Offshore Vessel News Roundup | December 8 – Large unmanned motherships, hybrid crewboat orders and more

A US-based offshore survey and ocean exploration company acquires new robotic vessels while orders have been placed for a large shallow-draught workboat and three catamaran crewboats for renewables support duties. A UK designer introduces a new type of fast crewboat with greater carrying capacity compared to its predecessors.

Ocean Infinity takes delivery of two large unmanned vessels

Photo: Ocean Infinity

US-based Ocean Infinity has taken delivery of the first two units of a planned series of eight 78-metre unmanned surface vessels (USVs) built by Vard Vung Tau in Vietnam.

Sister vessels Armada 7801 and Armada 7802 are presently en route to Norway. Once in service, they will be used as launch and recovery platforms for smaller unmanned craft such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

The USVs will be operated initially with small crew complements but will be completely uncrewed in future sailings.

Van Stee Offshore orders 80-metre shallow-draught workboat

Photo: Van Stee Offshore

Dutch renewables support provider Van Stee Offshore has placed an order for a new multi-purpose workboat to be built by the Damen Shipyards Group.

The 80-metre Zwerver V will be capable of operating in waters as shallow as three metres. Duties will include anchor handling, cable-laying, towing, and ROV support.

Delivery is scheduled for 2024.

UK firm unveils new crewboat design

Photo: BMT

UK naval architecture firm BMT has unveiled a new design of renewables support crewboat.

The 32-metre crewboat will have a larger cargo deck area and increased load capacity. This will enable the vessel to carry more equipment in support of larger commissioning and maintenance assets.

An active fender system will help facilitate crew transfers even under rough sea conditions.

HST Marine orders hybrid crewboat trio

Photo: Damen

Welsh offshore support vessel (OSV) operator HST Marine has awarded the Damen Shipyards Group a contract for the construction of three fast crewboats in a series.

The 27-metre vessels will be fitted with 190kW battery arrays that will enable them to operate emissions-free both when in harbour and when loitering offshore awaiting retrieval of technicians.

In zero-emission mode, the crewboats will be propelled by an electrical motor connected via the gearbox (PTI) to the propeller shaft. When sailing in diesel mode, the electrical motors are able to work in reverse as PTO and can be used to charge the batteries and provide the hotel load for the vessels.

The crewboats will be delivered by early 2024 following completion at Damen Shipyards Antalya in Turkey.

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