Though separate entities, the two companies work in close partnership to provide solutions for the offshore wind farm industry. Separately CTruk Boats builds innovative work vessels and CWind provides highly-skilled people and vessels to operators and major contractors engaged in the construction of offshore wind farms. CWind has also established a boat share scheme to enable local owner/operators to access the growing wind farm market with the backing of an experienced operator. The company manages the contracts, finances and QHSE procedures of these vessels.
CTruk Boats takes an innovative approach to work vessel design and construction. The company has applied for a patent for its flexible pod system, designed specifically to meet the varied needs of wind farm support work. The bespoke pods enable operators to change the vessel’s layout within a matter of hours. CTruk Boats also uses vacuum infusion to build composite boats to the highest standards, saving up to 40 per cent on weight, and has developed a manufacturing process that enables modular construction, increasing production efficiency.
“These vessels are 40 per cent lighter than their aluminium counterparts and have specifically been developed to achieve flexibility in their application, meaning they can be used in some quite innovative ways,” explains Peter Jorgensen, managing director of CWind. “The use of composite resin not only reduces production times, to five months on average, its light weight properties also makes the vessel itself faster and much more fuel efficient. Together this increases the company’s vessels’ versatility, cost-effectiveness and overall level of performance.”
CWind has been active in the offshore wind industry for over two years and today specialises in the provision of a wide variety of solutions. During its lifetime the company has worked directly for and with some of the major developers in the offshore wind industry. CTruk Boats’ bespoke vessels and CWind’s highly trained teams have been able to provide safer, better, faster and more cost-effective solutions to a range of diverse tasks.
Not simply a company working as a crew and workboat operator, CWind also works around the whole of the UK delivering solutions on behalf of numerous windfarm developers. At present the company is working on windfarms carrying out tasks such as inspections, repairs, painting and generator management. One of these is the London Array Offshore Windfarm, where the latest vessel, CWind Alliance is working. London Array, once operational, will be the largest windfarm in the world. CTruk Boats is currently building two more vessels for CWind to work on the London Array. These 20 Tonne payload multi-purpose catamarans (MPCs) undertake three important tasks: “The first of these is of course crew transfer,” Peter continues. “The second task is that we help service the farm’s generators. If there is no energy to a turbine when first erected, generators are placed at the foundation to power it so the wind turbine can then be commissioned. With 16,000 litre fuel capacity the MPCs are able to refuel these generators and whilst out there, our crew can provide any necessary maintenance and repairs. Thirdly, CTruk Boats has developed an amphibious rescue vehicle that is stored on the MPC’s deck and can be launched and recovered via a ramp on the aft deck.”
This innovation illustrates the type of commitment CWind and CTruk Boats invests in their operations. The CTruk Boats MPC model is based on a pod-system, which enables the crew to change the layout of the top deck in a matter of hours, to suit the needs of the project at hand. For example the wheelhouse can be moved from bow to stern, whilst the rescue pod can be switched out for a work shop, survey pod, generator pod or passenger pods. The first vessel to offer this, the CWind Advance, was field tested at the Walney Offshore Wind Farm.
Given the success CWind and CTruk Boats have already achieved as a result of their various products and services, it comes as little surprise that the future for the two companies looks very bright indeed: “The industry as a whole is undoubtedly growing at a rapid pace,” Peter states. “CWind envisions an exciting future where it will be working all across Northern Europe helping the major windfarm developers. At the same time, CWind will continue to assist CTruk Boats by providing continuous customer feedback and contributing to new ideas and innovations. CTruk Boats has a very exciting portfolio of planned vessels in the pipeline and, when the time comes, CWind will be poised to offer these out to charter.”