Dignitaries from the Ministry of Defence of Oman joined senior Damen management at a ceremony at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, Vlissingen on May 8th to mark the naming of the Royal Navy of Oman’s new flagship, the Sail Training Clipper Shabab Oman II.
The 87m long steel-hulled vessel is a three-mast, full square rigger built to design principles set for the iconic tea clippers of the 19th century, benefiting from 21st century technology and comfort. Featuring a fully unfurled sail area of 2,700m2, the vessel can accommodate 34 navy recruits plus a 58-strong crew. Shabab Oman II will replace a vessel of the same name, fulfilling its training role while acting as a roving emissary promoting Oman's long maritime tradition to the peoples of the world.
Damen Project Manager Arnoud Both explains: “This is a clipper with an Arabic touch. Our design partners toured Oman seeking inspiration for its interiors and furnishing. Finishing touches include hand-carved teak at the bow, teak palm leaves at the stern, and gilded interior wood work from Hertel.” Shabab Oman’s main sail will also catch the eye – its khanjar dagger in a sheath superimposed upon two crossed swords motif is the emblem of Oman.
“However, this is also a working training ship equipped to the most modern standards,” says Both. “Tall Ships capture the public imagination and win friends as they glide gracefully into port, but Shabab Oman is also key to the recruitment and training underlying the fleet expansion.”
The new clipper is the third example of Damen’s working relationship with Dykstra Naval Architects, following the delivery of Stad Amsterdam training ship and the Brazilian navy’s Cisne Branco. Its traditional profile houses cutting edge bridge systems from Imtech Marine/Alewijnse and controls from Johnson, Both says, describing “an internal re-engineering” to meet higher air AC demand.
“Shabab Oman will feature three generators plus an emergency back-up unit, compared to the two,” says Both, “so that each cabin has AC. For reasons of redundancy, she will also have a twin propeller shaft arrangement.” All internal spaces have been designed for low noise and vibration.
Managed from Damen headquarters in Gorinchem, the clipper was principally constructed at Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania then towed to the Vlissingen yard where the 50m steel/aluminium masts, rigging and spars were installed and finishing works undertaken.
Given the vessel’s training role, Both says Damen takes considerable pride in its role in training the crew that will operate Shabab Oman II. “Even for experienced sailors, this is a complex sailing ship with 35 sails, each of them operated via eight ropes. We provided a hands-on training course to the crew on board another Damen Sail Training Vessel Stad Amsterdam, and separate training for executive officers and technical officers.”
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