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Offshore Wind Success Betting On Increased Vessel Competition and Bigger Boats

Tuesday 25th June 2013, Cowes – As developers and utilities construct, develop and deploy offshore wind turbines in increasingly isolated locations, vessel operators must challenge established industry thinking and rapidly respond to charter feedback, if they are to win future work.  

This will require a commitment to invest in equipment and personnel, as well as a sustained expansion and build out of existing fleets, according to Seacat Services, a leading offshore wind farm vessel transfer operator.

“In the space of just twenty-four months, the offshore wind crew transfer market has undergone rapid development, evolution and growth,” said Ian Baylis, Managing Director, Seacat Services. 

“In the process, new crew craft have become increasingly geared to meet the specific needs of the operators, thereby reducing downtime while providing them with a cost effective means through which to manage personnel and their associated cargo and kit, that’s deployed at sea. 

“However, while incremental industry innovation remains critical, so too does a long-term commitment from vessel operators to deploy new craft.  And as reliance on these vessels outside of existing weather windows accelerates, so too will the existing size, scope and scale of current craft.”

In June 2013, Seacat Services launched its fifth DNV class-certified crew transfer vessel.  Built by South Boats Isle of Wight Limited the vessel will be displayed in berth V27 at Seawork 2013, as it completes the final stage of sea trials.

Following sea trial completion, the vessel will be deployed, together with Seacat Resolute, to the West of Duddon Sands (WODS) project, where it will begin an eight-month charter at the 66 square kilometre Irish sea site.

The 24-metre, aluminum catamaran will be officially named, ‘Seacat Defender’, by round-the-world yachtsman, Mike Golding, at 14:00 hours today.  Mike Golding is one of the world’s most accomplished and successful offshore sailors with over 250,000 sailing miles and podium success in many of the world’s toughest and most extreme yacht racing events.

“With growing pressure to deliver a series of fully operational offshore wind farms ahead of Round 3, there is a rising demand for large, multipurpose workboats in the UK market,” added Thorben Müller, Project Manager, Nexans Deutschland GmbH

“However, this challenge is by no means limited to UK coastal waters and, as owners and operators look to diversify existing wind farm portfolios and better manage project risk, it’s clear that only those truly international, class-certified vessel operators will gain.  This, combined with vessel operators being asked to carry more kit and more specialised marine support services, will push the market towards bigger boats.”

Seacat Defender will be on display at Seawork 2013 from Tuesday 25th to Thursday 27th June.  To request a tour of the vessel, to discuss future charter agreements or for photography and images of the vessel launch, please email

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