Offshore access

What is W2W (Walk to Work)?

Walk to work is a term that describes ships/vessels that have a large, compensated gangway which connects the vessel to an offshore structure such as an offshore wind turbine or O&G rig. This allows workers to live on the comfortable ship and walk across the gangway to their place of work on a daily basis. The gangway works with the vessel to reduce the motions of the sea and make the walk safe and secure.

How does the gangway compensate for sea state?

The gangway tip is typically secured to the offshore structure via pressure alone, what we call the push on force which is typically around 4-600kg of pressure (other connection methods are possible). It therefore relies on being able to automatically adjust itself at the gangway end on the ship. This is done via a combination of free movement (usually in the horizontal plane) and controlled movement via hydraulic cylinders (predominantly in the vertical plane). The gangway itself is made of two concertina sections that slide within each other taking out in reduction or increase in the distance between the ship and structure. The end result is all 6 degrees of freedom are compensated for.

What is the passenger limit?

Vessels are classified by their SPS (Special Personnel) rating and the vessel is designed from a safety perspective to match this rating. The Bibby WaveMaster 1 is rated at SPS90 and the Bibby WaveMaster Horizon at SPS60. This means that they can accommodate 90 and 60 people respectively including the crew. Crew numbers are in the range of 18-24 depending on the duties of the vessel and the total number of people on board.

Are alternative means of structure access provided?

Yes, the vessel is equipped with a daughtercraft that can be preloaded with c8 technicians and 1000kg of parts. This can be lowered into the sea and (subject to the correct infrastructure at the offshore structure) can deliver these technicians to the structure. In addition the vessel (Bibby WaveMaster1 only, Bibby WaveMaster Horizon readily upgradeable) has a fully operational helipad. Finally, the vessel has a man riding rated crane which if permitted can transfer people to and from the vessel although this is not usually a preferred or utilised methodology.

Why do the WaveMaster vessels series look different to more traditional oil and gas Platform Supply Vessels or similar?

Traditional oil and gas vessels are designed with two main features in mind firstly their ability to remain at sea in very high if not extreme sea states. This requires a design with a high sharp bow that can cut through the waves. Secondly they require a large low deck that can carry a range of equipment and assist in operations on or close to the sea surface. This results in the accommodation module being placed in this forward bow area where movement is greatest. Whilst several of these have been converted to include W2W systems, the design is flawed. A W2W vessel does not need to stay at sea in such conditions and hence does not need the extreme bow. It also serves as the main accommodation for the offshore workers (as opposed to them living on the offshore structure), therefore it needs to be more comfortable. By placing the accommodation in the mid ship section there is less movement from the vessel and less vibrations from equipment. As the gangway is used to access structures well above the sea surface, a higher deck is better hence the gangway can be added above this mid-section accommodation block and internal warehouses can be added sensibly providing more height to the gangway foundation.

The next major design change is the to bring the bridge module to mid ship rather than close to the bow. This not only brings it closer to the area of gangway and crane activity but also results in a very even wind flow over the vessel which in turn means the vessel is easier to control and requires less fuel to stay on location.

What does DP2 mean?

DP2 stands for Dynamic Positioning 2. This means that whilst the vessel can be controlled using traditional equipment for example a joystick and throttles it can also be controlled using a computer linked to GPS satellites. In this mode the vessel moves itself to computer entered coordinates or commands and can stay on an exact coordinate to a very high degree of accuracy (a few metres depending on sea state) as is required when moving into and pushing on to an offshore structure. The number “2” refers to the design of the power systems and how these are duplicated hence if any system breaks there is always a backup that immediately steps in without any delay.

What is height range of the gangway?

The WaveMaster vessels use height adjustable gangways, additionally the gangway angle can be luffed up or down. This gives them an approximate range of access from c15m to 24m above the sea surface. We have several techniques that can add or subtract from this range if needed when the tide impact is considered enhancing our service further.

What other facilities are on board?

As well as providing the access to the structure, the vessel acts as a fully equipped warehouse and workshop to aid technicians and their work offshore. These areas are air conditioned to add maximum comfort. The exterior weather deck allows the flexibility to add shipping containers and fuel containers including helicopter fuel which can be lifted to offshore structures that have helicopter re-fuelling systems. In addition there are many meeting rooms, changing rooms, planning rooms, drying rooms for wet clothing, a laundry room (serviced by our crew) and the kitchen/galley facility.

What are the comfort facilities on board?

On board is similar to a hotel, the vessel has individual or double cabins, all with natural light, TV’s, movie on demand systems, individual (to room) en-suite toilet and shower facilities and more. Outside the cabins are day rooms, games rooms, a fully function hospital and a large gym. The vessel also benefits from Wi-Fi throughout and is topped up with entertainment equipment such as games tables, board games, karaoke machines and in the case of the Bibby WaveMaster 1 a sauna!

What industries do we operate in?

The vessels can support a range of offshore sectors, however primarily works in support of offshore wind farms (providing access to the turbines and transformers stations) and oil and gas platforms or FPSO (floating production storage offloading facility).

Is there a minimum or maximum duration charter?

In theory no. Charters are always subject to availability however whether you need us for a day or 5 years we will do our best to support your needs.

Floating accommodation

What floating accommodation do you provide?

Bibby Marine provide high quality worker accommodation through their fully serviced shoreside and near shore accommodation barges.

Is there a barge available in my area?

Our barges are on short and long-term charters around the world and locations regularly change. We can easily tow our accommodation to new locations, give us a call on 0151 708 8000 to check current availability.

How much does it cost to hire an accommodation barge?

We offer a cost-effective alternative to using local hotels or land-based temporary solutions. Costs vary for each project, depending on the vessel used and project location, but we try to be flexible with pricing to make it as easy as possible for our customers. Contact us here on our website for a quote.

What does the accommodation look like inside?

We offer high quality accommodation with welcoming reception areas, comfortable bedrooms and plenty of facilities.

Where can the barges be berthed?

Ideally our floating accommodation barges will be moored to a berth or a quay, they are not suitable for offshore work. We have supported projects around the world and work with customers to work out the best solution for mooring close to their project.

How many people can fit in the accommodation barges?

Capacities onboard vary, depending on the barge itself and the configuration. Some customers ask for single occupancy, others ask for shared occupancy in twin beds or bunks. Furniture can be tailored to meet your requirements, as can other facilities onboard. Read our barges page for more specific information on the barges.

What are the advantages of using floating accommodation?

Our barges are high quality and cost effective and can be moored alongside any berth or quay making them ideal for projects in remote locations or where existing accommodation is expensive or difficult to find.

What temperatures/climates can our barges operate in?

Our barges have worked in varying extreme environments from Northern Norway to Papua New Guinea, please get in touch for exact temperatures.

How long does mobilisation take?

Depending on barge location and availability, our facilities can usually be transported and hooked up in a matter of days after contract signature.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount of time for chartering a barge?

No, although the economic advantages of our barges are greatest for contract periods over three months.

Are the rooms single or en-suite?

All of our barges have en-suite shower rooms. We can configure the berths to be single or multiple occupancy depending on your requirements. All of our rooms also have natural light.

If your question is not answered please view our contact us page