Tube Docking Device Moves Forward with New OWA Funding

Photo courtesy of Offshore Transfer Devices.

Offshore Transfer Devices Ltd has been awarded further funding from the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) that will support the commercialisation of the Tube Docking Device (TDD) access system. 

The new grant will help in developing the business case for the TDD and support the search for business partnership in the manufacture and supply of the product.

Previous funding provided by the OWA, which included design, fabrication, installation and sea trials to prove the concept, has demonstrated that the TDD has significant potential to improve safety and performance of conventional crew transfer vessels (CTVs), according to Daniel James, the director and project manager at Offshore Transfer Devices.

In 2017, the TDD was installed by Alicat Work boats on Iceni Marine Services CTV, Iceni Courage, to undergo a series of tests and trials on E.ON’s Scroby Sands offshore wind farm. The device was integrated and powered by hydraulic specialists, Hercules Hydraulics, in Great Yarmouth, UK. A wave rider buoy issued by the OWA was deployed to provide feedback and was followed by a trials program carried out by the Carbon Trust members.


The TDD system pins a crew transfer vessel to a structure whilst also eliminating any possibility of mechanical entanglement, according to the developer. Designed to transfer the vessel’s forward propulsion into clamping compression, TDD is automatically disengaging from the structure once forward propulsion is reduced and the vessel backs away from its docking station.

There are several ways to apply the Tube Docking Device, such as vessel to offshore structure transfers, vessel to vessel transfers, aiding the connection between offshore structure and compensated gantry applications (walk-to-work), and also allowing vessels to be unattended in the lee of mother ships using TDD.

According to Offshore Transfer Devices, TDD can be made to fit any size vessel whether to aid a daughter craft capabilities with an ultra-light 150 kg device or full size 1,250 kg device for the larger 26m+ vessels.

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