The Drawing Board: Innovative OSV Design from the Ground up

By Maritime Reporter & Engineering News
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
(Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding)

The offshore market continues to be a significant driver for marine innovation, as vessels and their operators are critical factors to ensure that offshore operations – increasingly conducted in deeper, more hostile waters further from shore – are conducted in a safe and efficient manner. Here Maritime Reporter examines some notable recent designs, developments and deliveries.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, which has been extremely busy of late in the offshore sector, delivered M/V HOS Red Rock (Hull 202) to Hornbeck Offshore Services, LLC. Hornbeck’s first vessel, the HOS Red Dawn (Hull 201), was delivered on June 21, 2013 and is currently servicing offshore drilling operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Hornbeck’s third vessel the HOS Renaissance (Hull 203) and is currently at Eastern completing final outfitting, regulatory and DP-2 trials. Delivery of the HOS Renaissance is scheduled for November 2013. The HOSMAX 300 Offshore Support Vessels feature the following capacities:

Total Fuel Oil Capacity    241,141 USG
Fuel Oil Day-tanks    20,190 USG
Drill Water/Ballast Capacity    562,822 USG
Potable Water Capacity    57,494 USG
Liquid Mud Capacity    20,846 bbls. 10 tanks
Dry-bulk Mud    14,347 cuft. seven tanks
Methanol Capacity    1,605 bbls. two tanks
Clear Deck Area    10,585 sq. ft.

HOS Red Rock is the second of four vessels designated as the HOSMAX 300 series by Hornbeck Offshore and are Diesel-Electric powered, twin Z-drive propelled OSV’s measuring 292 x 64 x 24.5 ft. These high-tech vessels feature four Caterpillar 3516C 16-cylinder turbo-charged Tier III diesel generator engines each rated at 1,825 kW at 1,800 rpm. Main propulsion power is provided by two GE Energy furnished Hyundai 2,500 kW 690VAC electric motors driving two Schottel SRP 2020 FP Z-Drives with nozzles rated at 2,500 kW at 1,025 rpm each for a total of 6,704 Hp.
Schottel also provides two STT 4 fixed pitch tunnel thrusters rated at 1,180 kW at 1,170 rpm, each with direct coupled Hyundai 690VAC electric motors. GE Energy Power Conversions provides the complete system integrated diesel electric package, including the propulsion and thruster drives, motors, control systems, DP system, switchboards, motor control centers, automation and navigation/ communication electronics. These vessels are capable of a maximum speed of 14 knots with a cruising speed of 12 knots. The fully integrated bridge is arranged for increased visibility and features the latest technology in navigation, communication equipment.
The remaining six OSVs under contract are 302 x 64 x 26 ft. designated HOSMAX 310 Offshore Support Vessels. The total below-deck capacities of the HOSMAX 310 include 285,649 gals of diesel fuel, 609,227 gals of drill/ballast water, 21,509 barrels of liquid mud, 14,347 cubic foot of dry-bulk mud, 2,212 barrels of methanol and 62,538 gals of potable water.
Ulstein’s latest design contract for Vroon Offshore Services pushes the total number of offshore ship designs sold from the firm past the 100 mark. This milestone has been achieved in 14 years, with 74 of the contracts signed for the company’s X–BOW design, launched in 2005.
In total 25 different ship owners have ordered Ulstein designs, with 16 different shipyards building the vessels. Ulstein said 62 have been built at yards worldwide, while 38 have been built at Ulstein’s yard, Ulstein Verft, on the west coast of Norway.
The latest contract on two PX121 PSVs (ship numbers 100 and 101) that was ordered by Vroon Offshore Services (Netherlands), will be constructed at COSCO (Guangdong) shipyard in China. The vessels are destined for European waters.
Although Ulstein’s latest designs were introduced in 1999, the company has a history of developing ship designs that stretches back to the beginning of the 70s (its UT-designs, later sold out of the group, made an early impression). Ulstein contends that 2005 was the year that the global shipping market really “woke up” to the X–BOW design.
This X-Bow design, first seen on the AHTS Bourbon Orca, is designed to reduce movements and eliminates wave slamming and bow impact, stabilizing the work platform and improving comfort on board.
The lines of the hull create tangible performance benefits, with positive effects on fuel-efficiency, speed and motions, which extend the operational window, especially under poor weather conditions and in rough seas, Ulstein said. Test results show that the shape of the hull reduces power consumption by 7-8% compared to vessels with conventional hull lines.
Leevac recently launched the new Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) MV Torrens Tide at the company’s Houma shipyard. The Torrens Tide is a MMC-designed 879 Platform Supply Vessel that will be certified for worldwide operations. Chris Vaccari, owner and CEO of LEEVAC, says the Torrens Tide is a unique project for LEEVAC Shipyards as the vessel was relocated from Tidewater’s Shipyard in Houma to LEEVAC’s Jennings facility for final completion. The new PSV will return LEEVAC’s Houma yard for final outfitting, commissioning and testing, with delivery in April 2014.
Damen Shipyards Galati delivered the third Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) in a series of six to World Wide Supply of Norway. This six-ship order heralds a new era in offshore construction for Damen Shipyards Group.  World Pearl is built to Damen’s new PSV 3300 design. The first of the Class PSV 3300, World Diamond, was delivered in July to the Norwegian company.
Delivery of the new design involved extensive CAD/CAM modeling by Damen Shipyards Gorinchem in the Netherlands and model testing at Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN). The 3300 is part of a new range of Damen PSVs.

With an 80.1m length, the PSV 3300 has a deck load of 1,500 metric tons. The new type can be used to transport crew and equipment to and from offshore platforms but it also offers firefighting and oil pollution recovery capability. Equipped with azimuth thrusters and dynamic positioning (DP2), the design is distinguished by slender hull lines to meet challenging conditions, minimize fuel consumption and to enhance crew comfort.
Brazil’s Oceana Offshore will build a pair platform supply vessels (PSV) with an option for two additional vessels based on the PX105 design from Ulstein. The vessels will be built at the new yard, Oceana Shipyard in Itajai, Brazil, and are scheduled for delivery in April and May 2016, respectively.  The PX105 design is a large platform supply vessel with accommodation for 23 people. The will measure 88.9 x 19 m. With a DWT of 4,700 tons they comply with Petrobras’ PSV 4500 tender. These vessels have a high operational window and can take on complex assignments far from shore. They come with the X-BOW hull line design feature, in which slamming and abrupt stops from waves are eliminated. The vessels are cost-effective and fuel-saving, and the crews get more efficient rest, which also increase safety. 
Island Offshore took delivery of M/V Island Duchess from the Vard Brevik yard in Norway, the second vessel in a series of four PSVs of Rolls-Royce UT 717 CD design to be delivered from Vard Brevik in 2013 and 2014. M/V Island Duchess was christened together with its sister vessel M/V Island Duke during a naming ceremony earlier this summer, and is heading for the spot market as soon as it leaves the yard.
The vessel measures 84.5 x 17 m with a deadweight of 3,800 tonnes and a deck capacity of 800 sq. m. M/V Island Duchess will be used to transport pipes and general deck load, liquid cargo as well as cement and barite to drilling rigs in the North Sea.  
Oceaneering International selected BAE Systems to build a subsea support vessel for offshore drilling. The vessel will be used to augment Oceaneering’s ability to provide subsea intervention services in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Construction will take place at the company’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard, and, when complete, the U.S. flagged vessel will measure 353 x 72 ft.
The DP2 vessel will be Marin Teknikk of Norway’s MT6022 design and will be equipped with a 250-ton crane capable of reaching 4,000-m water depth. It will be powered by GE tier IVi-emission compliant engines, and by energy efficient and environmentally compliant power and propulsion systems.
Jaya Holdings delivered its second new Multi-Purpose Platform Supply Vessel (MPSV), Jaya Vigilant. It sailed from Jaya’s shipyard in Batam and was immediately on hire by its charterer for a term program in East Africa. The vessel will load a Remotely Operated Vessel (ROV) spread and mobilize across the Indian Ocean to load further subsea equipment for the client in Durban in October. “[Jaya Vigilant] has a 50-ton subsea crane with active heave compensation for service in water depths of up to 3,000m,” said Jaya Holdings’ CEO Venkatraman Sheshashayee. “We have installed two HiPAP ultra short base line transponders to give very accurate station keeping for subsea work, in addition to the
Jaya Vigilant has accommodation for 60 and is compliant with the SPS Code 2008. It has 1,000 sq. m. of clear deck space, a modern fast rescue craft, FiFi One for emergency response and full under deck cargo capacities for mud, bulk, brine and marine gas oil. Jaya has added additional power supplies on deck to support the seabed coring, ROV and hydro-graphic survey spread requirements, and the vessel has its own water maker to increase autonomy.

(As published in the November 2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News -

  • Incorporating the X-Bow design, the inspection, maintenance and repair vessel Seven Viking was built for Subsea 7 and Eidesvik and entered service in 2013. (Photo: Ulstein)

    Incorporating the X-Bow design, the inspection, maintenance and repair vessel Seven Viking was built for Subsea 7 and Eidesvik and entered service in 2013. (Photo: Ulstein)

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