A stabilizer system for workboats using a canting, air filled bulb keel has been claimed to potentially allow 40 days more per year of offshore operations in rough weather.

Dacoma and Tuco Marine have joined forces to test the Airkeel technology on Tuco´s ProZero workboat range. The Airkeel is a novel stabilizer for work- and crewboats for the offshore industries developed and built by Dacoma. The groundbreaking Airkeel-technology will be integrated into a 7m long fast workboat test platform from Tuco and for the first time tested at sea.

The Airkeel stabilizer combines increased seaworthiness and comfort at sea with reduced fuel consumption – and so another step towards a sustainable and carbon-free transformation of maritime industries.

Dacoma claims its patented Airkeel-technology based stabilizers increase dynamic and static roll stability for fast work- and crew boats from zero to max. speed, enabling at least 40 days more of offshore operations in rough weather windows. In addition, it is effective against seasickness, it is compact, and it saves fuel.

“The great thing about our technology is that it allows our customers to extend their operations into the bad weather window, while at the same time saving money on the fuel bill. That’s unique,” explains Arnd Baurichter, CEO and founder at Dacoma in Svendborg, Denmark.

First tests will focus on demonstration of heel compensation and optimization of roll damping in waves. The Dacoma stabilizer is based on the Airkeel, a submerged, air-filled flotation body mounted at the bottom of the hull. A computer-controlled mechanical drive system moves the Airkeel from side to side, stabilizing the boat against roll motion while at the same time increasing its buoyancy.

Beginning in early 2019, the Dacoma team in Svendborg managed to bring their patented stabilizer idea from drawing board to full size prototype within just one year.

“We worked really hard on this. And it would not have been possible without help from The Maritime Cluster of South Funen and our sponsors from the Danish Maritime Fund and the Innovation Fund. In Tuco, we have found the right partner, located just 30 km from us and with both the boat building expertise and the market insight to help us launch our product,” said Arnd Baurichter.

By Jake Frith

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