The latest additions to newly independent Seacor Marine’s fleet are designed to provide passengers with ever-greater levels of comfort
US-based Seacor Holdings recently completed the spin-off of Seacor Marine Holdings, the unit that operated its offshore support vessels, into a new company.
Among the most recent additions to the newly independent company’s fleet are two Incat Crowther-designed, next-generation ‘CrewZer’ type catamarans, Seacor Puma and Seacor Panther.
The vessels were built by Astilleros Armon in Spain and are unique in the Gulf of Mexico in their capability to transfer personnel and equipment to offshore platforms at maximum speeds in excess of 40 knots.
Following the success of earlier Incat Crowther high-speed vessels designed for Seacor Marine, the company commissioned Incat Crowther to develop the new design, which has 30% more deadweight capacity than its predecessor, whilst offering equivalent service speeds.
Seacor Puma and Seacor Panther retain the structure and certification for 150 passengers of their predecessors but are fitted out in a more comfortable 76-seat configuration with an overnight crew cabin. All 76 passengers are accommodated in large reclining seats fitted with privacy partitions, reading lights and device-charging ports that the designer describes as equivalent to long-haul business class.
The main deck also has a hospital, utility room, self-service café/bar and four passenger bathrooms. Modern surfaces, furnishings and LED lighting have been used throughout. Upstairs, the wheelhouse is ergonomic and functional with dedicated work spaces. Vision over both ends of the vessel is excellent from the forward and aft control stations. The crew are housed below deck in spacious, comfortable accommodation. The port hull features a fully equipped galley, crew mess, two twin cabins and a bathroom. The starboard hull has five twin cabins and a bathroom.
Fitted with four Cummins QSK95 main engines, each producing 2,983 kW driving Hamilton Jet HT-810 waterjets, Seacor Puma and Seacor Panther have a maximum speed of 42 knots. On-station manoeuvring is enhanced by a pair of retractable bow thrusters. Electrical power is provided by two Cummins QSM-11 generators in addition to a deck-mounted standby genset. The DP2 ABS-classed vessels are also fitted with Class 1 fire-fighting equipment.
Seacor Marine also recently unveiled the first of a new class of fast support vessels (FSVs) – also designed by Incat Crowther – that also have a focus on enhanced passenger comfort and increased speed.
Like the above-mentioned duo, the company claims that Ava J McCall also offers passengers a cabin arrangement that “simulates first class airline seating”. The vessels are also, Seacor Marine claims, the first monohulls in the industry equipped with pod-type seating.
“With 56 seats, the vessel provides passengers with privacy and other comforts including folding tray tables, reading light and footrest,” said Seacor Marine, noting that seats onboard “are much wider than industry standard and will recline 60 degrees within the pod”.
Other amenities include USB power for charging personal electronic devices, wifi access, satellite TV and low-tone LED lighting, which provides a more relaxed atmosphere. The passenger area is also equipped with a galley, which offers refrigerated storage for quick-service meals and beverages as well as a coffee and snack bar available to all passengers.
In addition to this new seating concept, the vessel also has a conference table in the passenger area with seating for 12. Passenger comfort is further increased with a stabiliser and ride control system that reduces the motion of the vessel, affording passengers the most comfortable ride in the industry.
The propulsion system on Ava J McCall allows the vessel to achieve a maximum speed of 38 knots. The vessel was also built with an ABS class 2 dynamic positioning system supplied by Kongsberg. A total of eight thrusters provide excellent stationkeeping and system redundancy. Ava J McCall was built by Gulf Craft in Franklin.