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Offshore Support Journal

Offshore Support Journal

High level redundancy ensures big cat can complete transfers

Fri 08 Sep 2017

High level redundancy ensures big cat can complete transfers
Although smaller than other Incat Crowther crewboat designs, Pacific Kestrel shares the same concept of operations as Muslim Magomayev and Rashid Behbudov

Similar in design and concept of operation to two large catamarans built for the crewboat market in the Caspian, Pacific Kestrel is a large, fast unit with an integrated offshore access system that enables it to compete with helicopters to transport personnel offshore 


In 2014 and 2016 respectively, Incat Tasmania and Austal Limited in Australia delivered two large crewboats to Caspian Marine Services. At 70 m length, the Incat Crowther designs were the first of a new type for the region, combining large size and passenger-carrying capacity with an offshore access system.

More recently, another Incat Crowther design, Pacific Kestrel, was delivered to Swire Pacific Offshore by Austal Shipyard’s facility in the Philippines. At 57 m, Pacific Kestrel is somewhat smaller than Muslim Magomayev and Rashid Behbudov, the vessels built for Caspian Marine Services, but the vessel’s concept of operations is very similar, and like the 70 m units, the new ship has an offshore access system from Ampelmann in the Netherlands.

All three vessels are intended as robust, versatile and cost-efficient alternatives to transporting offshore personnel by air. Incat Crowther describes them as “fast, efficient crew transfer vessels that act as cost-efficient alternatives to aviation transport”. For his part, David Singleton, Austal’s chief executive officer, noted that, replacing more expensive helicopter transfers from early 2017, Pacific Kestrel and similar vessels like Muslim Magomayev and Rashid Behbudov have enabled what he described as “the introduction of new concepts of operations in the offshore crew transfer market”.

Pacific Kestrel is capable of 40 knots and of transporting 90 personnel plus cargo to offshore platforms in up to sea state 6. The vessel has a large aft 200 m2 cargo deck with integrated structural mounts and onboard support systems for the Ampelmann motion compensated gangway, which is designed to facilitate the safe transfer of personnel to offshore platforms.

Aided by a DP2 dynamic positioning system, the vessel is able to hold station in rough weather to facilitate crew transfers with a high level of redundancy, even in the event of a main engine, thruster or individual system failure. A similar approach to redundancy was taken on Muslim Magomayev and Rashid Behbudov.

The main deck cabin houses individual reclining seats for 90 personnel, with luggage racks and a medical treatment room. Forward of this cabin is crew accommodation, consisting of galley and mess, laundry and access to the hulls.

The mid-deck houses a further 10 cabins, all with bathrooms. The wheelhouse is situated on the third deck, with forward and aft control stations and a ship’s office. All accommodation spaces comply with MLC 96/ILO 92 guidelines. The vessel also has search and rescue capability with a fast rescue craft and a chemical dispersant system for oil spill response capability.

Featuring Incat Crowther’s proven semi-small waterplane area twin-hull (semi-SWATH) hullform, the vessel is fast and efficient. Fitted with a powertrain consisting of four MTU 16V4000 main engines, driving Hamilton HT810 waterjets, Pacific Kestrel met its contractual loaded service speed of 40 knots in sea trials.

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