Seacat Services has announced the acceptance of Seacat Weatherly, the first next-generation Chartwell 24 catamaran to enter operational service.

'Seacat Weatherly' has been successfully handed over despite the challenges and pressures created by the current lockdown

'Seacat Weatherly' has been successfully handed over despite the challenges and pressures created by the current lockdown

Following her completion at the Diverse Marine shipyard in Cowes and successful sea trials, Seacat Weatherly is heading straight on to her first charter contract at a major UK offshore wind project.

Seacat Weatherly is described as the culmination of long-term collaboration between South Coast businesses Seacat Services, Chartwell Marine and shipyard Diverse Marine, and the product of an industry-wide drive to refine the formula for offshore wind vessel support. As offshore wind projects grow in scale, customers are placing increased emphasis on the core metrics that define effective vessel operation, including the safety and comfort of crew transfers, ‘time on turbine’ for technicians, technical availability and efficiency.

The first of a two-vessel order, Seacat Weatherly is designed to meet – and exceed – the operational standards expected by offshore wind project owners and contractors. She brings a number of key technical innovations to the market including advanced engine and hull design, a large foredeck and safety features such as step-free access, sliding handrails and unrestricted visibility from the wheelhouse.

This has all been achieved while making use of many of the same components and equipment as her sister vessels in the 13-strong Seacat Services fleet, in order to maintain operational familiarity and ensure effective management of spares and inventory.

Andrew Calderbank-Link, Operations Director at Seacat Services said: “Seacat Weatherly is a fine addition to the fleet, capitalising on all of the core attributes that have defined the Seacat Services offering to date. Refining vessel designs is vital to meeting the changing needs of the offshore wind sector and Seacat Weatherly ensures that our crews can bring maximum operational value to our customers from day one.”

Andy Page, Naval Architect and Managing Director at Chartwell Marine added: “It brings us great satisfaction to see Seacat Weatherly enter service, and we will be monitoring closely how she performs on site. The Chartwell 24 design has been formulated for the industry by the industry to meet the specific requirements of offshore wind construction and operation, both in Europe and further afield.”

Seacat Weatherly has been successfully handed over despite the challenges and pressures created by the current lockdown. Her sister vessel, Seacat Rainbow is currently under construction at the Diverse Marine yard in Cowes and is scheduled for acceptance in September.

Ben Colman, Director at Diverse Marine said: “It is testament to the resolve and versatility of our team – and the strength of our ongoing collaboration with Seacat Services and Chartwell Marine – that we’ve successfully brought this vessel build to fruition despite current supply chain disruption and working restrictions. This is a huge collective achievement and bodes well for the future of British boatbuilding and naval architecture as we set a new standard for the global offshore wind market.”

By Jake Frith