Rix Sea Shuttle Expands Its Fleet with New CTV
Rix Sea Shuttle is expanding its fleet of crew transfer vessels. The company – part of J.R. Rix & Sons Ltd – will take delivery of a 27.4 metre ship made by French company Piriou in April, 2016.
The boat will be the largest in Rix Sea Shuttle’s fleet with the capacity to carry a crew of 24 seafarers and sleep up to eight, enabling it to stay offshore longer than the company’s other vessels.
It is specifically designed to operate in shallow waters which exist around many UK and European wind farms and will use jet engines instead of a traditional prop and propeller configuration, making it more manoeuvrable, the company said.
Currently all the company’s other boats – the Rix Cheetah, Rix Panther, Rix Tiger and the Rix Lion – are working at wind farms in UK and European waters.
James Doyle, managing director of Rix Sea Shuttle said: “Demand for crew transfer vessels has increased significantly this year and is forecast to grow exponentially in 2016. With all our current boats chartered, we need more capacity.
“We have ordered this boat at precisely the right time. As the UK and European offshore market has begun to mature, the industry has got a much better understanding of what vessels are needed to do what jobs. In effect, it is becoming more specialised.
“Our strategy has always been to develop a varied fleet of crew transfer vessels to give us the ability to work across all aspects of the sector and the new boat builds on that. It will enable us to operate in shallow waters, which a number of offshore wind farms require, so broadens the range of work we can carry out.”
The vessel – due to be named the Rix Leopard – has been designed by leading naval architect Nigel Gee and is currently under construction in Vietnam.
It has a top speed of 27.5 knots, a maximum cargo capacity of 20 tonnes and features an 8.5 tonne crane as standard.
The boat will be certified to work in Germany.
Doyle said: “We chose Piriou specifically because they have significant history in ship building and the necessary experience to deliver a quality crew transfer vessel.
“The Rix Leopard will be the most versatile crew transfer vessel in our fleet and I’m confident it will be in great demand by the industry.”