VESSEL REVIEW | Gen-4 Two – New fast crewboat delivers enhanced comfort and safety
Singapore shipbuilder Strategic Marine has completed construction of a new fast crewboat that will serve customers in the offshore energy industry.
The design was developed in collaboration with Australia’s Southerly Designs to offer expanded operating capabilities, reduced emissions, and fuel efficiency. It is an improved variant of an earlier Strategic Marine crewboat but with enhanced safety and comfort. Secondary duties include firefighting and standby functions.
The vessel has an LOA of 42 metres, a moulded beam of 8.2 metres, a maximum draught of 1.9 metres, a gross tonnage of 317, and 140 square metres of total deck space for various payloads. There is business class seating for 70 rig crew – configured for up to 100 rig crew – plus space for 16 crewmembers in nine cabins. The interior spaces also include one medical room/office.
Three Caterpillar C32 1,081kW engines drive fixed-pitch propellers via Reintjes gearboxes to deliver a maximum speed of 28.5 knots and a service speed of 27 knots. The fuel consumption at service speed is approximately 716 litres per hour.
“The latest generation was designed from the ground up and features a new Z-bow design and other modifications,” Strategic Marine told Baird Maritime. “This results in an eight per cent increase in efficiency compared to our earlier crewboat series.”
The builder added that the crewboat has been designed for and fitted with a gyrostabiliser in the hull, which not only increases mass in the vessel’s centre of gravity, but also decreases the rolling motion of the vessel by as much as 80 per cent. This then enables far safer rig crew transfers to oil platforms in less favourable conditions.
“The design also has a strengthened deck allowing for a walk-to-work system to be installed on board. A motion-compensated gangway coupled with the active gyrostabiliser reduces turn-around times and increases the uptime in personnel transfers, unlike in the past when operations were called off if the occupants’ safety cannot be guaranteed.”
Significant effort was made to update the vessel’s interior fit-out and to provide those on board with comfortable and relaxing amenities to ensure they arrive to work well-rested. This was achieved by including larger and more numerous windows providing better visibility and light conditions, higher quality business class seats, an interior design and colour palette by a specialist interior designer, improved air conditioning, and a reduction in both noise and vibrations in the passenger cabin.
“Our fast crewboats are already popular among Malaysian operators that needed vessels that can transfer up to 100 personnel at high speeds,” added Strategic Marine. “These firms realised that personnel transfers also needed to be carried out during the monsoon season, when weather conditions are severe and there is a high risk of heavy costs being incurred due to operations suddenly being cancelled.”
The builder remarked that, traditionally, personnel transfers in the region are also conducted via cage transfers/swing rope transfers, which are not only slower but also pose a greater risk for personnel. The decision was then made to incorporate an alternative transfer method that was not only faster, but safer in the meantime, which translates to better operational efficiency.
“The biggest challenge in designing the vessel was in making sure the new technologies are to be installed in optimal places whilst keeping the integrity and quality of our products, and not to intrude into the spaces that the operators required for their main activities,” Strategic Marine told Baird Maritime. “Another challenge was related to the integration of these technologies into one vessel for an easier user experience. We learned from user feedback that the controls of the vessel have to be automated or at least require little human intervention.”
The builder said it also had to ensure that the electrical load of the added technologies will be able to operate under high utilisation to ensure a seamless experience.
“The shipbuilding process is a complex arrangement requiring all systems to be built concurrently and progressively. The biggest challenge therefore was to ensure that all prerequisites are in place before certain stages are started or completed.
“We then learned that collaboration is important in building a product with new features and technologies. Since the client provided feedback as the vessel was being built, we learned about their personnel’s maintenance regimes and how we can best suit and support their future requirements.”
The new crewboat is owned by Strategic Marine and is being operated under charter in Brunei while sailing under the Panamanian flag.
|Type of vessel:
|Strategic Marine, Singapore
|Southerly Designs, Australia
|Strategic Marine, Singapore
|Hull construction material:
|Superstructure construction material:
|Deck construction material:
|140 square metres
|3 x Caterpillar C32, each 1,081 kW
|3 x Reinjtes WVF 430/1
|3 x fixed-pitch propellers
|3 x Baudouin 6W105S
|Electronics supplied by:
|Simrad Argus 12U/6X X-Band; Simrad Halo20+ Broadband
|Sailor 6310 MF/HF 150W DSC Class A; 2 x Sailor 7222 VHF DSC Class A
|Simrad HS80A; 2 x Autonautic
|Simrad speed log
|Other deck equipment:
|Ampelmann gangway; Maritime Deck Machinery davit
|Other equipment installed:
|International Marine; BH Marine
|Floor/deck surface finishes:
|Type of fuel:
|Medical room/office; cabins