January 8, 2011

Offshore Accommodation Ships. Passenger Ships or Special Purpose Ships?

This article, set to be published in the next issue of Offshore Support Journal, discusses the two possible codes under which an Offshore Accommodation Ship (or Flotel Ship) can be built: Passenger Ship or Special Purpose Ship.

As explained in this blog post, any Shipstead (a “ship” for Seasteading purposes) should be classified by a Classification Society. The type of ship that most approximates the concept of a Shipstead is an Offshore Accomodation Ship or Flotel. Recently, IMO and some Classification Societies are checking as to how these ships should be classified. After some discussion, Det Norske Veritas suggests that these ships should be classified as Passenger Ships, not Special Purpose Ships.
The conclusion for Seasteading purposes is that a potential Shipstead should be designed as Passenger Ship, unless the code of an offshore Oil & Gas company, such as the MODU Code, is adopted. But applying an Oil & Gas industry code to a shipstead does not give any advantage when it can be built as a simple passenger ship. On the contrary, it complicates the design.