Wallaby Boats in Kappeln, Germany is to build the first example of a crew transfer vessel (CTV) with a suspension system developed by Nauti-Craft in Australia
The demonstrator, WB-18 Wind, is an 18-m vessel with a ‘WB wind-module’ installed that can be adapted to accommodate a variable number of offshore personnel. The vessel will be owned by Wallaby Boats and under contract by Offcon.
Offcon secured exclusive rights to manufacture vessels incorporating Nauti-Craft technology in Germany with the right to sell them worldwide.
Australia-based Nauti-Craft has developed a range of multi-hulled craft using a hydraulic suspension system. The system separates the hulls from the superstructure which reduces forces and accelerations experienced by those on board.
The suspension system provides increased levels of ride comfort, control and stability whether the vessel is stationary or travelling at speed. The company said this allows smaller vessels to provide seakeeping typically only found in larger vessels while having the lower operating costs of a smaller vessel.
The suspension-enabled design has attracted interest from The Carbon Trust in the UK, and more recently from German developer EnBW, which is to test the WB-18 demonstrator on the Baltic-1 and Baltic-2 offshore windfarms. After initial trials in the Baltic Sea, the demonstrator will also be tested in the North Sea.
EnBW senior business development consultant Dr-Ing Sven Unterberger said, “EnBW is getting involved in this highly promising project to expedite an increase in safety and performance. We are convinced the Wallaby Boats CTV with suspension technology can help reach this goal.”
Simulations have demonstrated that the Wallaby Boats design can provide improved conditions on board for windfarm technicians as they are transported to and from an offshore windfarm. Simulation has also shown that the CTV will be capable of transferring personnel to a turbine safely in a wave height of 2.1 m Hs when fully loaded.
The Wallaby Boats CTV is a catamaran with the hydraulic suspension system placed between the hulls and vessel’s ‘chassis.’ Propulsion and power generation is installed in the hulls.
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