The following is text of a news release from Blount Boats:
(WARREN, R.I.) — U.S. offshore wind farm support company Atlantic Wind Transfers has signed a multi-million-dollar, market-first order for two Chartwell 24 crew transfer vessels (CTVs), developed by Chartwell Marine, a pioneer in next-generation vessel design.
The vessels, to be deployed in support of new wind farms off the East Coast, will be built by Blount Boats, a historic shipyard and pioneer in CTV construction in the USA, for delivery in 2020.
Meeting the demands of U.S. offshore wind developers and asset owners – many of whom have a background in the European sector – requires domestic supply chain firms to capitalize on existing technology, lessons learnt and best practice, while responding to the unique requirements of operating in American waters.
Atlantic Wind Transfers will be able to meet these challenges with the Chartwell 24 – a pioneering vessel design. Chartwell Marine has taken end user considerations into account to provide a CTV with all the advancements gained from operation in the European market, but tailored for the U.S.
The new vessels will be a specialized model of the Chartwell 24, modified to comply with American environmental regulations and operational conditions. In particular, the vessels will be compliant with legislation protecting the migration route of the protected Right Whale off the northeastern seaboard, with a specially adapted 65-foot hull. This hull has been further adapted to handle the Atlantic sea conditions, mandating the highest standards in design and construction.
These modifications have been introduced without compromising on the attributes that make the Chartwell 24 one of the safest and most capable vessel designs in the offshore wind market – including a hull configuration that minimizes "wet deck slamming" and a large, step-free foredeck.
“Based on our knowledge of the conditions off the coast of New England, we made modifications to our design to ensure optimal performance," said Andy Page, managing director of Chartwell Marine. "Compliance with maritime regulations is only second to the safety of personnel, so we have ensured that Atlantic Wind Transfers and its clients will benefit from a vessel that ticks all of these boxes, while attaining the highest possible standards of safety and technical availability.”
Blount Boats built the first U.S.-flagged crew transfer vessel for Atlantic Wind Transfers in 2015. Atlantic Pioneer in turn was commissioned to service the first U.S. offshore wind farm off Block Island, R.I.
“As the offshore market grows, so too does the demand for American-made CTVs," said Marcia Blount, president and chief financial officer of Blount Boats. "Building vessels to Chartwell’s proven design enables us to couple European design expertise with American engineering and support the domestic supply chain as it goes from strength to strength.”