Ulstein X-BOW, A Viking Ship Redesigned for Modern Use

John Konrad
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September 25, 2008

ULSTEIN X-BOW Container Ship

A vessel found in 700 AD, several centuries before Vikings ruled Norway, an Oseberg ship from approximately 800 AD and the vessel knarr from around year 1000 AD all have one thing in common; their rounded bows were the inspiration for Ulstein’s latest design, the x-bow container ship.

This design is not new, launched last year the Bourbon Orca was the first vessel launched with Ulstein’s revolutionary bow design. Now the company is set to incorporate this design into a new class of short-sea shipping vessels. A company press release:

The ULSTEIN AX104 Bourbon Orca, the first vessel with the ULSTEIN X-BOW , was appointed Ship of the Year 2006,Bourbon Orca Ceremony and served to demonstrate how the Ulstein Group is turning visions into reality while also creating ship history.
However, the benefits of the bow are not restricted to offshore vessels, explains managing director in Ulstein Design Rolf Inge Roth. “The principle features of the ULSTEIN X-BOW® are as relevant for a number of merchant vessel applications as they have proven to be for offshore applications.”

Advantages of ULSTEIN X-BOW® :
• Higher transit speed in adverse weather conditions
• Reduced fuel consumption in head seas and following seas
• Reduced fuel consumption in ballast condition due to improved lightweight distribution
• Negligible slamming reducing the risk of damage to the vessel
• Lower pitch and heave accelerations, and enhanced protection of cargo areas reducing the risk of loss or damage of cargo
• Increased payload capacity for certain applications and configurations
“Particularly small and medium sized vessels engaged in regional trades are set to capitalize on the benefits offered by the X-BOW®, and we are currently evaluating this feature for use on container feeder vessels, ro-ro vessels and certain general cargo vessels”

Bourbon Orca x-bow Workboat

With news of Ulstein winning Norway’s Ship of the Year again in 2007 for design of the Normand Seven we have every expectation of seeing the 2008 awards dominated by the first x-bow container ship.

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(This post was originally published on June 20th 2007)

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