When a radical hull design and unconventional tankage offered a new company the chance to break through the “liquidmud-to-deadweight-ratio” barriers, Jackson Offshore Operators LLC took it.
The result is the striking offshore service vessel Breeze. Delivered in September to the New Orleans-based operator, the 252’×60’vessel is the first of four OSVs to be built for Jackson Offshore at BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard in Jacksonville, Fla.
“The Breeze is a mud boat,” said Jackson Offshore chief operating officer Matthew Rigdon. “We designed her around that mission. Of course, she’s a full service supply vessel with capacity for bulk material, chemicals and deck cargo.
But when we talked to Guido Perla and Associates [GPA, the designers], we stressed that we were looking for capacity of at least 10,000 barrels of 16-pound mud in no more than 4,000 deadweight tons. And that’s what we got.”
Rigdon downplayed the vessel’s most striking feature — its enclosed bow.
“We’re planning to use this bow on all of our future newbuilds, but it’s not a big deal. It’s just a matter of building the supporting structure strong enough to meet weather and sea conditions without adding too much weight.”
But the bow design is indeed striking. It rises up from the bulbous bow, flares out before reversing direction towards the wheelhouse and then wraps around behind it. “Generally the new real estate[for accommodations]and the enclosed foredeck was the primary motivation” for the GPA 675J design, said Stefan Wolczko of GPA. The Breeze is currently the largest GPA-designed offshore service vessel operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
The enclosed bow creates a dry working compartment forward for the deckhands with no change to the hull needed.
“We had sufficient stability and buoyancy in a traditional underbody,” Rigdon added, “and with the protection against water breaking over the bow, it was an easy choice.”
Another easy choice was the mating of diesel-electric propulsion to two Rolls-Royce AZP 100 Azipull propulsion thrusters aft. “Those Azipulls are the wave of the future,” Rigdon said.
According to Rigdon, tank testing showed an increase in efficiency of up to 20% over traditional azimuthing thrusters.