Earlier this year, Umoe Mandal launched the WaveCraft, an entirely new type of boat. Export Credit Norway has provided financing for the first vessel, which has been stationed in Germany since March 2015, transporting personnel and equipment to and from the Borkum Riffgrund wind farm, 54 kilometres from the coast.
Quick and stable
The air cushion catamaran is 26 metres long, and has space for 12 persons. It is based on the SES (Surface Effect Ship) design, which has previously been used for naval vessels. This technology allows up to 80 percent of the vessel’s weight to be carried by an air cushion, making the boat far more stable in heavy seas.
Are Søreng (pictured) from Umoe Mandal believes that the boat’s increased stability is a major advantage in the rough weather conditions of the North Sea.
“Given that the wind farm lies 50 kilometres offshore, it is important for the crew to be able to start work as soon as they arrive. Seasickness would cause delays,” points out Søreng, who has yet to hear of anyone becoming seasick aboard Umoe’s pride and joy.
Although the new boat has been designed to navigate heavy seas, it is also fast. The SES can maintain a top speed of over 40 knots, around twice as fast as other boats on the market.
Umoe Mandal is currently constructing a second WaveCraft boat, and is confident that the market for this type of vessel is growing.
“Current projections indicate that the offshore wind power market will grow by 12.4 percent annually, with planned projects stretching all the way to 2024. Since many wind farms are located far offshore, there is an increasing need for rapid service vessels,” says Søreng.
Export Credit Norway has provided financing based on the boat’s deployment abroad.
“Export Credit Norway is proud to be providing competitive export financing for this innovative boat,” says Olav Tore Breilid from Export Credit Norway.