Presented at Seawork for the first time was BAR Technologies’ ‘four-wheel drive for the sea’ – a BAR TECH 30 design, named Seacat Columbia.

Seacat Columbia was designed by BAR Tech and Chartwell Marine, who say she is a game changer in crew transfer vessels because of her increased stability, wave height tolerance and fuel savings.

Seacat Columbia, designed by Chartwell Marine and BAR Technologies

Seacat Columbia, designed by Chartwell Marine and BAR Technologies

This has been delivered by BARTech’s FOSS (Foil Stabilisation & Optimisation System): two dynamic foils working in combination with a long, slender hull to reduce resistance and ease the handling capability of the vessel.

The 30m boat has an increased wave height capability of 2.5 metres compared with 1.75 metres in other Cats, which means it can operate up to 30% more of the time in winter. It can take 24 passengers and up to six crew.

“It’s a four-wheel drive for the sea,” says Simon Schofield, Chief Technical Officer and designer of the foils. “You need to deliver crew members to wind turbines as comfortably as possible as well as minimise fuel and emissions. The foiling system controls the roll and pitch of the vessel and it all works in combination to give stability and seaworthiness.”

Designed from the ground up with a narrow, ultra-low resistant U-shaped hull and on the port side, a swath style outrigger helping to keep motions to a minimum, fuel savings of up to 50% can be made. Two MTU V12 Caterpillar engines and Kongsberg waterjets give it 31 knots at maximum speed.

BAR Technologies was formed on the back of the America’s Cup in 2017, where it built up design knowledge, technical skills and resources through Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing).

It was founded by Martin Whitmarsh, who was chief executive of the British America’s Cup sailing team, and Simon Schofield, who was head of design and engineering for Ben Ainslie Racing.

Seacat Columbia is the first of two vessels being built by Diverse Marine for Seacat Services, the offshore support vessel firm.