High Workboat Demand In Offshore Wind Sector Provides Military Benefits
Tue, 14 July 2015
Lessons learned from the prolific increase in building workboats for the offshore wind farm sector can benefit the military user, according to CTruk CEO Andy White.
Andy told the audience at a Royal Institute of Naval Architects conference entitled Warships 2015: Future Surface Vessels that developments in vessel design, construction and operation as a result of the demanding requirements of the offshore wind sector could translate to future procurement of military craft.
Because of budgetary pressures, naval customers were looking for substantial through-life savings in operating, training, maintenance and support of their craft. Craft built for the wind farm sector were already delivering those benefits, as evidenced by the performance of composite vessels from Essex-based CTruk, which has built nearly 30 boats for the sector.
A key element in delivering those savings was CTruk’s unique flexible pod system which has enabled wind farm service operators to reconfigure boats for different roles.
Andy explained that this technology changing the role of workboats would be essential in military organisations’ quest for value-for-money, where they could no longer afford the luxury of non-essential features in their craft.
“Procuring a platform to fulfil one task is now the exception rather than the norm. A modular philosophy and genuine ability for platforms to carry out multiple roles is appealing in a sector where reliability, maintainability, availability and durability (RAMD) are standard Key User Requirements,” explained the CTruk CEO.
“The offshore wind industry in the UK has driven unprecedented growth in workboats under 24m. The developments in this sector will increasingly “cross over” into the military sector.”
There was also synergy between the operational demands of boats used for the offshore wind sector and military requirements. Like the transport of technicians to offshore wind farms, military personnel required a high speed and comfortable transit; flexible payload capacity; good range and endurance; a stable platform; ability to operate in shallow inshore waters and disrupted sea states; maximum craft availability and minimum maintenance.
Catamaran, SWATH and SES (Surface Effect Ship) technology offered those capabilities, explained Andy, while the growing demand for composite craft in the wind farm industry underlined the advantages of this hull material.
For further information, contact Philip Rood, CTruk Boats.