The safety and cost-effectiveness of high-speed craft will be enhanced by a new Safety at Speed (S@S) design tool that has been developed by a consortium of companies backed by EU research funding. The S@S consortium was made up of 15 partners spread throughout the EU. The partners come from all areas of the marine industry including universities, designers, builders, class and operators. Bureau Veritas and the University of Newcastle, with the support of FORCE Technology as the coordinator, provided the integration and technical management of the project.
“This S@S design tool will help designers, class societies, yards and government authorities to evaluate high-speed craft at an early design stage, improving safety and cost-effectiveness,” explains Pierre Besse, research director of Bureau Veritas. “S@S has been a very successful example of co-operation between companies and research institutes to harness complementary strengths. We now intend to extend that co-operation and the methodologies we have developed to produce a flexible and cost effective framework for the design and approval all ship types.
The need for this project was derived from the EU’s attempts to alleviate congestion on the road networks through the implementation of the EU Common Transport Policy, which endorses the use of waterborne craft to ease onshore congestion. “We need more high-speed ferries, and more innovative ship designs to solve our traffic problems on the roads,” says Besse. “But the history of high-speed craft is quite short, so designers, yards and regulators have very little experience to draw upon. This in turn has created new concerns of how the safety of High Speed Craft can be assured when there is a lack of historical data against which to assess new projects. S@S goes a long way to helping overcome that lack of data by building in first principles at the design review stage.”