Blount delivers first US wind farm service vessel

Atlantic Pioneer

The following is the text of a news release from South Boats IOW:

(WARREN, R.I.) — Blount Boats has delivered Atlantic Pioneer, America’s first U.S.-flagged crew transfer vessel (CTV) for Atlantic Wind Transfers that will begin service for Deepwater Wind Block Island at the end of May.

The 69-foot aluminum vessel was designed by South Boats IOW (Isle of Wight), recognized as a pioneer in designing and manufacturing crew transfer vessels. South Boats IOW has designed and built approximately 81 crew transfer vessels for the European offshore wind sector servicing wind farms throughout Europe. In 2011 Blount Boats signed an exclusive licensing agreement with South Boats covering the U.S. offshore wind industry.

The South Boats’ vessel is a twin-hulled, all-aluminum catamaran, dual certified to USCG Subchapter T (small passenger) to carry up to 47 passengers and Subchapter L (offshore supply vessel) to carry up to 16 offshore workers. 

The propulsion system consists of two MAN V12 1,400-hp engines, ZF Marine 3050 gears, and HamiltonJet HM571 waterjets. The vessel exceeded the contractual performance reaching sprint speeds in excess of 30 knots, with the ability to cruise (80 percent power) at 26 knots when in a light condition. 

A Cummins Onan 17-kw generator provides AC power to the air conditioning system, a heating system and small galley. A PTO-driven hydraulic system powers a deck crane, fire pump, fuel transfer pump, and a saltwater pressure washing system. All other equipment is fed DC power through house batteries.

The vessel was specifically designed to carry up to 12 tons of cargo in the bow and 3 tons of cargo in the stern. The forward and after decks are outfitted with cargo lashing and container sockets. A knuckle-boom crane is outfitted onto the bow area.

The bow has a bow boarding/loading platform to allow offshore workers to make the transition from the vessel to the wind turbine. The vessel connects to the turbine base by use of a special bow fendering system. The specified fender is the latest generation in proven fendering systems being installed in the European fleet. The vessel is capable of making transfers in 5-foot significant wave heights.

The interior of the deckhouse is outfitted with a head, a small galley area with settee seating, 12 suspension seats, storage lockers, entertainment system, Wi-Fi, and sound-absorbing decking. The entire deckhouse is isolated from the hull with vibration mounts for a quieter and smoother ride to and from the work site.

Ben Colman of South Boats IOW reported: "We are very happy that Blount Boats has delivered such a superb vessel to Atlantic Wind Transfers and achieved the milestone of building the very first U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged CTV. On behalf of everybody back in the U.K., I thank everybody at Blount Boats and Atlantic Wind Transfers for selecting South Boats IOW design and product and look forward to working with both again in the future."

By Professional Mariner Staff