Arklow launches third wind farm vessel

Mon, 18 November 2013

Guardian 18 has been designed to service windfarms further from shore

Ireland based Arklow Marine Services has launched Guardian 18, a new wind farm service vessel which is the largest of this type to come from the yard.

This new 19m design has been developed to meet the requirements of the UK Round 3 windfarms which will be located further offshore. The design has thus been developed with an emphasis on seakeeping. The resulting displacement catamaran hull features a high bow.

The double chine on the hulls at the bow creates a finer entry that should ensure a smoother ride in head sea conditions. The hull has a wide beam of 7.36m and at the bow the cross deck is equipped with heavy duty fendering to absorb the shock loadings when nosed up to the wind farm pylon structure.

The vessel is powered by a pair of 1,000 hp MAN diesels coupled to Rolls-Royce FF550 water jets which were chosen to give the vessel the excellent manoeuvrability and station holding capability when alongside the pylon structure. The top speed with these power units is 30 knots and the service speed is 25 knots, making this one of the fastest of the wind farm vessels in this category. The higher speeds will reduce the transit times to and from the more distant wind farm locations.

The superstructure is a two deck structure with the passenger accommodation and crew facilities at the main deck level and the bridge above. The raised bridge gives the crew good all round visibility and is equipped with a range of the latest electronic navigation and communications equipment. Both hull and deck were constructed in aluminium.

The Guardian 18 is the third wind farm service vessel to be built at the Arklow yard and additional builds of this type are expected. Most of the current work at the yard is repair and refit, with clients including the Commissioners for Irish Lights and Blue Power Energy. It is reported that the development of this new design was part financed by the Enterprise Ireland R & D Fund and that 10 new jobs were created during its construction.

By Dag Pike


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