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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 & Marine

Monaco Yacht Show 2020 Is Still On and Will Run as a Not-for-Profit Event

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Organizers of the Monaco Yacht Show 2020 are pushing forward with plans to host the show at Port Hercule from 23 to 29 September this year, but under much different circumstances than previous years.
Monaco Yacht Show Port Hercule
Port Hercule ready to welcome superyachts and guests. Credit: Monaco Yacht Show

Undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of yacht shows, the fate of Monaco Yacht Show 2020 was temporarily undetermined as event organizers Informa decided how to proceed amidst the COVID-19 environment.

In contrast to many other events that have now been canceled, Informa in conjunction with the Principality of Monaco, has chosen to proceed cautiously given the time-frame they have to work with and the expected gradual easing of lockdown restrictions both in Monaco, Europe and internationally.

Held at Port Hercule in Monaco, this year’s show will be more “intimate” than in previous years (also interpreted as much smaller) and will be produced as a not-for-profit event to support the recovery of the yachting industry, providing a platform for designers, brokers, shipyards and industry personnel to connect with customers and network in a safe environment.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on all industries, not least the international yachting community,” said Informa CEO Charlie McCurdy. “As we move to the other side of the pandemic, all parts of the industry need to work collaboratively to ensure a speedy return and recovery. We are playing our part by hosting a not-for-profit Monaco Yacht Show in 2020, providing an opportunity for the community to come together, share ideas, meet with customers and start to rebuild positive momentum.”

Acknowledging the changed conditions under which the show will need to be held, Informa was quick to stress “the proposed event will employ the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness” and are committed to prioritizing the safety of participants and visitors.

Monaco Yacht Show Lounge
Guest lounge at the Monaco Yacht Show in previous years. Credit: Monaco Yacht Show

In support of the in-person event Jean Castellini, Minister of Finance and Economy for Monaco shared, “In the aftermath of COVID-19, it is the responsibility of the Monaco Government to do everything we can to help businesses and industries recover quickly. In this spirit, we are working with Informa to finalise details of the Monaco Yacht Show 2020, which will prioritize the health and safety of all participants, whilst providing direct support to the international yachting community, ensuring it can connect with customers and accelerate the recovery of what is an increasingly important industry for the region.”

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Superyachts & Marine

Superyacht Builder Sanlorenzo in Talks to Buy a Majority Stake in Perini Navi

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Superyacht builder Sanlorenzo has confirmed interest in the possible acquisition of Perini Navi.
Perini Navi Italian Shipyard
Italian shipyard Perini Navi in talks with Sanlorenzo. Credit: Perini Navi

Sanlorenzo has confirmed they are in current talks regarding the acquisition of share capital of Perini Navi and has obtained an exclusivity period to carry out the necessary research and analysis required.

Founded in 1983 by Fabio Perini, Perini Navi has been a world-leading Italian shipyard that specializes in sailing boats over 40 meters, boasting iconic builds like that of the Maltese Falcon. It is currently owned by Fenix, the holding company of the Tabacchi family, Lamberto Tacoli, and Fabio Perini (indirectly).

Sailboat builder Perini Navi to be acquired by Sanlorenzo
Building sailing yachts since 1983. Credit: Perini Navi

Should the negotiations go ahead, Perini Navi will likely be majority-owned by Sanlorenzo with Italian newspaper Milano Finanza reporting a probable 70% controlling stake taken by Sanlorenzo and the remainder being held by the Tabacchi family.

“The transaction would be in line with the Sanlorenzo business model … and would enable Sanlorenzo to expand its business perimeter and further consolidate its presence in the superyacht sector,” Sanlorenzo said in a statement.

Perini Navi E-Volution sailing yacht design
Perini Navi’s sailing yacht concept “E-Volution”. Credit: Perini Navi

In a separate statement by Perini Navi, the company confirmed it was looking to restructure its debt under Italian bankruptcy law, in order to remain operational at this time stating the goal is to “overcome a moment of significant financial strain, which has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact over all markets.”

Perini Navi’s Board of Directors “intends to preserve the Company’s business and heritage, thus ensuring continuity to the important orders currently in build, as well as achieving the highest possible level of creditors’ satisfaction, in compliance with the process to be undertaken.”

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Superyachts & Marine

Heesen Yacht’s 55m Project Castor Launched Ahead of Sea Trials

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Heesen Yachts launches 55m Project Castor “YN 19055” ready for its sea trials ahead of August 2020 delivery to the owner.
Waiting for the dock to be flooded.
Waiting for the dock to be flooded. Credit: Heesen yachts

Launched this month at Heesen Yacht‘s Dutch facility in Oss ahead of its sea trials, the 55 meter (180ft) Project Castor “YN 19055” was initially built on speculation and sold to an experienced American superyacht owner last May.

Following Dutch health and safety guidelines, workers at the shipyard were able to continue with operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by halving the number of employees working at any one time and working in two shifts to ensure delivery of the yacht would still be on schedule.

Commenting on the shipyard’s operations, Owners Representative Rupert Connor of Luxury Yacht Group noted, “We have been beyond impressed with how the Heesen team adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

At 760GT, Project Castor is the most voluminous 55m currently offered by a Northern European shipyard and the fast-displacement hull designed by Van Oossanen Naval Architects is the fourth hull in Heesen’s 55m Steel Class series.

The formidable exterior of Project Castor designed by Omega Architects.
The formidable exterior of Project Castor designed by Omega Architects. Credit: Heesen Yachts

With a sporty exterior design courtesy of Omega Architects’ Frank Laupman, Project Castor has been built to accommodate twelve guests in six staterooms and in a first for this particular class, has been configured with four spacious guest cabins on the lower deck and the owner’s VIP suite located on the bridge deck.

Bannenberg & Rowell has once again been tasked with the interior design and have layered neutral tones combined with powerful accents of color to create an environment that has wide appeal. Smoked Oak Chevron parquet flooring, Calacatta, and Pietra Grey marbles have also been are utilized throughout along with other fine materials.

Project Castor YN 19055 ready for sea trials
Project Castor YN 19055 ready for sea trials. Credit: Heesen Yachts

Powered by two MTU 8V 4000 M63 diesel main engines, Project Castor will have a top speed of 15.5 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 13 knots and is set to undergo sea trials in the North Sea shortly.

Project Castor is currently on schedule for delivery to the new owner later this year in August 2020.

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