A UK shipbuilder known for building high-speed ferries aims to enter the offshore wind market with a new line of wind farm support vessels (WFSV).
Wight Shipyard Co (WSC) said its Vortisea brand of vessels, designed in collaboration with Australian naval architect Incat Crowther, is specifically geared toward European and UK wind farms, particularly those further offshore.
“It’s fitting that being so well established in the fast ferry sector we have chosen to enter the WFSV market. There is still a niche to be filled. We will be targeting all operators, but particularly those looking for a very high-quality vessel build in Europe,” said Peter Morton, CEO, WSC.
WSC boasts a long-established pedigree in the ferry building sector, but the shipbuilder said Vortisea marks the first time it has ventured into the renewables sector.
The Vortisea vessels will feature a catamaran hull design, constructed from lightweight marine grade aluminium, and will initially be offered in two length options: 27 meters and 32 meters, with beams of 9 meters and 10 meters respectively. Multiple machinery options (CPP / FPP / Waterjet / IPS), including hybrid, will be available, the builder said.
Operating speeds in excess of 30 knots are achievable depending on the machinery package selected, WSC said, noting installation of a quad engine and propulsion package has the advantage of offering greater redundancy.
Ed Dudson, Managing Director, Incat Crowther, said that the WFSV Vortisea vessel has been designed to meet the latest standards in UK, German and Danish-Flag state requirements.
“Probably the most important design feature of the vessel is its market-leading wave height capability for transfer and transit, for this reason it was important to take a step forward in traditional WFSV design,” he said.
WSC is no stranger to working with Incat Crowther. Back in February, the companies collaborated to deliver a multimillion-dollar export order for a 250-passenger river ferry to Twin City Liner (TCL) in Vienna, Austria, and earlier this month launched two 37-meter fast ferries due for export to Ultramar in Cancún, Mexico.