Seakeeper has secured a 3-year exclusive supply agreement for its gyro stabilization systems with OCEA, for use on aluminum crew boats.
The first gyros are being installed on 20 oil platform support 60' vessels, for an order OCEA recently received from Promar Shipping Services. Gyro-stabilized craft create safer passenger transfer conditions, and give OCEA an advantage in a highly competitive market sector.
Seakeeper will supply one M8000 stabilization gyro for each OCEA CombiI 60-30 vessel delivered to Promar. This new relationship in the commercial sector, in which OCEA has 30 years experience, grew from success on a recreational yacht project. The OCEA Commuter 108 Marhaba was retrofitted with two Seakeeper M21000 gyros, resulting in 77% resonant roll reduction during sea trials, at zero speed in 4' waves.
"After seeing the excellent results obtained on Marhaba with Seakeeper gyros, our idea was to offer this level of safety and comfort to our commercial vessel customers," said Fabrice Epaud, OCEA commercial director. "Stabilized crew boats simplify passenger transfers at oil rigs or wind farms. Such boat landings are done offshore 365 days a year, even in rough weather. Seakeeper gyros make personnel transfers so much safer, that I'm sure all fast crew boats will have such stabilization in the future."
The main factor PROMAR shipping considered when choosing the Seakeeper-stabilized OCEA craft was to "enhance the safety of the vessels' operations, such as boat landings and ship to ship transfer. Additionally, the system provides a higher level of comfort to passengers while at sea," said Olivier Meynis de Paulin, Promar Shipping chartering and operations officer. "With regards to providing the highest standards possible, this gyro stabilization system goes hand-in-hand with our comfortable seating and our mission to reduce noise as much as possible."
A recent sea trial on the first Seakeeper-stabilized OCEA Combi 60-30 was conducted in 6' seas with the craft resting at zero speed. This duplicates the more extreme resonant roll conditions to which the vessel could be subjected during passenger transfers. The Seakeeper gyro achieved a 54% resonant roll reduction.
"The results obtained from our research and the on-field trials confirm that the gyro stabilization system will be essential to the performance we intend to deliver to our clients. Moreover, Promar fully trusts OCEA's past broad experience in implementing this technology on larger vessels," said Meynis de Paulin.
"Gyro-stabilized technology is a major competitive edge vis-à-vis oil companies, which are implementing stronger and stronger safety policies. Moreover, it is an appropriate answer to a continuously growing demand for comfort. In a market where competition is fierce, being the first to implement this system gives us a definite added value," he continued.
"We are pleased with the results so far," said Epaud. "Seakeeper offers comprehensive support, working closely with our team from the vessel's design stage to the commissioning of the gyro stabilization systems and sea trials. They understand how important superior performance is to us at OCEA, and together we have a good relationship that benefits our customers' businesses."
"For operators, the safety and comfort aspects of vessel stability inevitably lead to improved crew retention, lower operating costs and greater profitability for their business. OCEA and Promar are leading the way to a new era in the industry," said John Kermet, Seakeeper COO.
"We envision that similar commercial craft such as fast patrol boats will also greatly benefit from gyro stabilization. These vessels spend a lot of time on stand-by at zero speed, or patrol at low speed, and are affected more heavily by waves or sea conditions," Epaud continued.
"Gyro stabilization ensures a safer, more comfortable way of travelling, improving working conditions and leading to better job performance. Optional or serial stabilization is definitely changing the norms. It has all the features to become a future industry standard," said Meynis de Paulin.