Germanischer Lloyd (GL) announces the release of the first comprehensive set of classification rules for Crew Boats and Offshore Wind Farm Service Craft. As the energy industry expands and installations are pushed ever further offshore and into more challenging environments, the vessels servicing these installations must be relied upon to operate in wider spectrum of conditions and take on more complex challenges.
The rules, which entered into force on 1 May 2012, have been developed by bringing together, for the first time, all of the relevant GL rules and the international codes and recommendations which can be used for the classification of Crew Boats. The rules will allow designers to develop vessels built to the special needs of clients according to the rules with full confidence in the fact that their vessel can meet with classification approval. The Rules have been developed in consultation with the flag states and will contribute to the development of international standards for Crew Boats.
Breaking the great variety of crew boat types into 16 types, according to 4 basic parameters – the designer, builder and commissioner of a crew boat can very easily take into account the classification rules which apply to the vessel under consideration. Such a breakdown will allow not only the easy identification of class requirements but a design tailored to meet project specifications and budgets. The main parameters are: the number of non-crew personnel to be carried (below or above 12), the length of the vessel (below or above 24 m), speed (high speed range or below), and the hull form (mono or multihull).
The new rules consist of 18 sections with the first two covering general requirements, classification and surveys. Sections 3 to 8 deal with the structural requirements, while sections 9 to 18 cover machinery, electrical and automation systems, in particular as regards the operation of the vessel. In addition special requirements are introduced, such as for bow designs matching the boat landings of offshore structures, as well as special provisions for the transfer of personnel.
New GL class notations have been introduced with the Rules, including: “Crew Boat 1”, for vessels which are intended to carry 12 Offshore Support Personnel (OSP) or fewer, “Crew Boat 2”, for vessels intended to carry more than 12 OSP, and “Offshore Wind Farm Service Craft” (OWFSC) for vessels dedicated to wind farm service, restricted to the carriage of 60 OSP or fewer. The class notation “RPw” can also be given to vessels outfitted with two completely independent propulsion systems, which are designed to operate in the vicinity of wind farms.
Sections covering the variety of special mechanical equipment used upon Crew Boats have been developed to take into account the specialised requirements of offshore operation, including: personnel transfer systems, stabilisation systems and helicopter winching. The deployment of Crew Boats in extreme weather conditions is also covered with a section covering operation in ice.
The Crew Boat Rules can be found online in Part 6 (Offshore Service Vessels) of the GL Rules and Guidelines 2011. A printed version is also available.