U.K. based Commercial Rib Charter has released video showing the world’s first amphibious crew transfer vessel, CRC Walrus, successfully completing trials prior to going to work at RWE Renewables UK’s Scroby Sands wind farm.
RWE has been wrestling for several years with the difficulties of ever-changing sand banks restricting access to its Scroby Sands Wind Farm. Aston Goddard of RWE challenged its specialist shallow-draft CTV provider Commercial Rib Charter (CRC) to find an innovative solution.
That solution, the CRC Walrus, is the result of a textbook collaboration between RWE, Commercial Rib Charter, naval architect firm Chartwell Marine and Isle of Wight-based boat builders Diverse Marine.
Named in honor of Spitfire-designer R.J. Mitchells’ classic 1930’s Supermarine Walrus amphibious biplane, CRC Walrus is a 12-meter type approved crew transfer vessel with seating for two crew and eight passengers. There is a 750 kg deck cargo capacity and the usual bow transfer system. Service speed is 23 knots with a sprint speed of 29 knots.
Powered by two Oxe 300 hp diesel engines, the amphibious CTV will draw only 80 centimeters. The 600 hp of motive power generated by the outboards will reduce fuel consumption by 50% over conventional inboard engines, thus further supporting RWE’s carbon neutral target.
CRC Walrus transitions from seagoing to amphibious by lowering three hydraulically operated oversized wheels steered by a single nose wheel allowing her to “dock” with the turbine ladder. The hydraulic system is powered by a generator.