Ship Photo of The Week – Polarcus’ SX134 Seismic Vessel

Mike Schuler
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November 19, 2010

This week’s ship photo, well actually more like an illustration, depicts one of two of Polarcus’ new generation type SX134 seismic vessels that it recently ordered to be built at the Ulstein Verft shipyard.  The two state-of-the-art vessels will utilize with the revolutionary X-BOW hull design featuring an inverted bow proven to be more efficient in rough seas. Ulstein tells us a bit more about these vessels.

The two new generation ULSTEIN SX134s will receive their ICE-1A* class notation from DNV. This notation allows these vessels to operate in Arctic waters under harsh ice conditions without the assistance of icebreakers. The entire vessel is ice-reinforced with thicker ribs and skin plates. The vessel has de-icing and ice-preventing systems at critical tanks and pipelines. Propellers, gears and thrusters are chosen and dimensioned based on specific rules for withstanding operation in ice. The two propellers are driven by two electric motors each; this ensures continuous operation and maneuvering if parts of equipment are damaged. In addition, the ship has the DNV notation WINTERIZED BASIC. Escape corridors and rescue equipment are also protected against icing during Arctic operations. The vessel will have two workboats and an MOB on board.

The two vessels will be equipped for 3D seismic, and will get three additional lead-in winches on deck and two extra towing points adding up to 14 towing points in all (14 streamers).The additional winches provide added flexibility to enable personnel to easily replace or repair components during operations, avoiding costs related to downtime. The SPS code provides added safety and enables operations worldwide. The vessel also carries the Clean Design Certificate. Read full press release

Like Polarcus, we’ve been impressed by Ulstein’s work ever since it introduced the X BOW hull design in 2006 with the launch of the M/V Bourbon Orca and apparently we weren’t the only ones; the M/V Bourbon Orca took home the prestigious Ship of the Year award in 2006, followed by Ulstein’s M/S Normand Seven in 2007 (not incorporating the X BOW design).

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