The bow concept Ulstein X-Bow was first launched in 2005. The new design with the inverted bow gained immediate interest from shipowners, and has since demonstrated important benefits for offshore applications. The Ulstein AX104 Bourbon Orca, the first vessel with the X-Bow, was appointed Ship of the Year 2006. However, the benefits of the bow are not restricted to offshore vessels, according to Ulstein. The new concepts are to use the X-Bow for merchant applications.
Advantages of ULSTEIN X-BOW® are:
- Higher transit speed in adverse weather conditions
- Reduced fuel consumption in head seas and following seas
- Reduced fuel consumption in ballast condition due to improved lightweight distribution
- Negligible slamming reducing the risk of damage to the vessel
- Lower pitch and heave accelerations, and enhanced protection of cargo areas reducing the risk of loss or damage of cargo
- Increased payload capacity for certain applications and configurations
According to Ulstein, small and medium sized vessels engaged in regional trades are set to capitalize on the benefits offered by the X-Bow. The company is currently evaluating this feature for use on container feeder vessels, ro-ro vessels and certain general cargo vessels.