Wight Shipyard has been contracted to build the world’s first hybrid surface effect crewboat.
The 22- by 8.9-metre vessel will be operated by Netherlands-based CWind to service the Borselle 1 and 2 offshore windfarms located 23 kilometres off the Dutch coast under a long-term charter agreement with Ørsted.
The crewboat was developed in partnership with CWind and Norwegian ship design company ESNA. It will consist of two catamaran hulls with the area between the hulls closed by flexible reinforced rubber fingers in the bow and an inflated rubber bag in the stern.
Centrifugal fans blow air into the enclosed space, providing an air cushion that supports up to 80 per cent of the vessel weight with the remaining 20 per cent supported by hull buoyancy. The decreased hull resistance will ensure less wave contact, which then translates into higher vessel speed and reduced motion.
The hybrid propulsion engine will deliver sprint speed and extreme bollard push from its installed diesel engines, which can be battery boosted up to 1,500 kW. Balancing engine and inefficient low engine power running hours, with battery drive modes including windfarm standby and low speed/harbour operations will lead to an engine operating hour reduction of 50 per cent during windfarm battery standby.
The crewboat will have capacity for 24 passengers and two Scania DI 16 662kW engines that will deliver a maximum speed of 38 knots.
Delivery will be in 2020 prior to the commencement of the charter with Ørsted.
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