Helicopter Pad for Commercial Operations

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by aircoastal, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. aircoastal
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    aircoastal Junior Member

    Tad- that is the way i have been leaning although of the self propelled type as for various reasons I need it to be licensed as a vessel and move under its own power. It just seemed that a barge was significantly heavier than what I needed so I did not know if a purpose built hull would result in something operationally better from a marine operation stand point.

    Something like this would be a good start I suppose.

    http://www.wotol.com/images/thumbs/800x800/619674_a1e331db27f10ae47d09700703b8f076.jpg
     

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  2. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Are there going to be more than 6 paying passengers on this vessel? If used in US waters as a vessel carrying more than 6 passengers the vessel has to be what's called a "Coast Guard Inspected Vessel" and operated by a licensed captain.

    The inspected vessel designation is rather involved and it is no easy task to convert a non inspected vessel to an inspected one. Vessel has to have been built in the US.

    :cool:
     
  3. aircoastal
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    aircoastal Junior Member

    Keysdisease: I could design and limit it to 6 however that wouldn't be desirable. I had planned on a licensed captain. The point you make is one that I thought might make a custom new build favorable over trying to get a conversion inspected and designated.
     
  4. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

  5. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Since all you need is a floating platform, I just keep coming back to a self powered deck barge. Here you really need the weight, at least to some point for stability. The internal structure will also allow a huge amount of space for fuel, supplies, and if needed convertible space for quarters.

    Building new is always an option, but used ones are much cheaper, and most of them are inspected. At least for their present configuration. Getting them inspected for flight operations wouldn't be that big of a hassle. Or at least not any worse that normal.
     
  6. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    You would need a licensed Captain for any vessel taking pax for hire, but you could use most any vessel as long as it was under 6 pax and you carried the correct safety equipment. 6+ calls for "inspected" vessel.

    In the USVI the tender that takes pax out to the submarine has to be approved for 2 x the capacity of the submarine, even though that number will only be aboard a few minutes as they change out pax in the sub. I don't know how or if this will apply to your operation but it's a hiccup to note.

    There are plenty of used small car ferries on the market that are inspected, and the car deck would make a good helipad, would be an easy refit.

    :cool:


     
  7. Westfield 11
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    Westfield 11 Senior Member

    Isn't one reason for a forward house and aft heliport to prevent flames and smoke from blowing back over the crew in case of an accident? It would also put the heli deck in the wind shadow of the house and might make possible operations in higher winds than a forward heli deck. A forward crew quarters that is 25' wide and two or three stories high would either be a lee in which to shelter or a source of turbulence to avoid. What does your chief pilot and safety officer or any high time pilot with offshore experience think?
     
  8. aircoastal
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    aircoastal Junior Member

    Westfield: I personally have a lot of experience landing on various sizes of vessels from oil tankers, cable layers, and private yachts. Yes you are correct I am specifying the helideck to be on the aft portion for some of the reason you mention. When landing on the deck I would prefer to land in the same direction as the vessel and have any obstructions located in front of me and not behind me especially if the obstructions happen to be moving. As far as the air flow preferably the vessel would be into the wind and you are correct any significant obstructions upwind will disturb the airflow however that will be much easier for a pilot to deal with. I don's know that the layout would necessarily allow for higher wind operations because the higher the wind the more of a transition will take place when entering the lee side.
     
  9. aircoastal
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    aircoastal Junior Member

    Tad: does those numbers 97/78 equate to loaded/empty?
     
  10. aircoastal
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    aircoastal Junior Member

    So the mass or weight of the hull will provided more stability than something constructed with less weight?
     
  11. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Maybe a little more description of how you envision your operation? Calm protected water or offshore? All conditions or limited to decent weather? Permanent crew requirements? Berthing requirements if any? Range requirements? US waters or International?

    Is there a requirement for class? ABS, Lloyds, etc?

    You indicated you would refuel from this vessel, just one helicopter or more? What kind of tankage? This will be a challenge all by itself for approvals.

    :cool:
     
  12. aircoastal
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    aircoastal Junior Member

    Keysdisease: South Florida ICW decent weather. There would not probably be permanent live aboard crew but perhaps occasional overnight. I would be happy with 100 mile range.
    No international no offshore.
    The refueling will require a fire foam system or there is an alternative helideck with passive fire protection that allows for a salt water system. The tanks I would prefer below deck internal.

    Only one helicopter would be on the vessel at any time.

    I am still a little unclear about class requirements. From what I have read so far I thought ABS might be a requirement.

    Not sure by berthing if you meant crew or vessel I was assuming something of this size would end up in an anchor field.
     
  13. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    We designed and built a 45m high speed catamaran that was "under" the 100 ton USCG rule. Whereas when built in our UK yard, under normal international tonnage rules, it was 605!

    It appears "easy" to play fast and loose with the ton rules of the USCG....
     
  14. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Class will not be a requirement, USCG inspected vessel status should suffice for insurance purposes.

    Given how you plan to operate a self powered barge sounds like a good bet. Steel construction will make CG inspection easier, a stability test should be no problem. Keep it under 100 tons and less than 49 passengers and it will be easier, those are the cutoffs before there are additional requirements.

    Here's a USCG inspected self powered barge in Miami approved for 150 pax

    http://www.tikkibeach.com/tikki.html

    It has a dedicated tug to power it, which may make inspected vessel status easier because the machinery space is technically a separate vessel, I think. Would have to do some digging in the regs but plausible.

    You would need to hire a NA to be sure that any barge you might use was built in the US, and had scantlings that would meet CG requirements. After that as a steel (non combustible) vessel the rest should not be too difficult.

    :cool:

     

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  15. joz
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    joz Senior Member

    Aircoastal

    Here are some pics of the smallest carrier in the USN to which might be what you are looking for in terms of a heli carrier for your business venture.
     

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