Leading UK crew transfer operator HST has taken delivery of the first of a new class of Damen Multi Cat, the 2309. The addition of the Multi Cat to its fleet of Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs) is the first stage of HST’s strategy to become a total solutions provider to the offshore renewables sector.

Damen’s Multi Cat range is well-known for its versatility, and the 2309 represents a new, mid-range model that is ideal for a wide range of tasks. HST’s new asset now allows them to offer its clients workboat services such as marine logistics and general contracting alongside its crew transfer business. In order to give its clients a premium service, HST has added some custom features to their new vessel, including Volvo Penta engines for added efficiency and emissions reductions. These can also be easily converted for IMO Tier III compliance. The bow thruster has also been upgraded for enhanced manoeuvrability and the crew cabins have been fitted with satellite television and high-speed interconnectivity with fleet system and VSAT.

Additional equipment upgrades include a five-tonne pull winch and a heavy duty crane with a lifting capacity of 25 tonnes at 5.8 metres outreach. On the aft deck a tugger winch with 12 tonnes of pull has been installed along with an A-frame with plough for cable laying. Additional redundancy throughout the vessel is another feature, ensuring both reliability and versatility.

The new vessel, named HST Hazel after the daughter of HST operations director Chris Monan, was built at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld in the Netherlands. It will initially be based out of HST’s home port of Swansea, supporting clients in Wales and south-western England.

“The acquisition of the HST Hazel is just the beginning of our strategy of extending our services to become a total solutions provider,” said HST managing director Tom Nevin. “We are doing this in response to the preference of our offshore renewables customers for a single point of contact for all their offshore support.”

Damen’s UK and Ireland sales manager, Frederik van der Linde, added: “We are delighted to have HST as the launch customer of our new Multi Cat 2309 design. Because HST is already successfully operating four Damen FCS 2710s, we are able to offer them convenient and cost-efficient service support as their fleet expands and diversifies, all via a single point of contact. This will give them peace-of-mind and more time to focus on their customers. We are confident that HST Hazel will outperform expectations.”