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Elastec Omni-Catamaran Workboat Is “Swiss Army Knife” Afloat

Boats, Media, News
Omni Catamaran "Swiss Army Knife" of workboats

Keeping rivers and waterways clean is a central mission for Elastec workboats. Its core competency is oil spill response equipment, and its products played a key part in the responses to the Deepwater Horizon spill. Those products now include a multitasking workboat.

Imagine a workboat that is a floating “Swiss Army knife” and you have a pretty good idea of what Elastec’s Omni Catamaran is all about.

The all-aluminum workboat can be configured with various modules, including a deck plate, litter basket, pump out station, washout pod, or A-frame lifting pod. The modules can pop in and out of its 8- by 11-foot work platform to tailor it for a whole range of tasks and missions, from aquatic weed control to trash collection, supporting divers, buoy-handling, oil spill response or cargo hauling.

The marine-grade aluminum litter basket allows the Omni Cat, as it is nick-named, to serve as a trash collection boat to skim floating debris in harbors and protected waterways.

Two Elastec boats, nicknamed the Skimmy Dipper and the Skim Pickens, were developed for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to comply with a U.S. and Illinois EPA Consent Decree. Elastec and MWRD worked together to develop two custom trash collection boats.

MWRD had requested a simple design, with few moving parts and easy to operate. Elastec has also designed trash collection boats for the city of Waco, Texas, and the city of Austin, Texas’ Watershed Protection Departments.

Elastec also makes an advanced turbidity curtain that was part of an award-winning flood-control project in California, in which Caltrans engineers and contractors replaced an outdated and obsolete drain pipe in the environmentally-sensitive Crissy Field section of San Francisco. The pipe had caused chronic flooding in the area. The project recently won the prestigious Flood Management Project of the Year Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The Carmi, Ill.-based Elastec sells its cleanup and environmental products in 155 countries, and has a high international profile that was enhanced when its innovative oil skimmer won the prestigious X-Prize Foundation’s Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE in 2011, with a $1.4 million prize attached.

Funded by the Schmidt Family Foundation, the XCHALLENGE offered the prize to any company that could drastically increase the speed that oil is skimmed from water.

This article originally appeared in
The Waterways Journal Weekly
VOL. 130 No. 43
January 23, 2017

[PDF of the article]

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