Marine subsea operations are performed by highly specialized ships, referred to as Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair (IMR) and Offshore Construction Vessels (OCV). Although the ships and their on-board equipment are designed to operate in harsh environmental conditions, the current practice often is to terminate operations when a rigid and conservative weather limitation is reached, often specified in terms of the significant wave height as the exclusive criterion. Such general limitations do not account for vessel specific motion behavior. Since the offshore industry is aiming for all-year-round safe subsea operations, there is a strong interest amongst ship designers, owners and operators to establish vessel and task specific criteria. The project Vessel Performance within the Norwegian Centre for Research-based Innovation on Marine Operations (SFI MOVE), is developing response-based procedures, that are leading to case-specific operational ranges. This approach enables the full exploitation of vessel performance capabilities for safe and efficient offshore operations. Two methods with different complexity levels are proposed. Firstly, on the higher level, detailed operability analysis for a fleet and sea area of interest are performed by means of numerical tools.

This level can be used to obtain detailed results for existing ships, but the procedure can also be applied as guidance in the design stage. Secondly, on the lower level, generic diagrams can be used to estimate and compare the operational performance of different vessels based on fact sheet parameters. This is especially relevant for decision making processes where a detailed study cannot be performed.

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