Aluminium seats from BAB Aluminium were selected by London,
England-based Crown River Cruises to increase seating capacity on one of their vessels.
Crown River Cruises, a major operator of tourist passenger boats on the
Thames, sought to increase the passenger seating capacity on their vessel, the
Sarpedon, which was built in 2001 and is one of the most modern passenger boats
operating today. The Sarpedon has a passenger seating capacity of 400 with 250
seats on the lower saloon and 150 seats on the upper deck.
Key objectives for the tourist boat operator were to maintain the same
high levels of customer service and also increase the carrying capacity on the
upper deck for tourists visiting London. Requiring an expanded upper decking
seating capacity, Crown River Cruises wanted a supplier who could understand
the needs and provide the solution in a very timely manner without interruption
and difficulties to avoid the danger of cost overruns on a limited budget.
Following a local and global search for aluminium seat manufacturers
online, Crown River Cruises decided to work with Sydney-based BAB Aluminium for
the design and supply of new seating for Sarpedon’s upper deck.
Aluminium seats were found particularly ideal for the application primarily
for two specific reasons: Crown River Cruises wanted a low cost solution to
address corrosion concerns from the passenger boat’s exposure to a salt water river
environment. Secondly, aluminium seats would deliver comfort to passengers in
any weather situation, and also ensured simple maintenance for the tourist boat
Specific issues that were resolved during the execution of the project included
the vast distance between supplier and end user from Sydney to London; seating
in an outdoor area in constant contact with salt water; seats to be used by
thousands of people; fixing of seats to the deck presenting difficulties due to
the location of the fuel tanks on the boat directly under the upper deck
flooring; supply of seats on a ‘just in time’ schedule that fitted in with the
refurbishment timetable of the Sarpedon; and cost-effective shipping of the
seats from Sydney to London.
Crown River Cruises chose aluminium seating over all other material
options such as timber, plastic and steel. Aluminium seats are lightweight and
very strong requiring little ongoing maintenance and cleaning.
BAB Aluminium designed and manufactured aluminium plain bench seats at
custom lengths using modern CAD systems. Sample seats were air freighted to
London during the design phase for testing and approval. Final seating was
delivered via sea freight on a ‘just in time’ system ensuring seats were received
and installed in a staged process on the Sarpedon.