THE CLASSIFICATION OF PIPE-LAY VESSELS AND HEAVY-LIFT CRANE VESSELS
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Pipe-lay vessels, heavy-lift crane vessels and dual purpose heavy-lift and pipe-lay vessels are distinct in many ways from other types of ships or offshore units. The unique functions that these vessels carry out can impact directly on the overall safety of the vessel, the personnel on-board and the potential to pollute the environment. This paper outlines some of the hull and machinery safety assurance considerations for classification and design pertinent to pipe-lay and heavy-lift operations. The considerations that are discussed in this paper include the implications of classing the vessel as a ship or an offshore unit; the interaction between classification and marine warranty; general arrangement; station-keeping; structural assessment and the interaction between safety critical systems. Specific hazards for pipe-lay vessels and their use of chemicals on-board are also discussed.