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Design and Operation of Wind Farm Support Vessels

27 February 2019, London, UK





In the space of less than a decade, wind farm support vessels (WFSVs) have gone through leaps and bounds when it comes to refined, innovative design.

The 2008-2013 period saw a significant change in the definition of the ‘average’ WFSV –from repurposed fishing craft and workboats, to dedicated vessels capable of handling higher seas, harsher waves and longer transits than their converted counterparts. This innovation was born of necessity, as offshore wind turbine arrays moved further offshore, and into increasingly remote, deep-water.  

UK and European naval architects and builders spearheaded the majority of these design breakthroughs, in response to the booming renewable energy business on their back doorsteps. Technician complements were increased from a standard number of 12 to 24 or more. Walk-to-work/gangway systems were increasingly adopted and, compared to some vessel sectors, the WFSV enjoyed a particularly clean sheet in general when it came to safety in the field.

By 2016, though, Ship & Boat International was arguing that “the ability to produce similar 24m WFSVs is no longer enough for the energy majors, who now expect builders to tick all the operational boxes at once – more speed, more safety features, more operational efficiency, more flexibility.” The middle of the decade saw WFSV demand dip below supply in Europe, causing a temporary plateau in this boat sector.  

Consequently, 2015-2016 was to prove a reflective period in which, rather than ‘churning out’ proven WFSV units en masse, design teams continued to push for increasingly innovative solutions.

The UK and European wind farms, and their related supply chains, are certainly well established. Now, the US and the Asia-Pacific are set to repeat this success, only on a far grander scale, and demand for safe, reliable and cost-efficient WFSVs is back on the agenda.

Substantial offshore wind farm growth within these territories could offer exciting opportunities for those UK and European designers who’ve gained invaluable experience of developing fit-for-purpose WFSVs. However, don’t discount the ability of these emerging markets to match European design expertise blow for blow – and, in the case of some Asian yards, to do so with the bonus of significantly lower production costs. Welcome to ‘Phase 2’ of the global race to develop the most optimised WFSVs possible.

Conference Programme

Click here to download a copy of the latest programme

Click here to download the brochure

Papers to be presented include:

  • KEYNOTE: From sheltered beginnings to standing strong with global ambition; A short reflection on the offshore wind construction and the innovative advances made in what continues be to an exciting and fast-paced industryMark Hayward, DNV GL, UK
  • Development of an Autonomous Wind Farm Supporting Vessel  by Akhil Nair, Luiz Demenicis, Marta Wiecka, David Pugh, Arun Pillai, Houlder Ltd, UK
  • A Comparative Assessment of Crew Transfer Vessel Motions Between Inclined and Vertical Boat Landing Arrangements by Olgun Hizir, Matthias Maasch, Oman Turan, Sandy Day, University of Strathclyde, Ian Nicholas, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), UK
  • Microbubble - A Unique Technology for Reducing Vessel Drag by Wenxian Yang, Newcastle University, UK
  • Developing the New Generation of CTVs by Sarah Daubney, CWIND, UK
  • Technical & Regulatory Development to Support Innovative Offshore Wind Vessel by Eva Peño, Bureau Veritas, France
  • Targets not Included! by Sasha Heriot, Guidance Marine Ltd, UK
  • CTV Operational Experience from 7 to 27 m with Stern Drives and POD Drives by Gerard Torneman, AB Volvo Penta, Sweden

Registration and Payment

Registration Fee (Inc VAT)  By 27/01/2019     After 27/01/2019
RINA members         £310+VAT = £372          £360+VAT = £432
Non-members        £360+VAT = £432      £410+VAT = £492
Concessions (retired/students, etc)        £180+VAT = £216            £180+VAT = £216
Principal Author        £95+VAT = £114      £95+VAT = £114
Additional Author         £310+VAT = £372      £310+VAT = £372

Register by 27th January 2019 and save money - Early Bird Registration fees (Inc VAT)

The registration fee includes printed conference papers, lunch, refreshments, drinks reception, a USB of the papers and presentations after the conference, and VAT. The USB will be posted to the delegates about 10-12 weeks after the conference.

Additional copies of the conference papers or USB will also be available for sale (members £120 and non-members £140) after the event. If you would like to order a copy, contact the Bookshop Assistant on +44 (0)20 7235 4622 or via e-mail at 

Registration and Payment methods

1: Register and pay online using a secure link

2: Register and to be sent invoice for payment via bank transfer or cheque

Payments must be made in sterling by Eurocheque, cheque drawn on a bank with a UK branch address or sterling bank transfer. Please note that RINA requires payment before the conference date.


Under UK Customs and Excise regulations delegates from all countries are required to pay VAT on any conference or course taking place in the UK. Delegates from outside the UK may be entitled to reclaim this cost.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received in writing two weeks before the event takes place will be subject to an administration charge of £200. Cancellations received after this time cannot be accepted and are subject to the full event fee. Delegates may be substituted; however this must be sent in writing and confirmed with the Conference Co-ordinator. In the event of cancellation of the programme for any reason, our liability is limited to the return of the registration fee.

8-9 Northumberland StreetConference Venue

The Wind Farm Support Vessels conference will be held at the Institution's Headquarters.

8-9 Northumberland Street, London, WC2N 5DA, UK

Delegates may take advantage of the Institution's membership to stay at Club Quarters, less than one minute's walk from Headquarters 

Click for details of Headquarters and Club Quarters .

Sponsorship & Exhibitors

RINA events provide the perfect opportunity for effective and highly targeted marketing. 

Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities exist for all of our conferences. For more information please follow the link or contact JP Media Services Tel: +44(0)1737 852 135 or e-mail:  to discuss tailored options or availability.

Continual Professional DevelopmentCPD logo

Attendance at the RINA conferences and courses qualifies as Continuing Professional Development. Delegates to the conference will receive a CPD Certificate

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