The Chartwell 24 crew transfer vessel applies technology and lessons learnt from years of European development and operation and is said to hit a ‘sweet spot’ for vessel owners.
Chartwell Marine, the UK-based vessel designer, has unveiled the Chartwell 24, a crew transfer vessel (CTV) design for the international offshore wind market.
The catamaran-hullform design was developed in conjunction with CTV operators, windfarm owners and turbine manufacturers, responding to lessons learnt in the construction and long-term operation and maintenance phase of European projects.
The role of CTVs has continued to evolve in line with increasing demands of supporting large-scale deepwater windfarms, encompassing not only the safe, comfortable and expedient transfer of technicians to and from the turbines, but also a wide range of essential logistic support activities that keep a project running on schedule.
In this context, said the company, CTVs and their operators must offer considerable versatility, while maintaining the highest possible standards of safety and technical availability.
As the industry looks to balance these objectives, vessel designs are becoming increasingly standardised – but there is still room to refine this formula, the British company believes. In turn, operators in new markets such as the US and Taiwan have the opportunity to start on the front foot by taking advantage of the most advanced vessel technology available.
The Chartwell 24, developed based on 10 years of data and experience in offshore wind vessel design, aims to hit a ‘sweet spot’ in vessel size and capability. It aims to build on proven capabilities of CTVs whilst responding to new requirements emerging as the offshore wind industry expands worldwide.
The vessel, which is capable of carrying 24 industrial personnel alongside 3-6 crew, also boasts what Chartwell claims is the largest CTV foredeck in the market, enhancing its cargo capacity.
With four engines – and options for hybrid propulsion – the Chartwell 24 enables power sharing, enhancing efficiency and adding redundancy that maximises vessel reliability and availability. As scrutiny grows on vessel emissions worldwide, this also means that the vessel is well-placed to meet international requirements, such as EPA Tier 4 and IMO Tier 3.
The Chartwell 24 introduces a number of safety related innovations, including a step-free deck that almost entirely eliminates trip hazards, and purpose designed walkways with handrails and sliding safety rails positioned for safe, effective and repeatable crew transfer. From an operational perspective, skippers benefit from full all-round visibility, uncompromised by deck cargo.
Chartwell Marine managing director Andy Page said, “With the Chartwell 24, we’re responding directly to tried and tested vessel support approaches adopted throughout Europe, taking and building upon the best of proven designs and equipping international operators and windfarm owners with a boat that is built for purpose, and meets their needs from day one.
“For crews and windfarm technicians that will translate into a high degree of safety, comfort and operational familiarity. For CTV operators and project owners, that will result in incremental gains in efficiency, availability and reliability that ultimately improve the way offshore wind farms are constructed and operated.”
Mr Page worked on CTVs at South Boats and Alicat Marine Design and on the design of a number of vessels for well-known owners. He has some interesting views about how viable hybrid propulsion for CTVs might be in practice, and the economic, environmental and operational case for hybrid CTVs, but believes it’s not just the propulsion system that counts.
Having worked at firms behind a good number of the operational CTVs in the UK and Europe, Mr Page launched Chartwell Marine when interest in new technology that can reduce emissions and fuel consumption, enhance operations and reduce maintenance needs of crew transfer vessels is growing.