Seahorse Mercator

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Seahorse Mercator in 2007
Seahorse Mercator in 2007
Namesake: Gerardus Mercator
Operator: DMS Maritime
Ordered: Early 1998
Builder: Tenix
Launched: 15 October 1998
Acquired: 26 November 1998
Status: Active, based at HMAS Waterhen
General characteristics
Class and type: Pacific class patrol boat variant
Displacement: 165 tons
Length: 31.5 m (103 ft)
Beam: 8.21 m (26.9 ft)
Draught: 2.6 m (8.5 ft)
Propulsion: 2 x Caterpillar 3304 diesels, 2 propellers
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Range: 2,880 nautical miles (5,330 km; 3,310 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
Complement: 5 crew + 3 instructors and 18 trainees
Sensors and
processing systems:
1 x Furuno FE 606 navigation radar, 1 x Decca Bridgemaster ARPA navigation radar
Armament: None

Seahorse Mercator is a navigational training vessel operated by Defence Maritime Services under contract to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She is a modified version of the Pacific class patrol boat design and is based at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney.

Design and construction[edit]

Seahorse Mercator is a variant of the Pacific class patrol boat design.[1] The ship has a displacement of 165 tons, a length of 31.5 metres (103 ft), a beam of 8.21 metres (26.9 ft), and a draught of 2.6 metres (8 ft 6 in).[1] Propulsion is supplied by two Caterpillar 3304 diesels, driving two propellers.[1] Maximum speed is 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph), with a range of 2,880 nautical miles (5,330 km; 3,310 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph).[1] Seahorse Mercator is run by a crew of five plus three instructors, and can carry up to eighteen trainees.[1] Radars include a Furuno FE 606 navigation radar, and a Decca Bridgemaster ARPA navigation radar.[1] The vessel is unarmed.[2]

Seahorse Mercator was built by Tenix Ship Building Western Australia for DMS at a cost of A$4 million.[2] The vessel was launched on 15 October 1998.[2] The Canadian Forces Maritime Command's Orca class patrol vessels were built to a modified variant of Seahorse Mercator's design.[3]

Operational history[edit]

Seahorse Mercator conducted sea trials during November 1998, with handover to DMS and the RAN on 26 November 1998[4] She was assigned to the naval base HMAS Waterhen, and replaced the Attack class patrol boat HMAS Ardent as the RAN's Sydney-based navigational training vessel in December that year.[2][5] Since then she has mainly operated in the Sydney area[1] and has trained RAN personnel and sailors from other navies in coastal navigation, ship handling and watch keeping procedures.[5]

Seahorse Mercator has a secondary role as a mine countermeasures craft.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Wertheim, Eric (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World. Naval Institute Press. p. 33. ISBN 1-59114-955-X. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Seahorse Mercator". Australian Warship Review. Sydney: Topmill. 2: 67. 1999. ISBN 1-876270-90-X. 
  3. ^ "Fast tests keep new Canadian navy training ships on schedule". Diesel Progress North American Edition (April 2007). 
  4. ^ Hines, Catherine (1999). "On Course for Delivering Vessels" (PDF). Tenacity. Tenix (corporate publication). p. 4. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  5. ^ a b "Chartmaker Honoured". Navy News. 1998-11-16. Retrieved 10 June 2010.