Published 2021-03-10 00:00:00
Ulstein newbuild makes splash with new davit concept

Newbuild cable-laying vessel Nexans Aurora will be making waves in more ways than one when it hits the water shortly – as it will also mark the launch of the next generation in boat-handling systems.

The state-of-the-art newbuild, now in the final stages of construction at Norwegian shipyard Ulstein Verft, has been designed specifically to work in harsh-environment conditions and therefore required a boat deployment system with a high level of flexibility and redundancy.

The DP3 vessel, with a cable capacity of 10,000 tonnes, will perform cable-laying, cable system protection and trenching for Nexans Subsea Operations, and its first contract will entail installing export cables for the Seagreen wind farm project off Scotland following sailaway this spring.

Its delivery will also see the operational debut for the first full-scale version of the so-called MissionEase system, developed by Norwegian davit supplier Vestdavit, that represents a significant design leap in launch-and-recovery systems for workboats and other craft carried onboard a vessel for a variety of tasks.

Instead of a traditional davit mounted on the upper deck of a ship, MissionEase uses a system of hydraulic cradles to move boats on a tracking system within a hangar inside the hull to positions for maintenance, preparation or launch using a telescopic davit.

The innovative system installed on the Aurora will have capacity to handle as many as 14 craft – including workboats and ROVs – that can be securely stored and mobilised in the enclosed ‘garage’ on the mission deck.

These will be used to carry out vital maintenance and other work on submarine cables for power supply and fibre-optical communication connected to offshore installations.

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