Damen wins first order for smaller wind farm support cat

APRIL 30, 2014 — Windwave Workboats, Penzance, Cornwall, U.K., has placed the first order for a Twin Axe Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 2008. It is the first Damen Shipyards vessel ordered by the offshore wind farm support and crew transfer service specialist.

The Twin Axe FCS 2008 is a smaller version of Damen's FCS 2610 which, since its introduction in 2011, has become an industry standard for the offshore wind market, thanks to its capability of operating further offshore in rougher weather conditions, while providing safe and comfortable transfers for those on board.

Windwave Workboats Commercial Director, Peter Scriven, sas: "In recent years vessel designs have been pushing what can be achieved within the 24 m load line limit. We listen carefully to our clients and understand that bigger is not always better for some of their usage scenarios but they have demands for vessels that require greater performance than anything else currently available on the market.

"The Damen FCS 2610 was a game changer when it was first introduced and kick started the trend for larger boats and is still the preferred large boat option, as can be seen by their demand in the North Sea. Our clients have had a lot of success in using them; however it is too large for some operations. In response, Damen has now developed the FCS 2008 which makes it the obvious choice for our applications."

Arjen van Elk, Damen Sales Manager UK & Ireland, says: "Windwave Workboats came to Holland to take the FCS 2008 for sea trials in a rough North Sea. The experienced crew was immediately impressed by the capabilities of the vessel. We are now outfitting a vessel to Windwave Workboats' requirements."

The company wanted to have accommodations on board to overnight in the harbor, so two cabins with three bunks are being installed in the hulls. As well as this, the railing on the foredeck has been changed making the foredeck more spacious. A crane is also being placed on the foredeck. The FCS 2008 can also carry two 10 ft containers, on the stern and bow.

"The 20 m version is the perfect boat for near-shore wind farms and ideal for transferring personnel safely, as well as light cargo," says Peter Robert, Damen Business Development Manager Offshore. "With this move the Twin Axe offshore wind range is completed. Damen decided to row against the current in 2011 when we decided to build the bigger 26 m vessel. We saw that there was simply nothing suitable available. Meanwhile, the turbines were getting larger, wind farms were going further offshore, so developers were less interested in the smaller 14-15 m vessels. We started with the large vessels and now others have followed.

"But of course, you don't need a 26 m vessel for every wind farm. Damen needed a smaller vessel in its offshore wind portfolio. It is important to look into the optimum spread of vessels to have the best Total Cost of Ownership for your fleet, as well as for the wind farm owner. We think this new type will be used to replace the older, smaller vessels.

"With our first customer, the market will now see her capabilities."

The FCS 2008 will officially launch at Seawork International in June. Being built at Damen Shipyards Den Helder, three more vessels are available from stock, the first from end-April.

The Twin Axe FCS 2008 (20 m x 8 m) is an aluminium, high-speed vessel for transferring personnel and light cargo. It has two MTU engines (1,930 BHP) giving a speed of 24.5 knots. Classed by Bureau Veritas, the vessel has a capacity for 12 passengers on deck level and spacious accommodations

Twelve passenger seats, a galley and two toilets are on deck level, together with ample storage space. There is internal access from the deck level to the wheelhouse, which has a helmsman's seat, navigation seat and chart table. The two hulls accommodate engine rooms, storage and optional cabins.