Long and lean: new deckcarrier BoldWind from China (credit: United Wind Logistics).Long and lean: new deckcarrier BoldWind from China (credit: United Wind Logistics).

Europe’s offshore wind sector is the destination for the first of a new generation of deck carriers built in China, writes David Tinsley.

The 148-metre BoldWind, embodying a German-developed design combining optimised capacity for heavy turbine components with a multi-engine diesel-electric powering system, sailed from Jiangsu Zhenjiang’s yard on the Yangtze River in early May.

Fixed on long-term charter to MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, the vessel will be deployed providing logistic support to projects around the British Isles, northwest Europe and the Baltic. She is making her positioning run with a shipment of windmill blades from China to Norway.

Two such newbuilds have been contracted by Hamburg-based United Wind Logistics (UWL) at Jiangsu Zhenjiang, which holds on third and fourth vessels. Second-of-class BraveWind is expected to be ready for handover by September.

The BoldWind series features a forward-located superstructure and a load capacity of 10,000t on a completely unobstructed and flush, open deck area of nearly 3,600m2. The basic design emanates from the Hamburg engineering consultancy HeavyLift@Sea, and has been tailored to the conveyance of heavy cargo, machinery and large modules, and components and fabrications characterised by relative fragility as well as irregular dimensions, using the ro-ro mode of handling.

Exceptionally large in relation to hull length and breadth, the deck has a high load-bearing capability not only as regards overall mass and distributed load, but also as to point and linear loads. Key parameters relating to draught and breadth laid down in the specification took into account accessibility to various load-out ports, including a small Danish harbour, and navigation of the Kiel Canal linking the Baltic and the North Sea.

The ship’s electrical package was supplied by ABB, with power delivery from four MAN gensets driven by medium-speed engines fuelled by marine diesel oil(MDO). The plant incorporates selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to ensure IMO Tier III compliance on NOx emissions. Two of the prime movers are nine-cylinder models of the L21/31 type, and two are L16/24 engines in six-cylinder configuration.

The four gensets were manufactured under licence in China by CSSC Marine Power (CMP). On the basis of nominal maximum continuous ratings, the power concentration is in the order of 5,200kW, to ensure a laden speed of about 12 knots.

Norwegian group Fred Olsen secured a 50% stake last year in UWL, which has an established business link with MHI Vestas. This has included long-term charter of the deck carrier VestVind, and provision of engineering services, one of the highlights of which has been the realisation of a transport concept for the latter’s V164 high-power wind turbines.

Headquartered in eastern Jutland at Aarhus, MHI Vestas is a 50:50 venture of Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.


Length overall


Length bp








Gross tonnage




Cargo deck

128m x 28m

Propulsion system


Main genset engines

2 x MAN 9L21/31 + 2 x 6L16/24





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