DISCOVER Magazine #6

Voe Vanguard proves a hit with offshore wind industry

Published in category: Harbour & Terminal
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Delta Marine – first operator of the new Damen Renewables Service Vessel RSV3315.
Bob Spanswick Managing Director Delta Marine
Bob Spanswick
Managing Director
Delta Marine

When Delta Marine took the decision to order the very first Damen Renewables Service Vessel (RSV) 3315 it was quite a leap of faith for the Scottish company, but one that has paid off so far.

Bob Spanswick, Delta Marine Managing Director, comments: “We really went out on a limb with this vessel. She is relatively ‘small’ at 33 metres and under 500 GRT. Since entering service in May last year work has mushroomed, particularly in the offshore wind sector. The RSV concept has proved itself, clients and crew are very happy with her capabilities.”

Headquartered in Lerwick, Shetland, Delta Marine was established some 35 years ago. The company worked on the design of the new vessel type together with Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld.

We had a wish list and the yard helped us make our own ideas workable. Between us we came up with a good compromise.

One key innovation making the RSV unique is its DP2 capability. “We saw that there were few, if any, small vessels with a DP system that could work in strong tidal currents. Offshore wind farm developers were mostly relying on large anchor handlers or Offshore Construction Vessels, which consume a lot of fuel and are very expensive to run. We can do many of the tasks they do, but much cheaper! Voe Vanguard can work in any direction – can stay in position at ‘any point on the compass’ in strong winds and currents – making her ideal for both offshore wind, tidal and wave projects,” Bob says.

4-point mooring

The Damen RSV 3315 is based on the highly successful Multi Cat model. The traditional design has been adapted by moving the wheelhouse forward and leaving the aft deck open. As well as the 4-point mooring, Voe Vanguard has a spacious, unobstructed deck, and a 40-tonne bollard pull in both directions, with approximately a 35-tonne bollard pull sideways.

The RSV is diesel electric, with four azimuths, and a large tunnel thruster. She was two draughts and can operate in shallow water. Using all four azimuth thrusters in DP2 mode the vessel has a draught of 4.5 metres. However in DP1 and using only two azimuths and the tunnel thruster, the draught reduces to 2.6 metres.

The Damen RSV 3315 is based on the highly successful Multi Cat model.

Fast reaction

For this size of vessel the thrusts available are high, he adds. “This means she responds very fast and stays exactly on position using very little fuel, which our clients really appreciate. She is able to operate in very strong tidal conditions, with the working parameters of the client’s equipment often being reached at a much lower level than the boat’s limits.

“Due to the gensets being overpowered in relation to the thrusters, the vessel can provide 95% to the DP system rather than the 70% limit normally available on standard DP boats. In benign conditions the vessel can hold position within a 20 centimetre circle on average with only 10% power.”

In addition, Voe Vanguard has two powerful cranes, one of which has a capacity of 15 tonnes at 20 metres outreach, and is able to lift 55 tonnes over the stern roller.

She also has comfortable accommodation for up to 20. “The crew love her, with a 15 metre beam she is very stable.”

The Voe Vanguard was christened at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld by Miss Akira Mary Lumsden, the granddaughter of Mr Spanswick and just a week later she went off to her first offshore wind farm project, the Walney Extension in May last year.

Offshore wind opportunities

As well as wind farm projects, which have mostly involved cable installation assistance, rock bagging, mass flow excavation, vibracoring and operating as a general supply boat, she has also been involved in gas pipe projects carrying out scour protection and various diving contracts. In May this year she will head to another wind farm project, off Shoreham in the UK.

Delta Marine took delivery of its first Damen vessel twelve years ago and the company now has four Damen Multi Cat vessels in its fleet, as well as one it manages.

The new RSV may well have the potential to be just as popular as the Damen Multi Cat. There is quite some interest in this boat and plenty of opportunities coming up!

Damen Renewables Service Vessel (RSV) 3315

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