A new berthing facility to transfer crew from the Barrow Offshore Windfarm was needed. The brief was a difficult one as the new pontoon had to be restrained without any piles, anchors or other attachments as the Walney Channel had to be periodically dredged and the site is subject to an 11m tidal range.
The pontoon was designed so that it is moored by its tubular brow that connects it to the shore together with four mooring chains also connected to the shore. The brow’s hinged support provides three degrees of freedom and permits the pontoon to be swung to one side when dredging takes place.
Windcat vessels normally berth bow on to the pontoon for crew transfer as they do to the wind turbines, but this unusual pontoon can also accommodate alongside berthing on the sides with one of the side berths being fitted with a fueling facility.