Damen Shipyards Group has given a twenty-year-old product a new lease of life. Using Damen’s standardised shipbuilding concept, shipyards can deliver finished vessels within a 12-month period.
A lot has changed since the Combi Freighter (CF) 3850 first made a splash in the year 2000. Portable phones are now pocket computers, cars can drive themselves, and the internet has altered life unimaginably.
In the world of shipbuilding, mechanical technology has developed stronger, lighter and less toxic materials, while digital technology has provided innovations in communications, monitoring and analysis. These improvements allow Damen to build safer, more efficient and more durable vessels in ways that are more sustainable.
It’s these kinds of upgrades that have gone into the latest iteration of the CF 3850, making it a more robust, cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly vessel than ever before. Applying Damen’s trademark philosophy of standardised shipbuilding, designated yards are now producing these vessels to be available ‘off the shelf’, cutting waiting times down to as little as a few months.
Designed to carry a range of different cargo, the CF 3850 has always been a fuel-efficient and fantastically stable vessel and has been used to transport anything from aggregate materials to wind turbine blades. Since it launched the design twenty years ago, Damen has delivered approximately 60 CF 3850 vessels to a variety of clients, several of whom are involved in the offshore energy industry.
As a company committed to continuous improvement and efficiency of its products, Damen is always looking for opportunities to improve clients’ return on investment. The redesigned CF 3850 is an exemplary case. Using state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, Damen engineers have integrated several key improvements to the latest vessel design.
First and foremost, the new vessel design conforms to the latest regulations for cargo vessels. The new CF 3850 vessel is compliant with Tier III regulations and is equipped with a new water ballast treatment system to ensure it exerts a minimum ecological impact. Water ballast treatment units are now mandatory, and new NOx emissions regulations come into force at the beginning of 2021, affecting newbuilds in emission control areas (ECA). This means the CF 3850 is eligible to operate in such as North America, U.S. Caribbean, the Baltic and North Sea.
Extensive research resulted in improvements to the resistance of the vessel hull. In particular, the aft ship has seen considerable alteration. Lower resistance means less power is needed to propel the vessel, which results in a lower fuel consumption. One of the most effective ways to achieve this was by pulling the stern out of the water by a greater degree, thereby reducing drag and contributing to more efficient propulsion.
Due to optimisation of the aft ship hull-lines, lower power engines can be installed, running on marine gasoil (MGO) as opposed to heavy fuel oil (HFO). As a result of these combined upgrades, the ship, with a combination of an SCR, will produce less emissions.
Given Damen’s serious approach to its environmental responsibility, the new CF 3850 design incorporates as many environmentally-friendly improvements as possible. Each new vessel can be equipped with an optional battery pack, which can be used while in harbour as an emission-free power source. In addition to the new water ballast treatment system, a reappraisal of on-board materials led to the introduction of environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) used in all of the vessel’s oil-to-sea interfaces.
Several advancements in digital technology have also been applied to the new design. Remote monitoring is a popular feature with many of Damen clients. Therefore all new CF 3850 vessels are equipped with this capability, to help clients make sure all the ship’s features are operating at their optimal levels. Clients also have the option of ordering a connected ship, which includes a daily round app and a computerised maintenance management system, providing maximum input and control over the vessel’s performance. A CCTV system provides real-time visual input for a complete understanding of conditions on board.
These and other new features allow the vessel to run at low operational cost and high capacity, with efficient dynamics and excellent stability. The high-quality build and systems, along with comfortable on-board accommodation, support the crew in achieving the best possible performance on every project.
To help accomplish rapid turnaround on orders for CF 3850 vessels, Damen applies its unique standardised shipbuilding concept called The Damen Standard. This allows Damen to provide clients with well-proven vessels at competitive prices. The standard hulls, which all have proven designs, can be modified to meet client specifications and can be equipped with various options to suit specific jobs and regulations.
Through these updates, Damen has created a future proof design, which can be customised with a large number of standardised options. A wide range of combi freighters is available, designed for carrying different kinds of cargo. The first two such vessels are ready for delivery in November 2019, with the next two vessels coming out in Q3 of 2020.
Damen’s standardised shipbuilding concept
Combi Freighter 3850