World's Largest Windfarm to be Serviced by 'Leggo' Workboats

By George Backwell at October 28, 2011 23:28
Filed Under: General

U.K. offshore wind farm ‘London Array’ will be the world’s largest when its 175 wind turbines, each around 147 m tall, start feeding their 630 MW (via two offshore sub-stations) into the national grid by the end of next year. Part of a fleet of work boats servicing this wet-footed generating station located in the waters of the outer River Thames estuary will be from Brightlingsea based builder CTruk Boats who recently announced the delivery of the first of three multi-purpose catamaran work boats contracted by windfarm project leaders Siemens. This first boat, CWind Alliance was delivered last week to skipper/owner Andy Harman in home port Ramsgate and features an innovative ‘flexible pod’ construction, an entry shortlisted in the Sea Work 2011 ‘Innovation Showcase’ international competition’.

CWind Alliance: Photo courtesy of CTruk Boats

‘Leggo’ Flexible Pod Construction

Ben Simpson, Managing Director of CTruk Boats explains the modular flexible pod concept: “Our design team knew there was scope to improve the types of work boats supporting the growing wind farm industry whilst keeping the safety aspect of offshore work at the forefront of the design.” The modular, flexible pod build enables operators themselves to change the vessel’s layout within a few hours to suit the work of the day, even to move the wheelhouse from forward to aft if called on to carry fuel or machinery instead of personnel.

Pods (modules) successfully trialled on the builder’s workboat Asherah launched earlier in the year include: a passenger pod, separate pods to contain dirty oil for disposal as well as clean oil for supply, a pressure-washing pod, and another for launching an amphibious rescue craft capable of navigating the nearby sand banks at low tide; there are seats for 12 passengers, while two crew members. are required to operate.

The fast (30 knot maximum and  25 knot cruise speed) catamaran workboat CWind Alliance, constructed and classed under DNV survey, is of 18.5 m (60.7 ft) LOA, with a beam of 6.1 m (20 ft) and a light displacement draft of 0.86 m (2.8 ft) designed to carry a load of up to 20 tonnes. She is powered by twin Cummins marine diesel engines, each rated at 610 hp (448 kW) driving Rolls-Royce type FF41 waterjet propulsion systems..

 An excellent video by CTruk displays the capabities of the design; to view click here.


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