Austal has unveiled its new range of high speed transfer vessels specifically designed for the burgeoning offshore wind farm industry. The company’s Wind Express series of vessels combine fuel efficiency with advanced sea keeping characteristics to deliver a premier transportation solution for offshore wind farm operators. By utilising Austal’s advanced hull design and engineering capabilities, each vessel is purpose-built to deliver a rugged, reliable multi-purpose work boat platform.
The series incorporates four vessels - Wind Express 17, Wind Express 19, Wind Express 28 and Wind Express 28 – Tri SWATH. These vessels feature a selection of hull forms ranging from a refined catamaran design for added stability and efficiency to the Austal-developed tri-SWATH hull form delivering unparalleled sea keeping and onboard comfort in up to sea state 6. Characterised by their optimum passenger comfort and safety, each vessel in the Wind Express series can be further customised to suit specific sea conditions, routes, work space and payload requirements.
Among the many significant features of the Wind Express series is the option to install Austal’s patented Ride Control System (RCS) - a first for offshore wind farm vessels - to ensure a safer, more productive platform, even in rough seas.
Austal’s Chief Operating Officer Andrew Bellamy said the vessels would introduce new levels of productivity and safety to the growing offshore wind farm industry. “In this industry, reliability is paramount; not only in terms of machinery but also in the ability of the vessels to transfer personnel to and from wind turbines in comfort and safety,” Mr Bellamy said. “With our Wind Express series, we have introduced platforms that not only deliver reliability but also have the capacity to operate in rougher waters at higher speeds and greater efficiency. These are important characteristics as wind farms are constructed further offshore.”