Service Operations Vessel


An offshore solution for tomorrow’s world

Changing conditions in offshore wind

With the increasing construction of offshore wind farms we are already starting to see projects taking place farther from the shore. This carries implications for the industry as a whole, bringing with it a fresh set of challenges. Forthcoming wind projects will be located in deeper waters, harsher environments with increased wave heights. Furthermore, the increased distance from the shore makes impractical the daily transportation of maintenance crews to and from the offshore wind park.

Such challenges are driving innovation and the offshore wind industry is showing itself to be every bit as dynamic as the offshore oil and gas industry in responding to rapidly-changing needs. One such solution is Damen’s Service Operations Vessel.

The Damen SOV: The new standard in offshore wind access and accommodation

The Damen SOV is the first vessel purpose built for the deployment and retention of offshore support and maintenance engineers. The SOV has on-site work and storage facilities, plus accommodation for up to 45 maintenance personnel and a crew of 15. It is able to remain at sea for up to 30 days at a time and features DP2 and a motion compensated transfer gangway to facilitate turbine access. The vessel has been designed to operate with maximal efficiency and close attention has been paid to ensuring optimal comfort on board and high levels of redundancy for additional safety at sea.

The Damen Service Operations Vessel has been developed following extensive consultation with key industry professionals. Feedback pinpointed an emerging concern over the timely, safe and comfortable deployment of engineers required to sustain optimal turbine availability.

Designed specifically for operations in the North Sea on projects located at distances 30 miles and farther from shore. The vessel represents a robust package of performance and comfort, combining optimal efficiency with safe marine access and accommodation.

Expected performance is confirmed!

The DP capabilities have already been proven, with a first-of-its-kind scale model test at the Netherlands-based leading research institute, MARIN. During these tests, the scale model of the vessel was pitted against North Sea wind, wave, swell and current simulations.

The target was a 30-minute cycle, during which the vessel deploys the gangway and then transits in AutoTrack mode, several hundred metres, at speeds up to and beyond 6 knots to the following turbine without having to wait for an ideal weather window or having to rebuild the DP model at every turbine.


DP model tests July 2015 MARIN offshore basin


Seakeeping model tests July 2015 MARIN offshore basin


A monhull form has been selected to minimise accelerations caused by roll motions, reflecting considerations the SOV will be on DP 80 % of the time at speeds between 0-5 knots.


The bow section has been lowered to create a V-shape. This offers significantly reduced slamming, facilities inclusion and improved operation of the bow thrusters.
The strong V-shape in the frames in the aft ship reduce slamming occurrence, while the concentration of volume in the mid ship region achieve a slender aft. Both features make stern to weather operations more comfortable than on a common PSV.


The hull requires less installed power than a conventional PSV thanks to its symmetrical wind profile and efficient four split switchboard system. The four split main switchboard ensures an efficient generator distribution offering more power in the event of a single switchboard failure.

Safe transfer

The primary solution is a motion compensated access gangway system mounted on the port side. Its managing software is aligned with the vessel’s DP system to accommodate gangway motion limits. For a high level of redundancy alternative transfer methods are included, including helicopter access and a daughter craft.


All internal spaces have been designed with logistical or personnel flow in mind. Spaces used for work and accommodation on board should be optimised for reasons of efficiency. A well routed work flow supports an improved working environment yet preserves a high convenience level.


Accommodation areas are located amidships to minimise vertical accelerations (15 % below a conventional PSV). The vessel accommodates engineers whose previous experience may be land-based. Avoidance of seasickness and perception of a comfortable working environment will influence their acceptance of extended stays at sea.

Environmental friendliness, Efficiency in operation and Economic viability

A growing number of Damen products, the SOV included, are developed with the principles of E3 in mind. E3 accreditation means that the product has the qualities of the three Es – environmental friendliness, efficiency in operation and economic viability. The aim is to take into account the needs of the planet, the people operating the vessel and the owner’s need to make a profit. With its diesel-electric propulsion system, the SOV comfortably meets the emissions targets required to demonstrate a strong environmentally focused performance. Furthermore, one of the key features of the vessel is its efficiency.

The efficiency of the vessel design also helps to ensure the comfort of those on board and the smoothest possible workflow. The work and accommodation areas are compartmentalised in blocks and located as conveniently as possible. In this way, those working aboard the vessel are assured of safe, efficient access to workspaces and equipment. At the same time, those using the accommodation can enjoy their rest time in comfort away from the working environments.

The optimised efficiency of the vessel in turn ensures its economic viability. The performance characteristics equal significantly reduced fuel consumption. At the same time, application of the highest quality onboard equipment ensures increased reliability for low downtime. And, with the comfort and safety of personnel assured, the SOV helps to guarantee maximimal use of working hours, in turn ensuring optimal energy production offshore.