Damen Offshore Carrier (DOC) 8500: Innovation Unlimited

By September 14, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

^ DOC 8500 (Image Courtesy http://products.damen.com/en/ranges/offshore-carrier/doc-8500)

Double Demand

On July 24, 2015, Damen Shipyards launched the Maersk Connector, a subsea support vessel at its yard in Romania. This is the second vessel based on the Damen Offshore Carrier (DOC) 8500 design.

Just over six months ago, in December 2014, Damen delivered the first DOC 8500 viz. the Nexus, a cable laying vessel, to Van Oord. Damen will deliver the Maersk Connector in February 2016. Maersk will operate the vessel for DeepOcean under a seven year contract.

Damen Offshore Carrier (DOC) 8500 is a new generation, small, heavy lift vessel (HLV). This multipurpose DOC will replace the slow, traditional tug and barge operations used thus far for off-loading or offshore loading operations.

Designed for the exacting conditions at oil-gas rigs in the North Sea, the Maersk Connector is loaded with trenching and survey features. The vessel will enable DeepOcean to expand into the large-cable laying market segment viz. oil-gas, interconnector, and renewable projects.

Technical & Other Details

Heavy Lift Vessels transport heavy cargo not carried even by cargo ships. Such cargo includes large drilling rigs, ships, and heavy cable laying equipment. Heavy lift ships can be:

  • Semi Submerging Type that lift other ships out of water and transport them. These are also called Float-On/Float-Off or Flo/Flo vessels
  • Vessels that supplement loading-unloading at ports

Back in 2012, Damen came up with the DOC 7500 concept as a versatile vessel to cater to offshore installation, smaller heavy transport, and Ro-Ro platform. The DOC 8500 further extends this multipurpose contraption.

DOC 8500 (Image Courtesy http://products.damen.com/en/ranges/offshore-carrier/doc-8500)

DOC 8500
(Image Courtesy http://products.damen.com/en/ranges/offshore-carrier/doc-8500)

With a 7,000 ton carousel, the Maersk Connector will conveniently execute burials and installations in diverse geographies such as deep sea, land-fall, and other challenging locations. DeepOcean has signed a project to operate the Maersk Connector at the Bligh Bank Wind Farm.

Innovation is the latest buzzword in the maritime industry. Inventive features of the DOC 8500 include:

  • Excellent Fuel Efficiency
  • DP2 System
  • Environment Friendly

Damen’s design philosophy for the DOC 8500 was to build a vessel capable of catering to the present demand of carrying cargo and modules on open deck for large distances.

Such a ship would be better option as compared to the slow and conventional tug and barge transport. The DOC burns an astounding 25% less fuel than equivalent tug-barge combines.

DP2 Mechanism enables stable and safe off-loading or offshore loading operations. Operators can also install detachable bow thrusters and / or additional power boosters to further optimize DP2 functions.

You can fit the DOC with LNG Propulsion System made of fixed or containerized LNG tanks. You can also fit Scrubbers that limit emissions even while using low-priced HFO. Cofferdams protect its fuel tanks and it holds a Green Passport and Zero Dumping Certification.

Technical Specifications

Feature Performance
Gross Tonnage 8,637 GT
Deadweight 8,300 tons
Speed (Maximum) 11.7 knots
Endurance 65 days
Accommodation 90
Length (Overall) 119.08 m
Length Between Perpendiculars 112.01 m
Molded Beam 27.45 m
Summerdraft 5.82 m
Depth of Main Deck at Side 9 m
Main Engines 2 x MAK 8M25 2,560kWe&2 x MAK 6M25 1,912kWe
Thrusters 2 x 2,100kW Azimuth Thruster of 2,650mm Diameter with 4 Bladed FPP
Bow Thrusters 2 x 1,000kW Tunnel Thruster of 2,250mm Diameter with 4 Bladed FPP1 x 1,000kW Retractable Azimuth of 1,750mm Diameter with 4 Bladed FPP

Design Features

  • Minimum Fuel Consumption and Excellent Seakeeping in head seas with a cutting edge slim hull form and a streamlined bow

Head Seas are the waves that come directly from the front of a ship. Seakeeping is the ability of a ship to successfully sail through rough conditions

In 1976, St. Denis suggested four primary parameters to explain seakeeping:

  • Mission: ship operation
  • Environment: operating conditions
  • Ship Responses: reaction of the ship to the environment
  • Seakeeping Criteria: based on the type of ship and its mission and operation
Car Driving Directly on to a Ro-Ro Vessel (Image Courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roll-on/roll-off)

Car Driving Directly on to a Ro-Ro Vessel
(Image Courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roll-on/roll-off)

  • Modular Platform enables setting up of modules for cable-laying and other operations

The module design is tailor made for peculiar requirements of each operation. You can install the modules either during the construction phase or retrofit them later

  • Optional Damen Deep Dredge System
  • Bunkering Apparatus to refuel fixed installations and vessels at offshore oil and gas fields
  • Mechanisms to Transfer Crew Personnel

DOC 8500 comes with a large continuous deck of over 2,300m2 area that can take on a load of 20 tons/m2. Deck and Cargo Equipment include:

  • 1 x Basket Carousel Cable Laying Installation for 5,000 tons
  • 3 x Electric-Hydraulic driven Bow Anchor Winches
  • 1 x Knuckle Boom Crane 100 ton @ 20m
  • 4 x Electric-Hydraulic driven Mooring Winches (2 each at the fore and the aft)
  • 1 x Stiff Boom Crane 4.5 ton @ 20m
  • 2 x 45 Person Capacity Life Boats
  • 1 x Large Monopool (5.4 x 5.4 m)
  • 1 x Small Monopool (1.5 x 1.3 m)
  • 1 Support for A-Frame

Other features include:

  • Refined Roll-On/Roll-Off (Ro-Ro) Capacity

Ro-Ro vessels are designed to transport wheeled cargo such as railroad cars, automobiles, trailers, semi-trailer trucks, and trucks. You can directly drive the wheeled cargo on and off a Ro-Ro ship

Such loading-unloading is in marked contrast to Lift-On/Lift-Off (LoLo) vessels that employ cranes for loading-unloading

  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Area A3 compliant onboard communication and navigation systems


Any design that saves time and money is more than welcome in any professional field. But if the field happens to be maritime transport, such design gets nothing short of red carpet treatment. The DOC 8500 is such a design.

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