Photo: 38m fast crew transfer catamaran vessel (FCTV); Source: Strategic Marine

Asian shipbuilder unveils new fast crew boat design with array of additional features

Singapore-headquartered shipbuilder Strategic Marine has revealed its new, versatile, 38m offshore fast crew boat (FCB) design with 40 knots plus service speed, future-proofed design and many other features and options to meet changing and evolving industry needs. 

Strategic Marine announced on Tuesday the latest addition to its fleet, a 38m extra fast crew transfer catamaran vessel (FCTV), which has been designed in collaboration with One2Three naval architects in Sydney Australia, incorporating direct feedback from customers.

Designed with a large open deck, covering a third of its length to give space for manoeuvres, the vessel can also be fitted with a basket transfer crane to winch the crew up and down to the offshore installation, if necessary.

The company says that the seating and accommodation area have been arranged to be in the midships of the vessel to reduce slamming and pitching motion.

According to Strategic Marine, this FCTV has a resilient, mounted superstructure which sits on a rubber base to insulate the passenger accommodation from noise, as the engine is very noisy, especially when travelling at high speeds and with big waves. Therefore, this superstructure insulates the passenger space, dramatically reducing vibrations.

Additionally, the latest vessel design is fitted with water jets which are not only much quieter than propellers, but also very efficient at high speeds, and particularly manoeuvrable, which is necessary up close to an offshore installation, the company explained.

Greg Daniel, Technical Manager of Strategic Marine, said: “Our offshore customers are increasingly asking for faster transfers but still want to reduce their costs. Often helicopters are used but this is expensive and limited to small numbers (only about 10 crew at any one time). The new Strategic FCTV can provide fast transit for 80 passengers and crew, to and from offshore installations, travelling at 40 knots per hour, powered by four CAT C32 engines.” 

The company further explained that this new vessel has the option for a biosafe notation and compared to helicopter transport it has a significantly lower fuel consumption, saving fuel and reducing fuel consumption on a cost per head basis compared with a helicopter.

“This new vessel offers a much more cost-effective, rapid transfer alternative and is suitable for longer distances,” concluded Daniel.

New vessel design to fill the void in offshore market

This vessel can be fitted with a motion-compensated gangway to offer a ‘walk-to-work’ safe transfer. As the stern and the bow of the vessel are different heights above the water, if the crew need to do a swing rope transfer, they can choose the best option.

In addition, Strategic Marine intends to apply a silicone antifouling coating to the FCTV. To this end, the company has been trialling the coating which is designed for fast-moving vessels and has found it to be “exceptionally effective,” stopping biofilm from adhering to the vessel hull with no biocide leaching into the water.

The firm also elaborated that the vessel’s design provides for multiple propulsion and hybrid options, allowing the company to cater for the installation of a range of other systems. The shipbuilder further stated that its recent deal with authorised Caterpillar dealer PT Trakindo Utama Singapore Branch for 50 units “ensures engine supply for clients amid current global supply chain issues.”

Hans Randklev, Strategic Marine Group’s General Manager Commercial, remarked: “Strategic Marine is proud to launch a new design that will bridge a gap for today’s operators and fill a critical void in the market.”

Strategic Marine confirmed that this new design is its answer to the question of how to displace helicopters in crew transfer operations in the long run, for both efficiency and cost savings.

Furthermore, Strategic Marine believes that ESG considerations and cost-consciousness will become increasingly important factors for operators in the operating environment of the future. Thus, Singapore’s shipbuilder says that its 38m FCTV is a ”design that not only meets current needs but anticipates future industry requirements.”

When it comes to Strategic Marine’s most recent activities, it is worth noting that the shipbuilder handed over a new FCB to Malaysia’s Centus Marine in January 2022.

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This delivery marked the company’s first one in 2022 and the tenth overall vessel delivery to this operator.