WorkFloat, a company supported by Marine-i, has been awarded the overall ‘Spirit of Innovation’ Award at the European Commercial Marine Awards, held at Seawork 2019.
WorkFloat has been designed to bridge a gap in the market between small workboats and larger, more expensive workboats and multicats that can only be moved on the road using costly low loaders and that then need a crane or hoist for launching and recovery.
WorkFloat ‘folds’ up to tow behind a 4×4 on the road or to slide into a standard shipping container. Once afloat, the 8m x 5m ‘mini multicat’ can lift, pull and carry an impressive deadweight. This innovative product has a wide range of applications, including commercial diving, aquaculture, light dredging, oil response, disaster and flood relief, ferry, survey work, sampling, drilling and superyacht support.
The company has received grant support from Marine-i for the initial design work as well as for building a prototype and carrying out full-scale physical testing. Marine-i partner University of Plymouth is supporting prototype trials for buoyancy and stability. Cornwall Marine Network’s Propel project also supported WorkFloat with marketing advice and a grant towards exhibition costs.
Marine Hub Cornwall operations director, Matt Hodson, said: “Part-funded by the European Union, the Marine-i project has been set up to accelerate innovation within the marine technology sector in Cornwall. It is fantastic to see one of the young Cornish companies we are supporting receive this prestigious accolade.”
Toby Budd, founder and MD of WorkFloat, which is based in Penryn, said: ‘’We are beyond delighted.”