Seacat takes lead in offshore wind vessel monitoring

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Offshore energy support vessel (OESV) operator, Seacat Services, has installed an advanced remote monitoring system across its fleet of 14 class-certified catamarans. The BareFLEET system, developed by Reygar, will give Seacat Services an unprecedented level of insight into the operational performance of its vessels, enabling progressive safety and technical availability gains that benefit crews, clients, and the wider industry.

“Digitalization” of operational practices, coupling remote data collection with advanced monitoring, is gaining pace as offshore wind firms throughout the supply chain aim to keep tabs on the performance of project critical infrastructure, optimize O&M and construction procedures, extend asset lifetimes, and bring down the levelized cost of energy (LCOE).

To date, much of this investment in digital technologies has been focused on turbines and transmission, but there is now an emphasis on leading OESV operators to match this level of sophistication with more advanced vessel monitoring approaches that enhance the value of the vital service they deliver. While monitoring of key variables such as vessel motion, vibration, navigation, and engine performance is common practice, increasing the efficiency of reporting, and pulling this performance data into one place, is essential to inform more effective fleet-wide decision making.

Seacat Services’ rollout of the BareFLEET system is part of the firm’s ongoing investment in the quality of the service it provides to offshore wind developers, operators, and contractors, supporting a longstanding commitment to the highest standards of safety and technical availability.

All 14 vessels in the Seacat Services fleet have been fitted with an “always-on” data connection. (Courtesy: Seacat Services)

All 14 vessels in the Seacat Services fleet have been fitted with an “always-on” data connection. The BareFLEET system has now been integrated with existing sensors and equipment and will be used to monitor key variables, including navigation data, vessel motion, and the performance of engines and other critical machinery.

Seacat Services will be able to view a live feed of this data from its Fleet Operations Center in Cowes, allowing the business to keep tabs at all times on the performance of its vessels in the field. Critical alerts — such as an engine alarm — will be flagged instantly to shore-based personnel, leading to immediate action.

As the volume of data collected by the system increases, Seacat Services will conduct trend analysis, condition monitoring, and preventative maintenance, enabling the operations team to detect and address developing faults in critical components before they result in failure or unscheduled vessel downtime.

The system will also improve the capacity of Seacat Services for efficient, regular reporting from the field. By making use of Reygar’s Digital Daily Progress Report (DDPR) mechanism, Masters and crews will be able to quickly log completion of key safety procedures such as drills and toolbox talks. BareFLEET is now integrated with CrewSmart — the cloud-based crew and fleet management software Seacat Services is using — bringing all of the data required for safe, effective crew management into one place.

“We’ve seen the wide-ranging benefits that digitalization of operations has had for turbine owners and operators — and it’s time for the vessel market to follow suit by showing a commitment to matching these higher operational standards,” said Ian Baylis, managing director of Seacat Services. “Our investment in BareFLEET will not only enable us to protect our most important assets — our masters, crews, and the vessels they operate — but also ensure that our customers get maximum value from the boats they have under charter. As these digital systems become increasingly integrated, there is huge potential for cross-collaboration throughout the supply chain that ultimately helps us to change the way offshore wind farms are developed, built, and serviced.”

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