Chartwell and Alicat secure new two-vessel contract to strengthen North Star’s renewable fleet


North Star, specialist vessel operator for offshore infrastructure support, has awarded a new contract to Alicat Workboats Ltd, a leading Great Yarmouth-based shipbuilding firm, for the construction of two new offshore wind daughter craft.

The hybrid-propulsion workboats 5 & 6, designed by Chartwell Marine, a trusted UK pioneer of next-generation vessel design for the offshore wind sector, will be integrated into North Star’s renewable fleet. They will complement the two new best-in-class SPS 120 CSOV’s under construction with Vard.

The latest additions to the fleet bolster the ongoing partnership between North Star and Chartwell, following the procurement of four daughter craft vessels between 2021 and 2024 for four contracted SOV’s. Combining diesel and electric outboard propulsion and efficient hull design, the crafts respond to the demand in the offshore wind support market for low-emissions, high-performance vessels which can thrive in turbulent sea- and weather-states.

Last week, North Star delivered its inaugural service operations vessel (SOV) designed specifically for offshore wind operations and maintenance (O&M) support on Dogger Bank. The first of four SOVs bound for the development, the firm’s distinct design, is powered by hybrid technology and provides wind farm technicians with state-of-the-art, V1:C1 cruise liner standard comfort and accommodation while working in the field for extended periods.

Daughter crafts 5 & 6 will play a critical role in ensuring quick, optimised, and safe operation offshore on the next series of vessels in North Star’s renewables growth, transferring technicians from CSOV to turbine on a regular basis in a challenging offshore environment.

Alicat Workboats Ltd will build the two vessels based on the Chartwell Daughter Craft design specification, offering enhanced flexibility in the field for personnel development and logistics. Continuing the drive for innovation, the designs will integrate the latest green technologies and futureproof for further technological advancements to come, facilitating the seamless integration of low-emission fuels.

Andy Page, Director and Naval Architect at Chartwell Marine, said: “We are thrilled to collaborate once again with North Star and Alicat, and excited to be able to apply our expertise on such a monumental offshore wind project — not just in the UK, but globally. The next-generation technologies and design philosophy of daughter craft 5 & 6 further solidify our shared vision for a green future in the maritime industry.

“With the workboats playing a pivotal role in the further offshore sites serviced by North Star’s Walk-2-Work fleet, providing a safe means of transfer for technicians, these vessels will prove essential in maintaining the momentum of the project’s progression.”

Andrew Duncan, Renewables Director at North Star, commented: “Through our close collaborations with Chartwell and Alicat, we’ve witnessed their remarkable expertise and craftsmanship first-hand, so they were the natural choice for our next sequence of daughter crafts. Their impressive track record has instilled in us the utmost confidence that they can reliably deliver on time in the fields of design and construction, helping us continue to provide essential services offshore.

“This partnership enables three UK-based companies to create value within the domestic supply chain. With North Star’s steadfast support for the local content, the project serves as a catalyst to bolster the growth of British shipbuilding and further expand the offshore wind industry.”