Damen Shipyards Group has delivered a Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 1605 to Allseas to support the Pioneering Spirit – the largest construction vessel in the world. The FCS 1605, named Ricochet, will perform fast crew and personnel transfers to and from the vessel.

Damen signed the contract for the vessel on the 15th of March. The delivery on 14 June was fast as a result of Damen’s practice of building its vessels in series for stock. When Allseas placed its order with Damen, the FCS 1605 was already built.

In order to prepare it for delivery, Damen has fitted the vessel with the latest in lightweight fender technology.
Damen has also supplied Allseas with the cradles with which to lift the vessel aboard the Pioneering Spirit, ensuring that it is able to operate wherever the larger vessel is undertaking a project.

Also read: Damen: Antarctic research vessel Nuyina is the most complex ship we ever built


Ricochet will replace two older vessels that currently perform this role. It features waterjets that enable it to sail quickly – up to 30 knots – and to manoeuvre well at low speed. The FCS 1605 will join a Damen Pushy Cat 804, named Nutshell, already aboard the Pioneering Spirit. This vessel performs a number of duties in support of the vessel, including line handling.

‘We needed a vessel with sufficient seats that could move at high speeds and yet be fuel efficient,’ says Marius Huige Allseas’ head of technical services. ‘The lightweight aluminium design of the FCS 1650 takes care of this. What’s more, due to Damen having the vessel in stock, we were able to take delivery very quickly.’

Pioneering Spirit

Pioneering Spirit was designed in-house by Allseas for the installation and decommissioning of offshore structures. Capable of lifting platform topsides up to 48,000 tonnes and jackets up to 20,000 tonnes in a single piece, the twin-hulled vessel is 382 metres long and 124 metres wide.

Also read: Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit removes Morecambe Bay topsides