harbour has been expanded to allow bulk grain to be filled on small container ships before being transported to larger ships and exported.

Sea Transport’s new port offers new export options for farmers with Viterra, a Canadian grain handling business, holding current control over the seven ports in South Australia.

“Farmer’s definitely want competition, they do not want to be dominated by one part…they lost control through deregulation when the co-op was sold, the bulk handling systems in South Australia, and this is about bringing some further competition into storage and handling to the state”

lucky bay south australia

Lucky Bay, SA

This new port is owned by Spencer Gulf Trust who has been working with Sea Transport Solutions to establish innovative and economic transhipping technology at Lucky Bay, which has been used elsewhere to transport minerals within the northern regions of Australia.

“It has the ability to be able to maximise shallow waters, so it is about building export facilities closer to where the resource is produced, and being able to reduce some of the supply chain costs,” said STS who explained that the on land set up would be similar to existing ports; however the actual loading of the large export vessels would take place
at sea.

“They use seagoing vessels that are totally enclosed and have their own discharge booms, which reach over the side of the ship’s hatch and then discharges straight into the hull.”

In the future this same technology could be utilised in Wallaroo on the Yorke Peninsula.

“We see the opportunity to have a transhipping site on both sides of the gulf and then maximise the use of these transhipping vessels, because we can relocate those vessels within an hour and a half from one side of the gulf to the other.”

Sea Transport Solutions is very excited to see the results of this new port in the coming years and is hopeful that our innovative transhipment methods can be adopted in more regions within Australia and around the world.



Passion Catamaran Stuart Ballantyne

A ‘Passion’ for Catamaran Design

Stuart Ballantyne has a passion for sea vessels, so much so that he named his 56 foot catamaran after it.  ‘Passion’ is an innovative twist on the traditional catamaran which was designed over 15 years ago by Sea Transport Solutions and is referred to as a Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) as opposed to a catamaran.

Passion Catamaran Stuart Ballantyne

The vessel has many appealing features for those that appreciate the cruising style of a catamaran including:

  • A 7.4 metre beam with a draft of 1.0 metres.
  • Less pitching, greater hull efficiencies and better handling through its bulbous bow design.
  • A wide-open throttle comfortable for 23.5 knots or 44 km/hr.
  • Yanmar 6LPA-STP2 engines.
  • Modest fuel consumption of 22.5 litres per engine per hour and 1000 nautical mile cruise range (at cruise speed of 18 knots).
  • 4000 litres of fuel on board
  • Built on alloy and fiberglass.
  • Incorporation of motor and motor sailing configurations.

With its Gold Coast design through Sea Transport Solutions, ‘Passion’ is setting the precedent when it comes to enhancing and diversifying the capabilities of the build and structure of the traditional catamaran.