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Creating OSVs Using Racing Technology for Improved Operations 

racing technology to improve performance of offshore support vessels
Seacat Sceptre comines the racing technology for improved seakeeping and operations (Chartwell Marine)

Published Jan 26, 2022 7:57 PM by The Maritime Executive

The demands on the offshore wind supply chain are mounting as more wind farms are being built that are both larger and further offshore. Designers are looking to make the vessels both more versatile as well as better suited to meet market challenges.

The latest developments for the sector seek to tap the technologies created in the racing sector to improve the next generation of support vessels. Chartwell Marine, which is designing next-generation vessels for the offshore wind support sector, is partnering with marine design & engineering consultancy, BAR Technologies which is working to leverage its winning designs for racing into the commercial sector.

Together the two firms working off proven platforms such as Chartwell’s catamarans are working to achieve improved operationality and incremental improvements to energy efficiency and related emissions performance in the offshore vessels. 

The first design produced by the companies was recently launched and will now undergo sea trials before its handover. The Seacat Sceptre, adapted from the Chartwell 24 design, is being built at the Diverse Marine yard in Cowes, Isle of Wight, for OESV operator, Seacat Services. It is the first of two vessels, which will be approximately 79 feet long, powered by Kongsberg water jets, and have a capacity for 26 passengers.

BAR highlights that hydrofoils, re-popularized and matured as a technology in high-end yacht racing, lifting the hull in the water to reduce frictional resistance, thereby improving energy efficiency and stability. BAR developed the Foil Optimization and Stability System (FOSS) that combines their America’s Cup heritage and expertise with Chartwell’s high-speed vessel design to resolve the mounting emissions and energy efficiency challenges facing the offshore energy support sector.

They report that FOSS reduces hull resistance by positioning the lifting foil near the transom and controlling the running trim to ensure the hull is operating at its most efficient trims across the speed range. As well as contributing a 30 percent improvement in energy efficiency through wake reduction, FOSS improves seakeeping and handling through general motion damping, active roll and trim response, and improved maneuverability and stability in varying sea conditions.

BAR Technologies says that the enhanced performance, comfort, and the vessel’s operating window, which minimizes motion for the crew and engineers onboard, will help to ensure that the new vessels can reach the wind turbines quickly, throughout the year, and with minimal fatigue.

The Seacat Sceptre is the first in a series of collaborative designs developed by Chartwell and BAR Tech. The vessel is completed trials and is expected to begin service in the summer of 2022 followed by its sister ship a year later.