Modcat Assemblies 1

Practical Design Versatility

The SML 1200 is constructed from 5000 Series Marine Grade Aluminium, as is specifically designed to reduce weight while increasing strength, safety, payload and durability. The value of standardized platform design, is that by simply increasing the standard SML 1200 Modules plate thickness and increasing bulkheads, frames and stringers the Modules can be engineered infinitely to suit client needs.

When considering the benefits of the SML 1200 platform design in Aluminium,
the deciding factors are mainly in the realms of: 


Due to Africa’s current Rescue facilities available to inland water traffic the SLA 1200 has been designed and constructed in light weight MGA to be unsinkable based on the inclusion of our design's buoyancy cells incorporated in each of the SML 1200's eight independent water tight compartments. These in turn are each fitted with independent bilge pump systems. This provides passengers and operators with a safe platform that will sustain them in the event of the vessel's sponsons being compromised in any way.

The SML 1200 design has been vetted, and has passed the stringent requirements of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), ensuring they are suitable for commercial and passenger transportation uses. 


Today most marine boat builders can provide an alloy vessel for about the same cost as one in steel, if the alloy boat is not painted, except for below the waterline.  Our SML 1200 platform provides a vast amount of deck space at cost effective rates.

The SML 1200 design also offer drastically reduced fuel and operating costs.


SML 1200's are provided with surfaces that are not painted. These will not need to be maintained. Repairs to Sponsons or Pontoons are easily done in remote locations with replacement panels being provided from our factory as preformed and ready to weld.

Should clients need their vessel painted, if properly done; the paint system will not be any more trouble than maintaining a fiberglass boat, and less than a steel vessel.

Resale Value

An aluminium boat will have a much higher resale value than a steel boat, allowing any minor difference in original acquisition cost to be more than recovered after the platform concludes its extended service lifespan.


Factually, Aluminium beats GRP and Steel equivalents between 40% and 60% respectively, which in a larger vessel will permit lighter displacement, a smaller engine, and greater range. Another distinct advantage is that reduced vessel deadweight provides us with an exceptionally shallow draft, which in turn, extends the SML 1200's shallow draft service range to areas with 300mm - 375mm of water, and allows for simple beaching and backing off at safe landing areas.

Carrying Capacity

Less weight being utilized for a strong platform structure allows owners to increase fuel, range and cargo capacity.


Aluminium being a lighter material, permits our design team to place weight lower down in the Sponson design, allowing for stable weight distribution to support the platforms deck equipment layout.


The design provides exceptional structural integrity, with no compromise in materials, or welding standards for vessels in this classification. Propriety design features included, are our deck and sponson subassembly mountings, which were verified against exhaustive stress, and strength analysis. Recently a SML 1200 OPL Platform after being inverted, remained afloat with two 5 ton mooring blocks secured to the deck, and needed only electrical repairs to resume service within a week.

The overall point to be kept in mind is that an aluminium structure can be made with much larger scantlings, the same, or greater strength, and still be much lighter than a similar structure in steel, or GRP options. In simple terms, aluminium is structurally more "efficient" than steel.


Clients are in a position to extend their platform’s hull and deck areas of this vessel, by acquiring additional sponson and deck modules, which will allow them to lengthen their vessel, as and when required.

Fuel and Operational Efficiency

The SML 1200 performs much like a catamaran, needing modest horsepower to propel them efficiently.

The sponson design incorporates numerous vectored planing surfaces, which enable the vessel to operate at lower speeds to achieve maximum fuel efficiency during operation, which by implication, prolongs the vessels propulsion’s service lifecycle, and reduces maintenance costs.

Shallow Draft and Manoeuvrability

The twin propulsion options available greatly enhance the manoeuvrability of the vessel for close quarter and restrictive navigation situations that may arise during operations.

Logistics Cost Benefits

The SML 1200 can be supplied as a set of integrated modules, which allow for shipping from our works to the clients site by utilizing standard ISO containers or trucks.

This saves shipping, and clearing costs to the client’s site.

Sponson design versatility

SML 1200's are available in symmetrical and asymmetrical Sponson options, as our sponson design is tailored to the platforms operational requirements, and intended sea conditions within its theatre of operations.
MODBARGE Rendition 6 Apart 11m


The SML 1200, by virtue of its design, can be located in remote areas, used for operations, and when completed, disassembled and loaded into their shipping containers, and relocated, or securely stored until they are required for deployment and use.

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