STORY Commercial Marine

Fast ship as an alternative to the helicopter.

Posted on July 13, 2022 by Lucie Maluck, Images by Damen

High-speed crew transport vessel from Damen revolutionizes offshore crew change business model.
Dutch shipyard Damen's high-speed crew transport vessel Aqua Helix is Ship of the Year - awarded by Offshore Support Journal

An innovative high-speed crew transport vessel from Damen is set to revolutionize the business model for crew changes on offshore energy assets with people such as fixed and floating oil platforms and offshore wind turbines. Especially for more distant platforms, helicopters have been the main method used until now. The Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 7011 Aqua Helix can transport crews to and from platforms more cost-effectively and efficiently, and just as safely.

Comfort comes first

Four 20-cylinder mtu engines of the type 4000 M73L propel the 70-meter-long monohull to a maximum speed of 40 knots (74 kilometers per hour). The engines have 3,600 kilowatts of power and are particularly notable for their reliability.

To increase passenger comfort even at high speeds, Damen has integrated numerous technologies into the ship to compensate for its movements. For example, the bow of the ship has been designed to significantly reduce the slamming of waves. Damen also incorporated interceptors in the stern to reduce both pitching and rolling motions while underway. A dynamic positioning system and a tailor-made gangway from Ampelmann further leads to a ground breaking crew change solution able to operate in a broad weather window.  

Sensors throughout the vessel also allow operators to monitor operations remotely. As a result, maintenance can be better planned and the vessel can be operated more efficiently, leading to lower fuel consumption and therefore lower emissions of pollutants.  

The 74-meter-long ship can accommodate 120 passengers. It is currently being tested in the Netherlands.    

The Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 7011 is designed to take crews to offshore platforms to the high seas and back again.
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