The X-STERN®, awarded the Next Generation Ship Award 2015, is a natural evolvement of the X-BOW. The first two design and shipbuilding contracts have been signed for the sustainable wind energy market, for delivery to Bernhard Schulte. The SOV vessels will be servicing offshore wind installations for Siemens.

The X-STERN, having much of the same characteristics as the X-BOW, can stay in position in harsh weather with the stern towards waves, wind and current. Its gentle displacement reduces acceleration, pitch and heave. There will be no sea on deck due to the stern shape and enclosed nature of the aft deck, and increased safety for crew, cargo and equipment, and the aft working sector increases.

The X-BOW hull line design has been tried in all weather conditions, and is in use on, or in order for, 100 offshore vessels.

Offshore wind service

Ulstein Verft is contracted to build two service operation vessels (SOVs) based on the SX175 design developed by Ulstein Design & Solutions AS. The final detailed arrangements and equipment for the vessels have been developed and specified in cooperation with WINDEA Offshore GmbH & Co. KG, which is the Bernhard Schulte’s affiliate for offshore wind projects.

"Delivery schedule reliability was our number one priority when choosing the ship yard. They have a solid reputation, not only on keeping to delivery schedules, but also of delivering innovative vessels of high quality," says Matthias Müller, Business Development Director at Bernhard Schulte.

The vessels are scheduled for delivery in Q2 2016 and Q1 2017. Measuring a length of 88 m and breadth of 18 m, the vessels can accommodate 60 people in single cabins. An offshore wind service vessel’s most important task is to stay positioned on DP close to the turbines, with as little movements as possible, in order to provide a safe transfer for the technicians from the vessel through a heave compensated gangway to the turbines. The vessel can operate with stern or front towards wind, waves and current, increasing the operational window.