First US wind farm crewboat delivered

Atlantic Wind Transfers, North Kingston, R.I., took delivery Sunday of the Atlantic Pioneer, the first U.S. built crew transfer vessel (CTV) engineered specifically to service offshore wind turbines.

After a formal christening April 22, the $4 million aluminum catamaran will enter service in May, carrying workers and up to 15 tons of equipment at about 30 knots to the 30-megawatt Deepwater Wind LLC power project now under construction off Block Island.

Built by Blount Boats, Warren, R.I., the 70’6”x24’x4’ vessel is propelled with waterjets powered by a pair of Tier III MAN V-12-1200CR engines, turning 1,200 hp at 2,100 rpm. Blount built the boat under license from South Boat IOW, a British boat builder and primary supplier to the European wind industry.

The 21-meter vessel is the mid-size in South Boat’s lineup of wind farm CTVs. Blount CEO Marcia Blount says her company is poised to build more boats as needed for other, bigger East Coast wind ventures, as the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management makes wind leases available.

After the five Block Island turbines are complete, the Atlantic Pioneer will serve in operations and maintenance support. Atlantic Wind Transfers, a subsidiary of Rhode Island Fast Ferry, Inc., has a 20-year service agreement with Deepwater Wind.

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Ashley Herriman

Ashley Herriman is WorkBoat's online editor.

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