This Spanish yard are hardly newcomers when it comes to building big, tough patrol vessels, but their new 138ft patrol boat is by far the largest glass-reinforced polyester-built patrol boat they have designed. They have had extensive experience of building big GRP and composite boats for the pleasure sector since 1974. Advanced composite construction is crucial to building craft up to 40m in length, which Rodman have become renowned for. Modern technology in the form of CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) has made the construction of craft like the 43m 138 Patrol a reality in 2019.
Rodman have put this skill to good use in the commercial/security sector of the market with the 138 Patrol. Specifically, the first boats are being built for the ‘Autonomous Government of Galicia’ in northern Spain, and the Portuguese National Republican Guard. They are being built for customs surveillance tasks, which their twin 2000hp (1500kw) engines will make them particularly suitable for as they are ideal for high-speed pursuit. These vessels are built to fulfil patrolling tasks in the territorial and adjacent waters of Spain and Portugal, as well as the international waters of the Mediterranean and Atlantic.
They will also be tasked with engaging in maritime and customs surveillance, which has now become a much bigger issue with people smuggling, and the ever-increasing terror threat from the southern shores of the Med. These craft have also been designed for accomplishing anti-drug-smuggling operations, a problem that still looms as large as ever.
Rodman state that the 138 Offshore Patrol will be one of the largest vessels built worldwide in glass-reinforced polyester and composites. She will be equipped with an innovative stabiliser system to reduce the vessel’s roll and pitch, both when in standby and during passage. It is claimed that this stabiliser will increase performance, while providing better fuel efficiency. The 138 has a noticeably rakish bow for such a size of vessel, whose sharp entry should prove ideal for running through big weather. It has been designed for a crew of 18, who will be accommodated in eight cabins. Other cabins and accommodation areas will be available, including a security zone – possibly for detainees.
With a range of 2000nm, the 138 will be capable of long stays at sea, which represents a big advantage from an operational and effectiveness perspective. The vessel will be fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and detection equipment. As part of the Rodman 138 standard equipment, there will be two 8m RIB tenders built from naval-specification aluminium, fitted with inboard engines – which we suspect will be jet driven for shallow-water insertion operations. The RIBs will be located on the stern quarters. They will be equipped with a fast hoisting and lowering system, allowing them to perform rapid boarding operations at sea, and will be capable of speeds of more than 40 knots. The 138 has been developed with specific operational requirements in mind as well as maximising the safety and comfort of the crew and people on board.