A Jones-Act-compliant offshore supply vessel (OSV) has been converted for use as a crew transfer vessel (CTV) in the growing U.S. offshore wind industry.
Windea CTV, a joint venture between MidOcean Wind and the Hornblower Group, said the vessel Gateway Endeavor was converted by Hornblower Marine in Bridgeport, Conn. Updates included the addition of a bow platform, forward and aft fendering systems, bow thruster, digital throttle controls, a new electrical system, removable railings and additional seating. Onboard accommodations now include three climate-controlled staterooms.
Originally built in 1985, Gateway Endeavor is 125 feet long and 25 feet wide, with a 16 feet by 40 feet (640 square feet) deck area and a 30-ton deck load rating. It will travel at a cruising speed of 10 knots and maximum speed of 19 knots.
The converted vessel will be operated by Hornblower Group subsidiary Seaward Services to supplement Windea CTV’s fleet of five newbuild 30-meter catamaran CTVs currently under construction at St. Johns Ship Building in Palatka, Fla. and Gulf Craft in Franklin, La. The newbuilds are due for delivery from this summer onward.
CTVs—typically aluminum catamarans used to ferry personnel and light equipment to and from offshore wind farms—are among the Jones-Act-compliant vessels needed to build and service America’s new offshore wind industry. Currently, there are only a handful in operation, with about two dozen known to be on order.
Increasingly, offshore wind stakeholders are exploring vessel conversion options as an alternative to new construction amid ongoing supply chain volatility, inflation pressures and other unwelcome factors that have spurred cost increases for everything from steel to manpower. Gateway Endeavor is among the first CTV conversions in the U.S. offshore wind industry.
“The successful conversion of Gateway Endeavor by our team at Hornblower Marine is another milestone in the future of offshore wind across the east coast as Windea CTV finds innovative solutions to ensure the successful expansion of offshore wind in the United States’ emerging market,” said Timothy O’Brien, senior vice president at Hornblower Group. “This vessel offers a variety offshore wind operational uses carrying both crew and equipment, allowing the industry to meet current needs while newbuild construction is underway.”
Having successfully undergone sea trials, Gateway Endeavor will initially be deployed for the Vineyard Wind 1 project in Massachusetts before becoming available for charter in late 2023 and throughout 2024, Windea CTV said.