Offshore Wind Farm Support Boats – GL Issue New Rules
Classification society Germanischer Lloyd (GL) release first set of class rules for crew boats & offshore wind farm service craft
As the energy industry expands and installations are pushed ever further offshore and into more challenging environments, the vessels servicing these installations must be relied upon to operate in wider spectrum of conditions and take on more complex challenges.
The rules, which entered into force on 1 May 2012, have been developed by bringing together, for the first time, all of the relevant GL rules and the international codes and recommendations which can be used for the classification of Crew Boats. The rules will allow designers to develop vessels built to the special needs of clients according to the rules with full confidence in the fact that their vessel can meet with classification approval. The Rules have been developed in consultation with the flag states and will contribute to the development of international standards for Crew Boats.
The new rules consist of 18 sections with the first two covering general requirements, classification and surveys. Sections 3 to 8 deal with the structural requirements, while sections 9 to 18 cover machinery, electrical and automation systems, in particular as regards the operation of the vessel. In addition special requirements are introduced, such as for bow designs matching the boat landings of offshore structures, as well as special provisions for the transfer of personnel.
Sections covering the variety of special mechanical equipment used upon Crew Boats have been developed to take into account the specialised requirements of offshore operation, including: personnel transfer systems, stabilisation systems and helicopter winching. The deployment of Crew Boats in extreme weather conditions is also covered with a section covering operation in ice.