Southampton, 26 January 2022 - Chartwell Marine, pioneers of next-generation vessel design for the offshore wind support sector, has announced the launch of its market-first offshore energy support vessel (OESV) with hydrofoils, in partnership with marine design & engineering consultancy, BAR Technologies (BAR Tech). Seacat Sceptre, built at the Diverse Marine yard in Cowes, Isle of Wight, for class-leading OESV operator, Seacat Services, will now undergo sea trials prior to its handover.
Hydrofoils, re-popularised and matured as a technology in high-end yacht racing, lift the hull in the water in transit to reduce frictional resistance, thereby improving energy efficiency and stability. The Foil Optimisation and Stability System (FOSS), developed and patented by BAR Technologies, combines their America’s Cup heritage and expertise with Chartwell’s industry-leading track record in award-winning high-speed vessel design to resolve the mounting emissions and energy efficiency challenges facing the offshore energy support sector.
FOSS reduces hull resistance by positioning the lifting foil near the transom and controlling the running trim to ensure the hull is operating at its most efficient trims across the speed range. As well as contributing a 30% improvement in energy efficiency through wake reduction, FOSS improves seakeeping and handling through general motion damping, active roll and trim response, and improved manoeuvrability and stability in varying sea conditions.
The demands on the offshore wind supply chain are mounting, with stringent standards of operational excellence tested against the combined pressures of servicing larger and more remote sites and the need to reduce costs and carbon intensity. Chartwell answers this call in partnership with BAR Tech with the development of new technologies to enhance the industry’s proven platforms - such as the versatile Chartwell catamarans - with improved operationality, and incremental improvements to energy efficiency and related emissions performance.
Seacat Sceptre’s FOSS system is the first in this series of collaborative designs developed by Chartwell and BAR Tech, with a pioneering BARTech 30 vessel design anticipated for launch in the Summer of 2022. First orders for both designs have been placed by Seacat Services as part of the company’s ambition to lead the adoption of energy efficient vessels and technologies in offshore wind support.
Andy Page, MD of Chartwell Marine, commented: “Improving operational and environmental performance is a challenge facing all maritime sectors, so collaboration between these sectors and the sharing of expertise is a natural answer to the call for decarbonisation, without ever losing sight of the critical operational requirements of the demanding offshore wind support sector.
“Optimising the hull form is a critical component when engineering a holistic, incremental approach to emissions reductions; ensuring that energy efficient technologies are able to build from the strongest foundation of operational and environmental performance, and generate the maximum benefit for the sector.”
John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies, said: “Technologies like FOSS create additional opportunities for the current market-leading vessel designs to adapt to and accommodate the emerging demands of their customers, not just in reducing emissions, but also in enhancing performance, comfort and the vessels operating window - in the case of FOSS, minimising motions of the crew and engineers onboard to ensure they reach the wind turbines quickly, throughout the year and with minimal fatigue.
“Working with Chartwell and Seacat to understand and accommodate best practice in OESV design and operation drove the development of a hydrofoil system which actively mitigates vertical accelerations in varying sea conditions - enabling faster transfers and broader operational windows, while preserving the comfort of passengers and crew.”