SeaVax loaded on the AmphiMax during early tests


VERSATILE BOAT SERVICING - It all looks a bit NASA. like their crawler rocket launch delivery vehicle, but ours is much smaller and considerably cheaper. The SeaVax is seen here onboard the AmphiMax proof of concept launch model, before the cradles or swivel axle mounts were fitted. Thanks to generous crowd funding from Avaaz, the SeaVax project now has its own robot lab dedicated to developing the concept.


The development continues into 2018 with the fitting of heavier tracked bogies and motors. This involves the making of eight custom carriages, each with axles that swing to allow the tracks to better fit the contour of uneven ground. It is hoped that by the end of January 2018, that this development will be nearing a stage when launch test experiments can be designed for the test tank proving ground.





AmphiMax is a 'low budget' portable boatyard, launch and recovery vehicle all in one. It is also a navigable amphibious vehicle, meaning that it can follow, or even advance relocate, to rendezvous with any SeaVax fleet.


The AmphiMax is also a production jig, specifically designed for the rapid assembly of SeaVax hull components - so that the separately manufactured sub-assemblies line up accurately ready for joining.


This agricultural/aquacultural service vehicle will allow the Foundation to build and launch SeaVax fishing and ocean conditioning vessels cost effectively anywhere in the world, doing away with the need for a shipyard and the high overheads that entails.


Being amphibious an AmphiMax can present a low profile if anchored semi-submerged offshore to remain unobtrusive in nature sensitive areas, should that be a concern. In most cases that is not an issue.




The AmphiMax is not just a launch and recovery machine, it is an essential development tool for Seavax. We can think of no quicker way to take a boat out of the ocean into a dry dock situation to allow engineers to fit alternative heads for experimenting full size.


Not only that, but the AmphiMax carries all of the equipment to allow engineers to get on with the job without having to wait for a turn, or scratch about trying to find tools. Welding and lifting would be some of the functions that the AmphiMax allows for just about anywhere it is beached.




ACCESS - The old drive was not strong enough to carry the AmphiMax frames, leaving us the unenviable task of repairing the drive.  We could not take the change that our repairs might not be strong enough, so we used reinforced concrete. Here you can see the shuttering before a concrete pour. Copyright photographs 11 May 2018 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd. All rights reserved except for education use and media review.




BATCH COMPLETE - In the picture you can see the concrete tamped and bull-nosed. Now all we need is 12 hours without rain - and 24 hours to elapse to strike the shuttering ready for the next section to be shuttered. This section was relatively flat and the same height as the broken slabs that were removed. Copyright photographs 14 May 2018 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd. All rights reserved except for education use and media review.




DUAL CHARGERS - Here you can see us getting to know how our new equipment works. Even at a mild charge rate we will not have to wait long between battery exchanges - meaning we can work for longer when we are onto something. We have two of these programmable chargers and two more 1000 watt beauties for the 25 volt packs. Put that together with the 4 baby chargers at the foot of the page and you can begin to see how the charging banks could have eaten into our lab space - had we not tackled that head on with a couple of shelves to form a Charging Station that should do the trick once fitted. Small things like this really help when it comes to experimenting in water, when let's face it, getting wet does not always keep you in the best frame of mind as your core temperature chills. Good job we have a canteen to retreat to while we recover.





In terms of blue growth AmphiMax is an enabling platform in that it makes it cost effective to operate fleets of fishing boats or ocean conditioning vessels on almost any stretch of shoreline, anywhere in the world.


In days gone by sheltered harbours and ports were needed for fishermen to operate, except for the few beach launched fleets like those at Hastings in the United Kingdom and Ngawi in New Zealand - where beach launching and recovery has been mechanized.




Beach launching is a far more cost effective way of operating a fishing boat and can relocate to new fisheries locations without major upheaval - to go where the fish are, not to spend gallons of marine diesel getting to the fishing ground.




When it comes to oil spills, SeaVax vessels could remain on station at specific hotspots, such as the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Guinea (west [ivory] coast of Africa), Australia's Gold Coast or the Mediterranean Sea from Tripoli to Alexandria.







The speed of development of any concept depends on the amount of money that is available for such a project. 


From 2015 to 2016 the project was sponsored by the directors of Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd to the tune of 130,000 pounds. From 2016 to 2017 the project progressed significantly with crowd funding via Avaaz with significantly more backing to push the project on.


In February 2017 the Cleaner Oceans Foundation applied for H2020 funding asking for around 1.5m euros over three years to produce a quarter scale working prototype - and in May of 2017 the COF took over management of the SeaVax project. In June 2017 the European Commission advised that the 2017 H2020 application was on a reserved list and that the availability of funds was limited.


Bluebird Marines Systems did not find out about the Horizon 2020 call H2020-BG-2016-2017 (see details below) in time to make an application and would not in any event have been eligible as an SME without a trading track record. Hence, there would have been no incentive to apply given the financial risks inherent in being under-funded.


The situation has improved in that with the Cleaner Ocean Foundation leading AmphiMax development, funding incentives may reach a level where such an application could be seen as a reasonable use of resources, provided that funding levels are sufficient to warrant the risk of undertaking such an enterprise.




540 MOTOR & GEARBOX - The output speed from this motor and gearbox combination is 22 RPM. The 6mm output shaft means a bit more machining at this end, but we feel that it is worth having a reserve of power for our experiments.





At the time of writing (08-1-18) SeaVax has received no government backing or corporate sponsorship. The Cleaner Ocean Foundation needs to raise around $400k dollars for 2018 raise the development momentum above the pace of 2017, and run an ocean awareness campaign. This sum will not pay for SeaVax to be built but it will lay the groundwork in terms of continued development, with the ocean literacy campaign likely to help the project to generate additional funding for 2018.


Support for Marine Litter projects was put onto the agendas of the KTN in October 2017, European Maritime Fisheries Fund from November of 2017 and United Nations in December 2017. Putting the potential obstacle of Brexit to one side, it is possible that Government (European) backing could come the rescue in 2018 or 2019.


We need to raise at least $3 million dollars to put a full size SeaVax in the water in a moderate timescale. If we had between $ 5-7 five to seven million dollars to rely on for the project this would have the effect of accelerating development with additional part time engineers and additional facilities - and so reduce the time for launch of any prototype. If it were possible to raise $10 ten million dollars or more, then the project could afford to employ full time engineers and other staff and move into top gear.



SeaVax working in the test tank, filtering plastic from the water


TESTING - The SeaVax is seen here in the part-completed test tank in July of 2016. Since that time the facilities for experiments have been improved to include a new floor to eliminate leaks and a covered passage between the robot laboratory where the development models are made. 



STANDBY MODE SEPT 2017 >>>>>>> 2018


Until such time as fresh funding allows for the acceleration of the SeaVax project, the Cleaner Ocean Foundation (via its volunteers and associates) will continue to work on the project as far as is possible by carrying out AmphiMax launch simulations and other robotic development.


Standby, means networking and explaining the possibilities at various events that are planned for 2018, such as Oceanology 2018 in March and the European Maritime Day in Bulgaria in May.


A diesel engine will be prepared for AmphiMax and the steel frame design developed in readiness for manufacture of the prototype portable dockyard.




The search for and negotiations aimed at securing a temporary (or permanent) launch site continue with a specialist IP concern doing the leg and legal work for the project for a fraction of the cost of professional estate agents, solicitors or patent attorneys.




Our existing associates have agreed to continue to support the SeaVax project for at least another two years, or until funding is secured for the build of the prototype mobile dockyard and SeaVax.


Our associates include:


1. Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd. (R&D support)

2. Blueplanet Universal Holdings Ltd. (IP licensing, issue, transfers and negotiations)

3. Solar Cola Ltd. (Internet marketing and general assistance)


Our sponsors include:


1. Our volunteers

2. L. P. H. Trust (Facilities)




COF continues to scout and negotiate for suitable assembly/launch sites where there are some areas in the UK now offering incentives for marine development. Approaches have been made that have so far proved to be uneconomical or impractical.






TOPIC : High value-added specialised vessel concepts enabling more efficient servicing of emerging coastal and offshore activities

Topic identifier: BG-02-2016-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015
Types of action: IA Innovation action
DeadlineModel: single stage
Opening date: 27 October 2015 - Deadline: 17 February 2016 17:00:00
Types of action: IA Innovation action
DeadlineModel: single stage
Opening date: 04 October 2016 - Deadline: 14 February 2017 17:00:00
Time Zone : (Brussels time)
Horizon 2020
H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Work Programme Part: Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy
Call : H2020-BG-2016-2017
Call budget overview


Topic Description - Specific Challenge:

Increasingly business and services are carried out within the marine space. Examples include: offshore terminals, aquaculture, renewable energy, marine biomass, blue tourism, surveying, environmental monitoring, accident response and clean up, and clearing of marine debris and other pollutants. Costs at sea are higher than for equivalent shore based operations and a significant proportion of them are associated with the support vessels which service these activities. Inappropriate vessels can increase costs because they may have limited operational weather windows, high overheads, slow speed, low efficiency and they may be generally ineffective for the task concerned. European yards and their suppliers (often SMEs), are world leaders in high value-added vessels and highly specialised ships. The challenge is to develop novel specialised vessel concepts which are economically viable and environmentally friendly and which will more effectively serve coastal and offshore activities, thereby supporting European growth and employment through development of a blue economy.




AmphiMax robot parts delivery January 2018


PARTS - A whole lot of robot parts arrived in January 2018. After the gimbal and lowering mechanism is made for the test tank (that's next), we'll have a sort out and see if it is practical to upgrade the AmphiMax with swivel tracks, where at the moment they are rigid like any other tracked vehicle. A tilt mechanism - if it is not too complicated for the full size portable dockyard - will give better traction when the amphibious vehicle comes in for a landing.




Concepts should be developed to a pre-commercial stage technology readiness level (TRL) 5 and include: simulation, model testing, consideration of the most suitable construction and production principles for small series or one off vessels of this type, environmental impact assessment, cost estimation as well as both the marketability (technology push), and the cost effectiveness of the offshore operations concerned (demand pull). Work shall include development and testing of vessel concepts and its equipment so as to reduce costs and enable more efficient operations within either coastal or offshore environments as follows:

1 - Specialised vessels for coastal activities (2016)

2 - Specialised vessels for offshore activities (2017)

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 7 million for "Specialised vessels for coastal activities" in 2016 and up to EUR 8 million for "Specialised vessels for offshore activities" in 2017 would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

To support significant economic growth and employment within the EU, the project will:

* Develop solutions to at least technology readiness level (TRL) 5 which will significantly impact on the development of a European marine and coastal economy.

* Aim to reduce costs by at least 20% compared to current practices taking the entire process including increased productivity and vessel cost into consideration.

* Increase the professional skills of workers and the capability of European industry and in particular SMEs within the marine and maritime sectors to develop and commercialise specialised vessels and related technology.




OIL SPILLS - The Jiyeh Power Station oil spill is an environmental disaster caused by the release of heavy fuel oil into the eastern Mediterranean after storage tanks at the thermal power station in Jiyeh, Lebanon, 30 km (19 mi) south of Beirut, were bombed by the Israeli Air force on July 14 and July 15, 2006 during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. The plant's damaged tanks leaked up to 30,000 tonnes of oil into the eastern Mediterranean Sea, A 10 km wide oil slick covered 170 km of coastline, and threatened Turkey and Cyprus. The slick killed fish, threatened the habitat of endangered green sea turtles, and potentially increased the risk of cancer.

Although Al Jazeera compared the scale of the oil spill to that of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, later assessment found that the volume spilled was 30 000 tonnes of the higher estimates compared to 42 000 tonnes For Exxon Valdez oil spill. The coastline affected was between 150170 km, while the Exxon Valdez oil spill affected 2,100 km of coastline.





If you or your organization can help us with this important research please get in touch. We would welcome the opportunity to work with those involved in the plastics industry or those who use plastic in their packaging and might like to offset any negatives from their activities with positive research that is likely to offer stability in the future and greater confidence from their customers, suppliers and/or shareholders.


All communications will be treated in strict confidence unless by prior arrangement.










Humpback wales are dying from plastic pollution


MARINE LIFE - This humpback whale is one example of a magnificent animal that is at the mercy of human activity. Humans are for the most part unaware of the harm their fast-lane lifestyles are causing. We aim to change that by doing all we can to promote ocean literacy.



 This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. Copyright Cleaner Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774) 2018. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom. COFL is a charity without share capital. The names Amphimax, RiverVax and SeaVax are trademarks.