Rolls-Royce has announced an overhaul of its vessel design philosophy which aims to optimize construction and operations without reducing the use of space on board.
The new UT design incorporates four key features in each design. These are a knuckle line that slopes down towards the bow and links the new designs with older UT and NVC designs. A vertical side area and vertical upper stem which simplify the design and decouples the hull form from the superstructure. The vessels will also have a topside sheer line with a small convex curvature. These features will be present in all the designs in some form but can be modified depending on the ship type.
A major feature of the approach is the decoupling of the hull design from the superstructure and other design elements, giving designers and naval architects significantly more flexibility. This minimizes complex double curvature plating, common to many vessels, which is difficult and time-consuming to fabricate. The use of flat plate or single curvature plating will be increased, simplifying construction and reducing the time each vessel takes to build.
Depending on the vessel type and operational and construction requirements, the forward topside will be based on five distinct hull forms. This will allow the designs to be applied across a range of vessels from offshore vessels involved in subsea work in harsh environments to expedition cruise ships. All will have a canopied superstructure featuring a curved front with the bottom edge of the bridge wings and windows leaning down towards the bow to create a continuous line flowing into the bow.
A number of vessels designed in accordance with the new guidelines have been ordered and are now under construction. A UT 540 windfarm vessel due for delivery from Spain’s Gondon Shipyard this October is typical of how the new family of UT vessels will look.