Ship of the Year 2006 – M/V “Bourbon Orca”

M/V “Bourbon Orca”, an Anchor Handling Tug Supply Vessel of ULSTEIN AX104 design with ULSTEIN X-BOW, was elected SKIPSREVYENs SHIP OF THE YEAR 2006. The ceremony took place at the SMM 2006 Exhibition in Hamburg in September.

Ulstein Verft AS, Ulsteinvik delivered the first Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessel of the new Ulstein AX104 design on 24 June to Bourbon Offshore Norway AS as the yard’s hull no. 273. M/S «BOURBON ORCA» is designed by Ulstein Design AS. M/V «BOURBON ORCA» is the final product of a collaboration between Bourbon Offshore, Ulstein Design and ODIM and has several special features, like the X-Bow, the Odim SAHS and the Diesel electric propulsion system.

Ulstein X-Bow

The inverted bow is a striking feature. The bow stemline is pulled back, and the hull reaches the bridge deck. A conventional bow throws a lot of water up and forward, especially in heavier seas. This results in slamming and vibrations throughout the vessel, and the sea can cause damage to the superstructure. When the X-Bow ship enters a wave, the foreship’s submerged volume immediately increases, and the retardation forces are distributed over an extended period of time. This results in lower acceleration/retardation levels. The advantages for the crew with better working and safety conditions and greater comforts in terms of noise, vibration and stability is striking.


Anchor handling may be the most dangerous operation carried out by the service fleet in the oil industry. Involved in the development of the ODIM SAHS (safe anchor handling system) one finds Bourbon Offshore Norway, Ulstein Design and Odim.

In 2004 Statoil invited offshore players to develop solutions for safer anchor handling operations. For each of the hazardous anchor handling operations that Bourbon Offshore Norway identified, the partners developed a safer alternative. The result is a completely new solution involving a new stern.

Ulstein Diesel-Electric Propulsion System

The Ulstein solution eliminates the need for a high voltage system onboard resulting in lower cost and less space needed. The system gives increased manoeuverability, a high degree of redundancy and dynamic positioning capabilities thereby reducing the fuel consumption and the emission levels. The use of frequency converters is a key element.

The Owners

Bourbon Offshore Norway is the Norwegian division of the french Groupe Bourbon and has at the time of writing 18 vessels in operation and six newbuildings in order. The company is located in Fosnavåg, south of Ålesund.
Groupe Bourbon is one of the giants of the international shipping sector with a total of around 250 vessels at its disposal. With 4,300 employees, Bourbon Offshore has a fleet of 190 modern, powerful and multi-purpose vessels and is preparing for the challenges of tomorrow with more than 90 offshore vessels on order or under construction.

Already present in 23 countries, Bourbon Offshore is expanding its presence in its historic areas of operations, like the North Sea and the “Golden Triangle”, the West Coast of Africa, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico, and is assisting the growth of its clients in new operating regions like Latin America and Southeast Asia. In 2005, the Bourbon Offshore Division reported revenues of 277.2 million euros, up 24%.
In fact the shipowning company is now the biggest foreign contractor of newbuildings in China measured in number of ships. This includes an order for 36 supply vessels placed with Dayang shipyards in China involving two series of vessels. In addition to China and Norway the company has also gone to India with a number of new orders.

At the end of February in the context of its “Horizon 2010 plan”, Bourbon announced investments of 1.45 billion euros, 85% of which will be devoted to the Offshore Division. In line with its growth strategy in deepwater offshore oil and gas marine services, Bourbon has defined in detail and ordered new, innovative vessels, equipped with the latest technologies to guarantee the best safety conditions during operations. The deliveries and commissioning of these vessels will be staggered from the final quarter of 2007 until the first half of 2009.
And shipbuilding – it was recently announced that Groupe Bourbon was entering shipbuilding through the acquisitin of Piriou which has interests in Nigeria, Vietnam and Brazil in addition to France.

The yard

The companies in the Ulstein Group are gathered under the holding company Ulstein Mekaniske Verksted Holding ASA which, in addition to functioning as a holding company, also has the primary objective of business development across the business structure.
Ulstein Verft AS is one of the world’s foremost suppliers of advanced vessels; primarily anchor handling tug supply vessels, platform supply vessels and specialised and multifunctional vessels. The shipyard serves as the Ulstein Group’s development base for the detail design and assembling of capital and equipment intensive specialised vessels and is the Group’s most important expertise base for carrying out projects.
The main yard is in Ulsteinvik, Norway, but there is also a department in Vanylven, Norway, where steel-sections for the main yard are built. The steel intensive components of the hull are manufactured at Maritim-Shipyard Sp. z.o.o. in Poland and production there is followed up by the Ulstein Poland Ltd.


Ulstein Group’s design department, Ulstein Design, was established as an independent company in 2000. Since then an extensive portfolio of Ulstein designs have been developed. The threee series of vessels are Ulstein A series (AHTS), Ulstein P series (PSV) and Ulstein S series (specialised/multifunctional vessels). So far four Ulstein A101 design vessels and five PSV vessels of the Ulstein P103 have been built. In addition five ships are under construction.


Main particulars:

Length o.a. 86.20 m
Length p.p. 77.00 m
Beam mld. 18.50 m
Depth moulded to main deck 8.50 m
Deck space 540 m2
Dwt about 3,500
Draft max. 7.00 m
Draft design 6.00 m
Deck cargo capacity 1,200 t
GT 4.089
NT 1,226
IMO no. 9352377
Fuel oil 1,485 m3
Fresh water 505 m3
Ballast water/drill water 2,480 m3
Dry bulk 255 m3
Liquid mud 530 m3
Brine 560 m3
Base oil 445 m3


«BOURBON ORCA» has Norwegian flag and has class with DNV ?1A1, Tug, Supply Vessel, SF, E0, DYNPOS-AUTR, NAUT-OSV(LOC), CLEAN, COMF-V(3), DK(+), HL(+).


The vessel will be one of the world’s first AHTS vessels with diesel-electric propulsion. The diesel electric propulsion system incorporates six diesel generator sets, 4 off Wärtsilä 6L32 engines each of 2,880 kW and 2 off Wärtsilä 9L20 engines each of 1,665 kW with Siemens generators, 4 x 3450 kVA and 2 x 1975 kVA. Siemens has also supplied the frecency converters, electrical motors etc.
The two azimuth propeller units are of Wärtsilä Lips make type CS3500/3500WN each of 5,000 kW. The vessel is further equipped with a Wärtsilä Lips retractable azimuth bowthruster and a compass thruster of 1800 kW.

The vessel is capable of a speed of about 17.5 knots, and her minimum bollard pull is 180 tonnes.
The emergency generator set is made up of a Cummins KTA19DM1 engine and a Stamford generator. Castrol supplied lubricating oil for the vessel, and heat-exchangers of APV Heat Exchanger make are from Norco Oslo AS.
Amongst the suppliers are Allweiler with pump equipment, Ing. Per Gjerdrum with mud agitators, compressors from both Sperre and Tamrotor Marine and separators from Alfa Laval and RWO.

The air-condition plant is supplied by Aeron Miljøteknikk, and provision cooling and refrigerator system is provided by Nilsen Frys & Kjøleindustri. Pyro has delivered boiler equipment, and the remote sounding system is of Umas make.
Mento has supplied valves cargo couplings and Ing. Westad other valves. Vibratec Akustikprodukter has delivered vibration dampers, and flow meter is provided by AM Instrumentering. Installation of pipes has been performed by West Industri & Skipservice, and the insulation work in the engine room has been carried out by R&M Ship Interior.

The fire-fighting eqiupment includes water fog system from Semco Maritime and CO2 system from Unitor, while the fire alarm plant is from Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions AS. Vulkan Scandinavia is the supplier of all couplings.


As mentioned initially Odim has supplied the Safe Anchor Handling System. The vessel’s deck machinery is of Rauma Brattvaag make, Rapp Bomek has supplied rope drums, bollards and rollers and Dreggen Crane has delivered a service crane. The bulk handling system is from Rolls-Royce Marine. Karmøy Winch has supplied power pack for towing pins system and hydraulic unit for towing pins and AHT-tong. Anchors and chain come from Fossen Shipping, while Stromek has prefabricated moorings.
Windows have been provided by Bohamet, and the wipers are of Wynn make. IMS has supplied watertight sliding doors, and exterior doors are from Libra Plast.

Tranberg has supplied navigation lights and decklights. This vessel is also supplied with the new Tranberg Searchlight Commander series. This is a bus operated searchlight control system. The system gives the shipyard simple installation and it is easier to operate for the navigator. Tranberg Searchlight Commander System is designed to meet Naut-OSV class to DNV.
Norselight has supplied flood lights and typhon, and alarm ligths come from Marin Supply. Ahlsell Norge has delivered armatures for tankwashing system, sounding system and various tanksystems, and Bergsli has supplied drilling and grinding machines.
The life-saving equipment includes six DSB life rafts each with capacity for 20 persons, delivered by Brude Safety, Weedo 700 MP rescue craft w/TTS Marine davit. Brude Safety has also provided miscellaneous Fi-Fi- and lifesaving equipment, and Medi 3 has delivered medicine lockers and ShipMed-system.

The newbuilding has been painted by Vest Sandblåsing with Jotun paint systems and  anti-fouling from Active Cathodic Protection.
M/S «BOURBON ORCA»s accommodation has been arranged for 34 persons in 14 single cabins and 10×2 man cabins. R&M Ship Interior has been responsible for the interior work and outfitting including insulation. Contech has supplied bulkhead panelling,  ceiling profiles, interior doors and bathroom units. The furniture deliveries come from VAD AS, Rovde Møbelfabrikk and Helland Møbler. General lighting equipment for the accommodation has been taken care of by Glamox.

Mare Safety has provided Beha products for the galley, and Miele has delivered washing machines and drying tumblers. The vacuum-toilet system is from Jets Vacuum and the incinerator plant from Teamtec. Bridge and engine control consoles have been provided by Ulstein Elektro, and the company has also performed the electrical installations onbord the ship. Noratel delivered trafos. The Power Management System is of Siemens make and pilot chairs have been supplied by Norsap.

Electronic equipment

The electronic navigation and communication equipment installed by Ulstein Elektro comprises – for navigation Furuno FCR-2837S radar, FAR-2827 radar, FE-700 echo sounder, 2 off TECDIS T-2136 Ecdis, 3 off Anschütz St. 22 gyro compass, Anschütz Pilotstar D auto pilot, Furuno DS-80 log and Furuno GP-90 GPS,  – and for communication Sailor HC4500 radio station, 2 off Sailor RT5022 DSC and 2 off Sailor RT2048 VHFs, 3 off Tron TR-20 GMDSS portable VHFs, Furuno NX-700B Navtex, Inmarsat C Sailor H2095C, Thrane & Thrane Fleet 77 Inmarsat, Tron 40S and 45SX free float Epirb, Sart radar transponder, 3 off Motorola GM380 UHFs, Furuno FA-150 AIS, Furuno VR-5000 VDR system and Sailor H3000M SAAS system.

Kongsberg Maritime supplied the DP/IAS system, CCTV comes from Alarm System Norge and satellite antenna from SeaTel.
“The interest in this vessel has been tremendous and the SHIP OF THE YEAR jury soon recognised “Bourbon Orca” as the only worthy winner of the contest,” Mr Asle Strønen, publisher of SKIPSREVYEN said. “Not only does the vessel fulfil all the criteria for being highly innovative, she is built on proven competence and her unique design adds value to the shipping industry.”