Introducing Department Workboats and the Utility Vessel Series
Damen created an additional Department especially for new products last year, further broadening its portfolio. And just a few months after becoming official in April, the Workboats Department launched a new product series – Damen Utility Vessels.
Workboats is headed up by Lodewijk van Os. With a background in naval architecture, Mr Van Os started at Damen as a trainee and then went on to become a Design & Proposal engineer. He later moved into sales, becoming part of the Middle East team, where he was for seven years. But always keen to develop new products, Mr Van Os was given the chance to create the new Workboats Department.
“Initially I am looking to see where we can add the most value,” he says. Pretty quickly he realised that Damen had a slight gap in its portfolio when it came to a series of designs dedicated to light duty work, such as buoy laying, pollution control, fire fighting, survey work etc. Such utility vessels had been built in the past, however many were built incidentally according to specific customer requirements.
“The aim for the new Utility Vessel range is to build a series of standard vessels, which is very much the strength of Damen. To be able to do this the concept embodies a simple platform into which multiple functionalities can be integrated.”
Two new Utility Vessel concepts
Two concepts have been developed initially by the two Design & Proposal Engineers and GA Plan Engineer, Marije De Jong, Sylvia Reinders, Willem Wijnbelt respectively. “This was a great opportunity because our team could start with a blank sheet of paper for the new designs. They are all new to Damen and could come with an open view and ask why we do certain things in a certain way and if we can improve on them – ultimately seeking the best solution for our clients.”
The larger of the two concepts, the UV 5314 (53 m long) is already creating quite some market interest. With spacious accommodation and a shallow draught of only 2.5 m and deadweight of 550 tonnes, the vessel can stay at sea for up to three weeks at a time. It can be fitted with DP 2 propulsion and an offshore crane, making it ideally suited for offshore and wind farm maintenance.
It can also be fitted with an A frame for survey work or used for oil recovery with a simple modification. “This really is a very versatile platform for multiple tasks.”
We are getting a lot of positive feedback from customers and we will further develop the designs with their input to meet market demand.
The UV 5314 is expected to appeal to the growing offshore wind industry. Mr Van Os emphasises: “Damen’s new design complies to the latest regulations, has modern, spacious accommodation for up to 40 people and good seakeeping ability. I think these vessels will make it much easier to attract people to work on wind farms and to retain them.
“The vessels are compact, with a large, clear deck space. We are also making sure the basic platform is simple to keep the price as low as possible.” Concepts along similar lines for a 40-45 m and 60 m version are currently being worked on.
The UV 2509 concept has been designed for coastal operations and has a very shallow draught. Twin pushbows give owners the possibility to take a barge with additional equipment or cargo to worksites.
These vessels could also be deployed for buoy laying, fire fighting, emergency response and maintenance, perhaps working for marine contractors or port authorities.
“We are getting a lot of positive feedback from customers and we will further develop the designs with their input to meet market demand.”
Offshore Support Tugs
In 2013, the Workboats Department will also start work on developing a series of Offshore Support Tugs. Again, these will be very versatile, ideally suited for anything from Anchor Handling, SBM support to ocean towage. These are likely to range from 40-60 m with bollard pulls of 80-120 tonnes.
As well as this, Workboats will in the future include a series for Pusher tugs and landing craft.
“Ultimately we want to show customers that we can do more. Customers get all of our experience from design, through to production to after sales.
We are responsible from A to Z, making sure every detail is perfected and that input from customers is integrated to ensure the very best solution is created.”