RA1 Vessel performance

RA1 Vessel performance

The aim of the present research area is to influence the direction of future innovations in ship and equipment design.  This work-package will provide rational performance criteria for offshore work vessels, and establish a forum for feed-back between offshore operators, marine contractors, ship owners, yard / equipment suppliers and designers of offshore work vessels.



The vessels being used in various marine operations have different capacities (crane- and winch capacity, deck area, dead weight etc.), equipment and safety barriers (redundancies, height and protection of working deck, de-ice). The type of marine operations and the geographical operation area imply different vessel requirements, and a performance evaluation will thus be dependent on operation type and location. Therefore the scope will be limited to typical installation and anchor handling vessels designed for the various operations prioritized in this research program.

There are several examples of vessels that in hindsight has been characterised as excellent or average w.r.t. efficiency. The reason given for such a grading is often more diffuse, and may be related to hull form, vessel size, installed equipment or the ability of the crew. The development process towards better ships could therefore need more diversified feedback and guidance than 'size matters'.

First of all it is important to learn more precisely what makes a vessel perform excellently, and to distinguish between the above factors (hull form, vessel size, equipment and crew). Also it is of interest to evaluate the seasonal or all-year availability versus size (or cost).


Initially a set of operational based criteria and a set of key parameters will be established, that describes and quantifies the ability of an offshore work vessel to perform its predefined work tasks effectively. Evaluate the significance of each parameter or property, and compare different vessels w. r. to performance.

Background and status of knowledge

Key Performance Indicators (KPI), eventually combined with balanced score cards, is often used to define and measure how well various levels of an organization succeeds in meeting operational and strategic goals. The definition of a KPI can be simple or complex, e.g. either express the gross results from a process or include balanced measures of several more or less easily quantifiable contributions to an over-all  evaluation of success, e.g. the public opinion of the enterprise's social responsibility.

New knowledge to be developed in current project

The research methodology proposed in this research area is to investigate how the KPI concept can be transferred from the organizational context and implemented to a physical context where the principles are used in a different way, by use of know-how from experienced naval crew members combined with specialist fields such as advanced marine technology, physics, hydrodynamics and environmental impact.

Research tasks

  1. Establish parameters expressing capability and efficiency, both absolute and relative to the ship size. Ship motion in predominant sea states will be important factors and also load capacities, practicality and efficiency of various equipment.
  2. Acquire evaluations from experienced personnel about vessel characteristics contributing to effective operations. Benchmarking and exchange information between participants, combining performance indicator parameters with experienced or registered performance.
  3. Justify the selection of parameters through application on various vessel sizes and types.