On 15 January 2016 Bibby Marine Services Limited, part of Bibby Line Group, signed a contract with the Damen Shipyards Group for delivery of its first Service Operations Vessel (SOV) with walk-to-work access.
The vessel, Bibby WaveMaster 1, will undertake offshore wind project work in the North Sea. It is the first vessel purpose-built for the transfer and accommodation of offshore personnel and aims to maximise working time and staff retention.
The design offers fast, safe and comfortable access to turbines, at lower cost, up to 80% of the time, including in worst case scenario Central North Sea conditions.
In line with wind farms being constructed farther from shore, the SOV with walk-to-work access is able to remain at sea for periods of up to one month. Accommodation is provided on board for up to 45 turbine maintenance personnel and 15 crew members.
The hull, at 90m, is longer than that of a conventional platform supply vessel and the bow section has been lowered by 1.5m to create a V-shape. This feature offers significantly reduced slamming and facilitates inclusion and improved offshore operation of the bow thrusters.