From the people that gave you M/V Fantasea, here is Ocean Rover, Thailand’s Latest Luxury Liveaboard. A brand new boat operated by the most experienced team in the business. Ocean Rover was built in Phuket by Fantasea Divers and launched in August 2000. She commenced operations in December 2000 and our passengers confirm she is everything we hoped she would be.
Ocean Rover was purpose designed for comfortable and safe offshore diving. Her thick steel hull is 100ft/30m long and 24ft/8m wide. She is powered by three Hino V10 420Hp diesel engines, driving three propellers for extra safety. Her cruising speed is 10 knots and the top speed 12.5, allowing us to visit many far-flung divesites in one single cruise.
Ocean Rover takes a maximum of sixteen passengers in eight cabins which are all located on the main and upper deck. Six cabins are identical and have large double beds with single upper berths and large panoramic windows. The two forward cabins feature wide upper and lower berths and have dual portholes. All cabins have private bathrooms, individually controlled air-conditioning and lots of storage space.
The huge dive-deck has several camera tables and rinse tanks plus a camera maintenance room. Care has been taken to ensure that photographers have safe places to put down their expensive cameras just before and after the dive.
Ocean Rover’s unique feature is the "Whaledeck": the lower section of the divedeck which slopes down to the waterline allowing for optimum ease of diving operations. This "Whaledeck" is where the dinghies are stored when the vessel is underway.
The spacious salon offers a comfortable dining and sitting arrangement, a fully equipped entertainment center and a camera charging area with 220/110 volts connections. The interior has been kept light and airy and has a relaxed atmosphere. The salon has a refreshments corner and our extensive marine life library is kept here as well.
The aft upper deck -or sun deck- is partly shaded and is everyone's favourite area for relaxing and socializing between dives. A second refreshments corner is located here and passengers can sit around the large picnic style table or settle down on one of our comfortable lounge chairs.
Ocean Rover’s sixteen passengers are looked after by twelve crew members, the same team that has made our former liveaboard, the Fantasea, such a well-loved dive boat. Most crew members have been with us for over ten years and all have been personally involved in the construction of Ocean Rover. They are rightfully proud of their boat and proud of their excellent reputation.
Ocean Rover’s main area of operation is the Andaman Sea off the west coast of Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). Our cruises take divers to the Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock and Myanmar’s Burma Banks and Mergui Archipelago. Cruises in the Gulf of Thailand are planned to commence in June 2002.
SOME FACTS ABOUT OCEAN ROVER’S CONSTRUCTION
When we decided to build a new liveaboard, we decided to build her locally, in Phuket, because that is where we live and because everyone said that it couldn’t be done. We built Ocean Rover in 18 months, using only local labour under western supervision.
The general lay-out and specifications were based on our previous experience in operating M/V Fantasea but the actual design was by naval architect Simon Jupe of Waconda Yard Team in Singapore. Design parameters were to build a stable, seaworthy commercial motor yacht that can safely and economically operate luxury diving cruises in remote offshore locations.
Wherever possible, Ocean Rover was designed in accordance with U.K. Flag Administrations "Code of Practice for Safety of Large Commercial Motor Vessels" (MCA Code). However, due to practical reasons of building and registration in Thailand, the vessel has not been classed.
Structurally Ocean Rover was designed to Lloyd’s classification of Special Service Craft G3, for commercial pleasure yachts operating 150 nautical miles from safe haven. Throughout the construction period we adhered as closely as possible to Lloyd’s classification requirements. Approved Japanese shipbuilding steel has been used throughout. All the steel was sandblasted and coated with zinc primer in Bangkok and subsequently trucked to Phuket by a convoy of trailer trucks.
Stability standards for both intact and single compartment damage satisfy MCA Code requirements. Computer generated hull damage scenarios have shown that the vessel will stay afloat even with a completely flooded engine room. The forward half of the hull is a double bottom, which, together with the six watertight compartments, makes Ocean Rover an extremely safe vessel.
Ocean Rover’s machinery installation, wherever practical, meets MCA Code requirements. Fire fighting and bilge pumping systems are plumbed in steel and have secondary pumps outside of the engine room, to maintain systems if the engine room is compromised. The vessel has three main engines, giving extra redundancy in case of engine failure.
Ocean Rover is fitted with a pre-fabricated "Simpac" interior system. All wall and ceiling panels, doors, windows, watertight & weather-tight doors are approved for fire and safety by the American Bureau of Shipping, Lloyds & Bureau Veritas.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Ocean Rover’s construction is that she was built by her own crew. From captain to cook, from dinghy-driver to deck-hand, all our crew members are people with special skills: welders, fitters, machinists, electricians, air-conditioning technicians, painters and diesel mechanics. Nearly all of them served on M/V Fantasea in the past and their input and experience during construction was invaluable. To say that the crew knows the vessel intimately is an understatement; they know every centimeter, every weld, each nut and bolt. They are rightly proud of their creation and we are proud of them, the finest crew in all of the Andaman Sea.