Now in operation in the Gulf of Mexico, the DSV Don Amado is the result of close collaboration between the vessel’s owner, Oceanografia of Mexico, and Dutch yard De Hoop, which has a track record of building DSVs that dates back to the 1980s, with Deepwater 1 and Deepwater 2.
Oceanografia also operates two other De Hoop-built DSVs, Caballo de Mar and Caballo Trabajo, and another De Hoop-designed DSV is currently under construction at Niigata shipyard in Japan for the account of Dutch owner Noordhoek Offshore.
All of the vessels are suitable for worldwide service in shallow and deepwater and will be engaged in construction and maintenance of offshore installations, surface and subsea crane operations, diving /ROV support, and standby rescue activities. Don Amado is also designed to accommodate 200 personnel.
The earning power of the vessel takes the form of a 300 ton Liebherr offshore crane on the aft deck, which is capable of working at depths of up to 60m, and a large open deck with removable railings providing an area of more than 1,000m2. Below deck is a large store which can be reached through a 20ft flush hatch in the maindeck. There is also accommodation for a total of 250, and the vessel has a 12-man diving system.
De Hoop describes the design as “simple, leaving out all nice to haves,” and the vessel will be operated with a manned engine-room and a low level of automation.
The high block hull is optimized for stationkeeping, with a reduced draft hull, with minimal drag. A U-shaped foreship with bulbous bow minimizes fuel consumption when steaming ahead. The aftship is a pram type stern in order to maximize stability for heavy lift operations. The aftside of the moonpool is provided with a spoiler to reduce drag during transit.
Model tests at DST in Duisburg proved the hull design to have a very low drag overall.
The reduced draft enables the vessel to enter very shallow offshore ports in Mexico. Above the waterline, the hull and superstructure also have a low profile in order to reduce windage as much a possible.
The steel-plated helideck is integrated in the vessel in order to reduce weight and cost and keep the helideck low, to reduce horizontal movements/accelerations as much as possible (Don Amado’s low air draft was also an advantage for transfer of the vessel from Lobith to Rotterdam, where she was commissioned, as only the wheelhouse needed to be lifted off the vessel).
In the sides large wing tanks are arranged for carriage of water ballast and protection against collision damage.