High speed air lift crew boat for West Africa

This striking looking design has been developed for the operator Peschaud International This striking looking design has been developed for the operator Peschaud International

An exciting new design of crew boat destined for operation in West Africa is the first to be built using advanced air lift to enhance performance.

This pioneering design has been developed by the French builder Advanced Aerodynamic Vessels (AAV) and is based on a catamaran hull with the cross deck shaped like a giant aerofoil wing to generate the lift that allows high performance.

This striking looking design has been developed for the operator Peschaud International and follows from extensive trials with smaller versions of the concept that have proved the potential of the concept. This 15.3 metre crew boat has been developed following a detailed specification from Peschaud and it had to meet the requirements of the oil company, the flag state and class standards. Peschaud also requested waterjet propulsion, business class standards of seating and a large space per passenger.

Lionel Huetz of AAV commented, “The requirements in terms of equipment maintenance and overall robustness were very challenging. AAV designed specific hulls for this application and we had to modify them to accommodate the water jets.”

The craft has a beam of 12.1 metres which almost equals the length and the loaded displacement is 19.1 tonnes. The draft is just 0.64 metres and this is halved at speed with virtually no wake from the hulls which are a stepped deep vee configuration.

The passenger accommodation is contained within the cross deck wing with three rows of seating for the 25 passengers and this allows all passengers a view ahead. There are entry doors on both sides that lead first into a foyer and then into the main cabin with a toilet located off the port foyer. The pilot house is located above the saloon and features a range of Simrad electronics designed for high speed operations.

The power comes from a pair of 600hp Scania D13 diesels and a feature of this design is the excellent fuel economy. At the service speed of 40 knots the fuel consumption is 4 litres per nautical mile. The 1700 litre fuel capacity gives a range of 500 miles with a 20% reserve. An 11 kW generator provides the electrical power on board.

This AAV is built to Bureau Veritas standards with construction in advanced composites. In the event of adverse conditions the vessel can still operate at 18 knots.

The company is currently building a version of the AAV as a luxury high speed shuttle which will use surface drives for the propulsion. Versions have been developed for alternative functions such as coast guard patrol and as crew boats for wind farm and oil facility operations. The Peschaud boat is designed for crew transfer over the bow and a similar system could be used for wind farm operations.

By Dag Pike

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