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The alternative to helicopter dominance – Damen’s FCS 7011

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Damen FCS 7011 Concept

An alternative to helicopter dominance

Offshore projects can be quite some distance from the shore and the further out they venture the more the challenges can increase when transporting personnel. In the case of crew transport, Damen has designed a water-borne solution that is intended to be safer, more comfortable and more cost effective than traditional helicopter transport with the Damen FCS 7011 ( fast crew supplier )

Some Offshore projects are increasing their distance from shore.

FCS 7011 Design

Offshore oil and gas companies such as Shell, BP and ExxonMobil had particular requirements in areas such as speed, sea state, transfer window time and comfort levels on board the vessel, explained Damen’s business development manager, David Stibbe.

Design work started in late 2015. At the time Damen already had ideas surrounding a high-speed crew transfer vessel and it began seeking input from customers to ensure the new vessel met their needs. The FCS 7011 design is now finalised. Tank testing is completed and construction of the first vessel is anticipated to start in Q3 of 2018 in Turkey, with completion expected by the end of Q2 2020, according to Mr Stibbe.

Assistance was also provided by research institutions such as TU Delft, a maritime engineering and hydrodynamics-focused Netherlands-based technical university.

TU Delft carried out tank-testing with a 2.8 m 1:25 scale model of the vessel undergoing testing at 30 and 40 knots to simulate 2-3 m significant wave heights. It was found that the vessel’s movements became calmer as the speed increased.

Some key features of the Damen Fast Crew Supplier 7011

The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) advised on how to minimise motion sickness and boost passenger comfort through a host of methods, including the positioning of seating and windows, window size, ceiling height, HVAC systems, vessel layout, and even what drinks should and should not be served to passengers.

Sea Axe bow concept

“the Sea Axe bow shape reduces any uncomfortable slamming that might occur during high-speed transits.”

Vessels in the crew supply role are often catamarans, however the Damen design is a monohull called Sea Axe. This hull design came about after Damen sought cooperation between Delft University of Technology, MARIN and the US Coast Guard. Damen’s exclusively licensed and patented ‘Sea Axe’ hull shape was designed to provide high speed vessels extrodinary seakeeping characteristics, improved crew safety and comfort and fuel efficiancies. The vessels exhibit superior motion behaviour and significantly lower resistance through the water. This leads to a cut in fuel usage of 20% and, consequently, lower emissions.

“the Sea Axe bow shape reduces any uncomfortable slamming that might occur during high-speed transits. This is because the forward energy of the vessel allows it to go through the waves, instead of going over them,” said Damen product portfolio manager for research Albert Rijkens.

Sea Axe Bow

Another aspect of testing involved the vessel’s resistance at speed.

“Our results showed that, due to its long and narrow hull, the FCS 7011 has relatively low resistance at speed” said Mr Rijkens.

Positioned at the stern of the model, the FCS 7011’s ride control system – which measures ship movement and continuously determines the position of active control mechanisms through these signals – was also put through its paces. “The effectiveness of the system – enabling us to improve comfort levels even further – was also validated in these tests,” added Mr Rijkens.  

“The forward energy of the vessel allows it to go through the waves, instead of going over them”

Ampelmann Marine Access

Walk-to-work

Damen collaborated with Ampelmann on the walk-to-work gangway and Veem on the vessel’s stabilizing gyroscope. Measuring 28 m long, the gangway enables a continuous flow of personnel and is capable of transferring 50 people in five minutes. The gangway also comes with Seaqualize balancing technology, resulting in enhanced energy efficiency. Veem’s VG 1000 SD stabilizer gives the gangway a roll reduction of up to 70% in 2.5 m significant wave heights.

Dynamic positioning capability is provided by Kongsberg, and the DP2 design provides a broad range of marine access solutions for sea states of up to 3.0 Hs. The vessel will be able to land personnel on platforms and floating production units up to a landing height of 20 m.

Damen FCS 7011 Access Concept

The gangway is optional, however Damen says the vessel represents the next generation of crew change and hence it does not see basket-based transfers as being part of the equation. The stabiliser is also optional, but Mr Stibbe pointed out that while omitting this would save money and weight, it would negatively affect roll-reduction capabilities while at a standstill. While Damen is in discussions with other suppliers, such as Netherlands-based SMST, the first vessel at least will be equipped with the Ampelmann gangway system.

Interior Concept Damen FCS 7011

Interior

Aspects of the design such as hull length are standardized, however the vessel’s interior allows for a high degree of customization.

“High-density seating can accommodate up to 150 persons “

A luxury solution incorporates lie-flat seats where capacity reduces to less than 100. There is also provisions for meeting rooms and accommodation spaces are placed amidships to maximize comfort.

Crew transport seating Damen FCS 7011
Seating with Entertainment and storage Damen FCS 7011

Engine options

The engine configuration sees several layouts available. The default configuration involves four MTU 4000 engines giving 12.5 – 14.4 mW, producing speeds of up to 40 knots. Other alternatives are Caterpillar and Cummins systems.

Damen FCS 7011 by Metal Shark

Buyers

The vessel has attracted most interest from Brazil, West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico, according to Mr Stibbe, but operators in new frontier areas such as Guyana are also expressing interest.

For the US and Gulf of Mexico market Damen has selected Metal Shark to build and produce the FCS 7011

Metal Shark is an American shipyard based in Franklin, Louisiana, that has indoor construction and direct deepwater access to the Gulf of Mexico.

Data is powerful Damen FCS 7011 Bridge concept

Results to speak for themselves

“Most questions from oil companies are about workability.” according to Damen’s business development manager David Stibbe. With the FCS 7011 Damen gives its customers access to multiple analysis tools so a client has transparency in regard to the the performance and costs of the FCS 7011. One of these tools provides detailed operational expenditure that includes daily costs and maintenance costs. A second tool is a hardware in the loop ‘digital twin’ of the yacht providing accurate models of systems and equipment characteristics, vessel limitations and how it handles in various sea conditions. Along with this, the gangway system and DP controller, a client will see the vessels workability and advantages as a fast crew supplier.

While operators may still retain helicopters for VIP transport and search-and-rescue purposes, Mr Stibbe sees vessels such as the FCS 7011 becoming the main offshore workhorses. In time the 7011’s data analysis features will give oil companies the information they need to determine where helicopters, or water borne alternatives, should sit in the mix over the coming years.

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Superyachts & Tenders

World’s largest aluminium sailing yacht Sea Eagle II launched

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Sea Eagle II has just been launched by its maker, Royal Huisman the Netherlands based builder that prides itself in building dreams.
Sea Eagle II leaving Royal Huisman shipyard in Vollenhove
Sea Eagle II at the Royal Huisman shipyard in Vollenhove, Netherlands. Credit: Royal Huisman
  • World’s largest aluminium sailing yacht
  • World’s 7th largest sailing yacht
  • Royal Huisman’s largest yacht ever

It was called project 400, a project so big it required the Dutch shipyard of Royal Huisman to first extend its main construction shed just to contain the massive project. It also required the builder to adopt new methods of product development and construction.

Sea Eagle II leaving Vollenhove
Leaving the build hall in Vollenhove. Credit: Royal Huisman

A dramatic image was released in 2018 of the rotating of the 81m / 266ft contemporary schooner’s hull at the Royal Huisman. Its sheer size was amazing. The critical operation required two cranes on the hardstand at the build hall’s opening, and a further two cranes sitting out on the water on barges. At one point during the task, half of the aluminium hull could be seen hanging over the water while the other half of the hull was still over the hardstand and still inside the shed.

Sea Eagle II hull rotated at the Royal Huisman shipyard in Vollenhove
Sea Eagle II hull rotated at the Royal Huisman shipyard in Vollenhove. Credit: Royal Huisman

So who commissioned this project and how did it come about?

A prominent Taiwanese businessman and philanthropist, Dr Samuel Yin, was waiting for his first Royal Huisman, called Sea Eagle, to be built and was due for delivery in 2015. But even before its completion there was talk of desiring something larger, something that had more boat speed, something whereby more or the world could be seen under sail, his ultimate dream yacht!

It was eventually to be aptly named Sea Eagle II but first started life as project 400 for build purposes. A year was spent on the design, engineering and construction planning before the 6 metre fixed keel was laid in June 2017. That keel alone took 2 weeks to fill with lead!

Sea-Eagle-II-Exterior-Render
The 81m Sea Eagle II Exterior Render. Credit: Royal Huisman

So you can imagine the pride of Royal Huisman as the marques largest build to date rolled out of the hall in Vollenhove above the self-propelled modular trailers on schedule and in all its glory.

From here, Sea Eagle II’s three masted carbon composite Rondal Panamax rig will be installed upon launch at Royal Huisman Amsterdam to ready her for sea trials and on-board crew training.

Sea Eagle II Interior Concept Render
Sea Eagle II Interior Concept Render. Credit: Royal Huisman

What Royal Huisman says

“Together with Dykstra Naval Architects and designer Mark Whiteley, Royal Huisman made this grand aspiration into a striking reality, keeping their promise of “If you can dream it, we can build it.”

“The Royal Huisman team and Project 400: always a special and emotional moment to say farewell before a superyacht creation leaves her home in Vollenhove. In total, 21 yachts were either new constructions or refit projects for Royal Huisman and Huisfit in 2019. The team is now more flexible capacity-wise than ever before, working in close collaboration with selected and highly qualified co-makers for specific projects in Vollenhove, Amsterdam and flexible locations. These partnering companies work closely together with Royal Huisman’s in-house team. What continues to set Royal Huisman apart from others, however, is that the shipyard remains unique in advancing all essential superyacht skills and knowledge in-house (design, engineering and production).”

Sea Eagle II and the Royal Huisman project 400 team
Sea Eagle II and some of the the Royal Huisman project 400 team. Credit: Royal Huisman
Sea Eagle II Construction Start
Back at the start. Credit: Royal Huisman

Sea Eagle II Specs

  • Naval architect: Dykstra Naval Architects
  • Exterior design: Dykstra Naval Architects
  • Interior design: Mark Whiteley Design
  • Number of guests: 12
  • Number of crew: 13 Overall length: 81.0m (265’9″)
  • Length on deck: 80.0m (262’6″)
  • Length at waterline: 77.0m (252’7″)
  • Beam: 12.0m (39’4″)
  • Draught max: 6.0m (19’8″)
  • Gross tonnage:  1150
  • Full load displacement: 980
  • Max. speed: 21.0 kn
  • Sail area:  3050m2

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Largest AMELS superyacht to date launched

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The largest AMELS superyacht to date, a 78-metre Full Custom project by designer Espen Øino, has touched water for the first time.

December 4th, at the At the Damen Shipyards hull-building facility on the Danube, the hull of the latest AMELS 78m Full Custom superyacht was successfully launched.

The most recent AMELS delivery of this scale, the 83-metre HERE COMES THE SUN in 2017, was slightly longer, however, the new 78m Full Custom project has a larger Gross Tonnage, which will make her the largest AMELS superyacht to date when delivered.

AMELS 78 metre full custom superyacht launch
The AMELS 78m full custom superyacht. Credit: Tom van Oossanen

The contract for the full custom AMELS yacht was signed during the Monaco Yacht Show in 2017. The Owner appointed Espen Øino and his team to develop the exterior design and General Arrangement, and Zuretti Interior Designers to create the interior.

The yacht will now be transported to the AMELS outfitting yard in the Netherlands where the 2,850 Gross Tonnage yacht is scheduled for completion in 2021.

AMELS 78 metre full custom superyacht launch
AMELS 78m touching water for the first time. Credit: Tom van Oossanen

What the superyacht designer says:

The project’s exterior designer and naval architect, Espen Øino, states “It’s definitely a unique project and it was an intense collaboration with AMELS and I think it’s been an amazing journey so far since signing the contract in 2017.”

Commenting on his favorite design features, Espen continues: “The layout with the big pool on the upper deck with the boats below either side, but they are all hidden so you don’t see it. And of course the balconies with the direct access from the cabins out which you can spot very easily and it’s actually looking pretty amazing. A lot of people don’t notice this because when you look at the profile view they’re not very visible, but when you draw the boat in 3D you can see these balconies coming out.”

AMELS 78 metre full custom superyacht launch
Jeremy Staddon and designer Espen Øino at the launch. Credit: Tom van Oossanen

What the Owner’s representative says:

At the launch, the Owner’s team, represented by Andrew Tree of Superyacht Technical Services commented “This truly custom yacht, with stunning design both inside and out, could only be achieved with the greatest collaboration, having the very best of European design and the highest quality of construction and management. It has been a pleasure to represent the Owner throughout this prestigious build process and we look forward to her completion and delivery in 2021.”

AMELS 78 metre full custom superyacht launch
The AMELS 78m at the Damen Shipyards hull-building facility on the Danube. Credit: Tom van Oossanen

The in-house AMELS and DAMEN design and engineering team lead the yacht’s development from the Damen Shipyards Group’s yachting division headquarters in the Netherlands.

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DAMEN launches first SeaXplorer expedition yacht

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On 31 October the first DAMEN SeaXplorer luxury expedition yacht emerged from her building hall in the Netherlands.

first DAMEN 62m SeaXplorer expedition yacht launched
first DAMEN 62m SeaXplorer expedition yacht launched. Credit: DAMEN

DAMEN’s first ever SeaXplorer has just been completed and it’s a 62-metre custom-designed yacht that will be handed over to her owners in early 2020, She will be the first delivery from the DAMEN SeaXplorer range offered by yacht builder AMELS and DAMEN.

The 62-metre SeaXplorer is a customised design with naval architecture completed by Damen’s in house design team and exterior lines by Azure Yacht Design. The owners selected Carlo Torre of Monaco Yacht Temptation to create the interior design and the Fraser technical team to supervise the build.

first DAMEN 62m SeaXplorer expedition yacht launched
The inaugural SeaXplorer will be handed over to the owners in early 2020. Credit: DAMEN

The Polar Class yacht has expedition facilities for 30 days of autonomy, a fully certified helideck and helicopter hangar, plus two large tender garages and a dive store. The power generation consists of a Siemens BlueDrive system with three variable speed generator sets and DC bus. In combination with electrical propulsion motors and a battery pack, the yacht has an economical and environmentally friendly configuration.

Outfitting of the DAMEN SeaXplorer yacht took place at the Vlissingen East yard, located just a few kilometers from the yacht builder’s Vlissingen City yard where AMELS yachts are completed. The DAMEN SeaXplorer range was introduced in 2015, a crossover innovation created by a top team of experts including the SeaXplorer design team, the Damen Research Laboratory, Azure Yacht Design and EYOS Expeditions, who provided hundreds of operational design features based on their real-world expedition experience.

first DAMEN 62m SeaXplorer expedition yacht launched
Leaving the shed in Vlissingen, Netherlands. Credit DAMEN

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