Swiss Cheese is our refurbished COASTAL landing craft
and spud barge ready for marine construction operations in TCI
Coastal has recently acquired and commenced the refurbishment of an LCM8 US army landing craft – affectionately known by the crew as LCM ‘Swiss Cheese’, due to the number of holes she had, prior to the haul out and refit in the Caicos Marina and Shipyard in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.
After extensive replating of the hull, the landing craft is currently employed as a '*spud barge', working on the South Bank Project in Providenciales, driving Composite Piles for the construction of fixed and floating docks. Swiss Cheese will then be involved with channel and lagoon dredging works, a key role in the redevelopment and rebranding of the Caicos Marina and Shipyard, to become 'The South Bank Marina'.
All CMDB piling and dredging operations in Providenciales are excavator driven, using a long reach Cat320 excavator, vibro hammers, augers and a 6” cutter head suction dredge with external power pack. This is ideal for smaller commercial and residential coastal construction projects on the beaches and canals of Providenciales. The LCM8 is the perfect carrier for this equipment and when not working as a spud Barge, the LCM8 will provide roll-on/ roll-off transport for all CMDB equipment and materials wherever a project cannot be accessed by road or land.
Recent upgrades include removable spud legs to allow accurate and safe close quarters/ low speed harbour operations for dredging and piling. When not required, spud legs can be easily detached and the landing craft can quickly revert to transport duties.
Once Piling and dredging for the South Bank project are complete, expected to be early Summer 2021, the LCM8 will be hauled out again for the final stages of the refit including complete re-powering with twin reman CAT3406B engines, which will give her an estimated cruising speed of 8 kn. And allow us to undertake inter-island transport operations, within the territorial waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
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*NB: A spud barge – sometimes called a jack-up barge – is a specialised type of barge commonly used for marine construction operations. The barge is moored by steel shafts or through-deck piling, which are essentially pipes driven right into the soil or sand at the bottom of the water to provide stability.