Two years after taking delivery of catamaran fast crew boat Muslim Magomayev (see Significant Small Ships of 2014), Caspian Marine Services of Azerbaijan has now bolstered its fleet with the arrival of sister vessel Rashid Behbudov – once again designed by Incat Crowther, and commissioned in a contract reportedly worth US$34 million.
Like its predecessor, the aluminium newbuild measures 70m x 16m, features a 150- passenger/offshore worker complement, draws 2m and incorporates a four-MTU engine set-up, generating a total output of 11,520kW.
One subtle difference, however, concerns where the vessel was built; whereas Muslim Magomayev was constructed by Incat Tasmania, Rashid Behbudov was assembled by Austal Ships, at both its home yard in Henderson, Australia and its facility in the Philippines. The late summer delivery date, combined with what looks to be a late European winter this year, has proven favourable, enabling Rashid Behbudov to be delivered to the Caspian Sea well before this area freezes over.
Both vessels are notable for their overall sizes and capacities – each capable of storing up to 50,000litres of fuel oil and 10,000litres of fresh water – as well as their adoption of Ampelmann’s walk-to-work systems.
A spokesperson for Incat Crowther says: “In both vessels, the support systems for the gangway have been integrated into the hull, maximising clear deck space around the gangway.” A continuous access slideway enables all 150 technicians to move directly from the main cabin, via the transfer deck, to the offshore platform.
Simultaneously, their baggage, tools and equipment are sealed within 10’ containers and transported to the offshore platform by crane – in Rashid Behbudov’s case, a Palfinger PK4500M knuckle boom crane.
Caspian Marine Services opted for the Ampelmann gangways believing them to represent a superior means of personnel transfer, compared to transfer by rope basket or helicopter. As well as presenting obvious safety advantages, the installation of Ampelmann systems has been praised as a means of extending offshore project operational windows; the Incat Crowther spokesperson adds: “Muslim Magomayev and Rashid Behbudov operate in the Caspian Sea with 97% uptime.”
As a back-up, however, the vessel has also been equipped with Reflex Marine’s Frog-9 crane-lifted rigid basket system, designed to provide a safer alternative to rope basket transfers by positioning personnel within a stainless steel frame with buoyancy panels and shock-absorbing feet (see Offshore Marine Technology Q4 2014, pages 20-21). Safety equipment includes a pair of 200-passenger liferafts and two 100-passenger marine evacuation systems.
Capacity and range Rashid Behbudov features 275m² of cargo deck space, strengthened to accommodate a 130tonne cargo capacity. The vessel is compliant with the IMO High Speed Craft (HSC) Code and, for enhanced stability, is DP2-classed, courtesy of a Kongsberg K-Pos DP-21 system.
Both Incat Crowther vessels feature similar propulsive arrangements, comprising: four MTU 16V4000 M73L main engines; a pair of Hamilton HT-900 S waterjets; and four TH300MLR azimuth retractable bow thrusters, manufactured by Thrustmaster. Four CAT C18 ACERT models, each rated 550kWe, are also installed. Subsequently, Rashid Behbudov can enjoy a range of 400nm and a top speed of 38knots.