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The wish list for the dream OSV


Everybody wants a piece of oceans and seas but for getting the so most desired piece of fortune everybody needs OSVs.

Offshore Service Vessels (OSV) are the new starts of the maritime industry but this because the OSVs are the mule of the maritime industry.

However OSVs are a relative new type of vessel therefore OSVs are continuously evolving!

The 1950s PSV/OSV has so much to relate with the actual, modern OSV, as much has the Ford T model with the newest German or Asian cars.  

The one million dollars question is how should be the best OSV… Honestly… this is a multi-millions USD questions… sometime far over few hundreds thousands millions USD.

Considering the above let’s dream… let’s discuss the wish list for the dream OSV.  


PSV/OSV - History

Vessels have been the tools of humanity for ages. They developed in time but for many thousands of years, the main purpose of ship was transportation of people and goods. The generic name of this activity is shipping. The shipping operations were assisted and supported by other types of vessels as:

  • - Pushers and tugs for assisting other ships or floating objects in regular situations or in distress;
  • - Dredgers for maintaining the requested clearance in harbours or straights;
  • - Fire-fighters and salvage vessels.

The development of oil and gas extraction from seas and oceans was the cross point for the development of a new directions in the maritime industry.

In the early years of the offshore industry the fix installations were dominating the scene, mainly built in so called benign waters and without bringing major challenges for the supply logistic.

However, in 1954/55 a new type of vessel – the platform supply vessel (PSV) (sometime called offshore supply vessel) – was designed to make history [1]. 

This type of vessel has the crew quarters located forward, with wheel house located on top close to the “impact point” and protecting from head seas a large deck area made free for the carriage of cargo on deck and for eventual works on open sea. The connection between the forward quarters and the engine room aft was done through passages under deck or through non-tight but protected spaces above the deck arranged each side. The passages above the deck are usually called cargo rail simply because are used to seafasten cargo.

The rapid worldwide development of offshore oil fields, leads to specialized vessel as pipe and cable layers, anchor handlers, stand-by ships or seismic exploration vessels. However, not every time the dimension of the job request a vessel fully specialized for the task therefore the supply vessels took many other different roles. Offshore supply vessels have been used as seismographic exploration vessels, oceanographic research ships, tenders for deep diving submarines, pipe or cable laying or recovery vessels, anchor handle vessels, seagoing tugs and many other roles.

In few words the offshore supply vessel or better said the platform supply vessel (PSV) was largely used as a working platform, being transformed quickly in the offshore service vessel (OSV), today tending more and more to become offshore construction vessel (OCV).

The challenges of OSV/OCV

The OSV/OCV shall navigate and provide work conditions in heavy seas.

Heavier the seas what could be navigate and work on, the better the vessel is.

This means that the vessel shall have improved seakeeping so the vessel has moderate or low heave, pitch and roll motions for both transit and operational conditions.

For many jobs is important that the vessel stays firm on course or at position hence the importance of a firm and reliable station keeping capability.

The vessel should be capable to offer handy solutions for accommodating non-crew personnel or project personnel (Special Purpose Personnel). 

The strength and stability of the vessel shall be sufficient for the installation of various equipment on board what could generate or support large loads.

The vessel shall have sufficient installed power or should have the capability to accommodate on board additional power generations systems.

The mobilisation of the entire deck spread shall be fast and reliable. The vessel shall give the possibility to easily modify the arrangement of minor equipment and eventually some of the medium equipment.

The wish list


The dream OSV is a matter of dreams… but no dream becomes true without a wish list so I put below my wish list for the dream OSV/OCV vessel. Please don’t hesitate adding your dreams to my dream!

My wish list for the dream OSV is:

  • Adequate shapes for a good answer to sea loads resulting in good seakeeping parameters;
  • Adequate subdivision and distribution of loads for improved intact and damage stability and higher DP category;
  • Flexibility for ballasting and un-ballasting operations for enhanced control;
  • Effective “heel compensation” capability; 
  • Possibility to the fast and reliable estimate ship’s RAO for any loading condition 
  • Enhanced DP capabilities including predictive analysis tools [2];
  • Prepared or ready for variable number or people on board (PoB), capable of flexibility in accommodating special personnel (SPS);
  • Deck rated for large loads, UDL, line loads and point loads;
  • Weld allowed everywhere on deck;
  • Steel deck, “friendly” for multiple weld, flame cut and grind works;
  • Deck prepared for modular arrangements (rated for point loads and prepared for fast lock and unlock solutions e.g. twistlocks and/or bolts);
  • Open deck with possibility to provide temporary LLC type protection of crew in variable configurations;
  • Subsea surveillance capabilities (observation ROVs);
  • Plug in diving capabilities;
  • Basic readiness for chemical and noxious operations; 

Is somebody ready to design and build this dream OSV? 



[1] https://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/print/volume-77/issue-5/production-operations/offshore-supply-vessel-owners-facing-tough-market.html

[2] https://www.dnvgl.com/article/dp-station-keeping-the-next-level-107662

[3] https://www.damen.com/news/2014/03/maersk_and_deepocean_call_for_offshore_carrier


Thank you the great photo to my colleague Alex Doig (guest to futureoftheocean)


For more pictures from Alex please visit:  https://www.alexdoig.co.uk/


Text: Marius Popa (futureoftheocean team)

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