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Purpose-built SOV with walk-to-work capability officially named

Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017

In a recent ceremony at the cruise terminal in the Port Rotterdam, the service operations vessel (SOV) Bibby Wavemaster 1, built at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania for UK-based Bibby Marine Services, was christened.

During the christening ceremony of the SOV Bibby Wavemaster 1

The 90m-long, 20m-wide vessel has been designed by Damen and built specifically for the transfer and accommodation of offshore personnel and aims to maximise working time, technician comfort and safety.
The Bibby WaveMaster 1 is the first of Damen’s new class of purpose-built SOVs with walk-to-work (W2W) capability. The Damen Group identified the need for such a vessel back in 2013 following consultations within the offshore renewables industry and launched a research programme that set out to develop an entirely new concept in cooperation with a number of key suppliers. The design that came out of this process combined DP2 and a new motion-compensated gangway with an innovative hull design, a revolutionary internal layout, and a comprehensive range of additional innovations designed to increase efficiencies and reduce costs.
Equipped with an Uptime motion-compensated walk-to-work system and a multi-stop elevator that is linked to the gangway, technicians can go from the warehouses or deck level straight upwards on the elevator, over the gangway directly onto the turbine, without climbing a step, Stephen Blaikie, chief executive officer at Bibby Marine Services Ltd, explained.
In January 2016, Bibby Marine Services and Damen signed a contract for the building of the first of the new class, steel was cut for the first time just weeks later, and the new vessel was officially launched at Damen Shipyards Galati on March 24th 2017.
Bibby Wavemaster 1 carries a daughter craft, named Hannah, designed to provide further access to offshore structures when weather conditions permit in order to increase productivity. It can carry up to eight client technicians, two crew members and one tonne of goods.
The vessel can stay up to 30 days at sea, providing accommodation for up to 90 people (20 or 24 crew plus technicians). It can reach a maximum speed of 13 knots and 12-knot economical speed with full dynamic positioning (DP2) capability.
For safe crew transfer, the vessel is also equipped with a helideck.