Class-leading offshore energy support vessel operator Seacat Services recently announced the acceptance of Seacat Weatherly, the first next-generation Chartwell 24 catamaran designed by pioneering naval architect Chartwell Marine to enter operational service.
Following her completion at the Diverse Marine shipyard in Cowes and successful sea trials, Seacat Weatherly heads straight to her first charter contract at a major U.K. offshore wind project.
Seacat Weatherly is the culmination of a 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.
“Seacat Weatherly is a fine addition to the fleet, capitalizing on all of the core attributes that have defined the Seacat Services offering to date,” said Andrew Calderbank-Link, operations director at Seacat Services. “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.”
“It brings us great satisfaction to see Seacat Weatherly enter service, and we will be monitoring closely how she performs on site,” said Andy Page, naval architect and managing director at Chartwell Marine. “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 under construction at the Diverse Marine yard in Cowes and is scheduled for acceptance in September.
“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,” said Ben Colman, director at Diverse Marine. “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.”
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