Umoe Mandal in Norway has unveiled a new design, the Wavecraft, a series of high-speed, all-composite vessels it is aiming at the crew transfer segment of the renewables market and at the offshore oil and gas market.
The company says the high-speed craft offers offshore operators “a long range economical, commercially feasible and safe alternative to helicopters.” It is marketing three versions of the Wavecraft: the Wavecraft Voyager, for the offshore oil and gas market; and the Wavecraft Sprinter and Commandor, which are aimed at the renewables market.
It claims that the Wavecraft “delivers substantially reduced transit time, excellent seakeeping and superior fuel economy, transferring personnel to far-from-shore installations smoothly that they arrive refreshed and immediately ready for work.”
“The market has been waiting for this,” claimed Are Søreng, vice president of sales and marketing at Umoe Mandal. “Any operator that is shuttling crew by helicopter is thinking about reducing their use. Not only can we offer a commercially viable alternative to helicopters, Wavecraft doesn’t have an equivalent in the market.”
The company says the Wavecraft Voyager version of the new design can be delivered in a standard or as a ‘high performance’ version. “Both have unmatched speed and seakeeping capabilities, and offer superior fuel economy, reducing environmental impact and downtime, and increasing overall productivity,” said Umoe Mandal, noting that the Wavecraft Voyager can maintain performance even in high sea states and can transport crew at sprint speed of in excess of 58 knots.
The Wavecraft Voyager makes use of a surface-effect ship (SES) hullform that has been used for more than 25 years on numerous Umoe Mandal deliveries to navies and for other commercial applications. A SES combines aspects of the design of an air cushion craft and a twin hull unit. .
“Utilizing an active motion damping system, Wavecraft Voyager makes it possible to reach offshore installations even when the distance from harbour is significant and weather conditions are poor,” the company claimed. “Reducing wave-induced motions on the vessel, the Wavecraft Voyager offers unrivalled seakeeping capabilities, which virtually eliminates seasickness. To our knowledge, Wavecraft vessels are the only ones that can control heave motions,” said Mr Søreng.