BOKA Vanguard


BOKA Vanguard (formerly Dockwise Vanguard) is a semisubmersible heavy-lift ship owned and operated by Dockwise B.V. Dockwise Vanguard is the largest vessel of her type ever built, and is able to carry cargoes up to 110,000 tonnes.[11] Dockwise Vanguard was designed to move offshore oil and gas facilities, but can also carry other ships and act as an offshore dry-dock facility.[12]

DOCKWISE VANGUARD (14834467231).jpg
Dockwise Vanguard without cargo in Maasmond, Rotterdam in 2014
  • Dockwise Vanguard (2013-2018)
  • BOKA Vanguard (2018-present)
OwnerDockwise flag.svg Dockwise Shipping B.V.
Port of registryWillemstad,  Curaçao[1]
Ordered2 October 2011[1]
BuilderHyundai Heavy Industries
CostUS$240 million[6]
Yard number2511[4]
Laid down22 December 2011[1]
Launched7 October 2012[3]
Christened30 November 2012[4]
Acquired1 February 2013 [5]
General characteristics
TypeHeavy lift ship
Displacement91,238 tonnes[7]
  • 275 m (902 ft)
  • 270 m (890 ft) b.p.[9]
Beam79 m (259 ft)
  • 11 m (36 ft) (sailing)
  • 31 m (102 ft) (submerged)
Installed power
  • 27,000 kW comprising:
  • 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) (unloaded)
  • 11–13 knots (20–24 km/h; 13–15 mph) (loaded)[10]

As offshore oil and gas facilities have grown in size, Dockwise saw a market for a ship that could carry the largest floating oil rigs to their destinations,[13] reducing time and costs of transportation and allowing rigs to be built economically in a shipyard. In conjunction with Finland-based Deltamarin,[6] they designed a ship called the "type-O heavy-lift vessel", later renamed Dockwise Vanguard following an in-house competition won by Gerry Sarlis and Anthony van Ginkel.[14] In 2014, Dockwise started a feasibility study into a larger successor to Dockwise Vanguard.[15]


Dockwise Vanguard has a flat, bow-less deck measuring 70 by 275 m (230 by 902 ft), allowing cargo longer and wider than the deck. Her deck is 70% larger than the MV Blue Marlin, the third-largest heavy-lift ship.[16] The bridge and living area superstructure are situated at the far starboard side, and the deck also contains four movable buoyancy casings.[14] The watertight deck allows water to flow over the deck without risking the ship.[17]

Dockwise Vanguard is semisubmersible allowing her to lift ships or rigs out of the water, and to place them into water. When her ballast tanks are flooded, her deck lies up to 16 m (52 ft) below the surface, allowing her to handle deep-draught cargoes. Loads can then be floated above her, and her ballast tanks empty, allowing her to lift and transport cargoes up to 110,000 tonnes, 50% more than the Blue Marlin.[16] She can also be loaded from a dockside, and large cargoes can be loaded by skidding them on tracks.[16]

Dockwise Vanguard can accommodate a crew of 40.[14]


The first cargo of Dockwise Vanguard was Chevron Corporation's Jack/St. Malo oil platform, moved from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea to the Gulf of Mexico.[5] At 53,000 tons, Jack/St. Malo is the biggest semisubmersible floating oil platform ever built, and was loaded in February 2013.[13] The journey was expected to take just under two months.[12] As of 2013, Dockwise Vanguard had orders for two more deliveries, the Goliat FPSO later in 2013, and the Aasta Hansteen spar platform in 2015, both being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries.[6] At 193 m (633 ft) long, the Aasta Hansteen platform was to be, as of 2013, the largest floating spar platform produced.[18][needs update]

Dockwise Vanguard is capable of providing an offshore dry-dock facility, allowing ships and floating oil rigs to be raised out of the water for inspection or maintenance without a break in production.[12] This was projected to be of economic value to operators by allowing maintenance without towing the rigs back to dock and taking them out of service for months.[10] In the summer of 2013, Dockwise Vanguard was used as dry dock for the semisubmersible drilling platform Noble Paul Romano in the Grand Harbour of Valletta and just off the coast of Malta, as no local dry docks were big enough.[19][20][needs update] In the summer of 2019, BOKA Vanguard was used by Carnival Cruise Lines as a floating dry dock for repairs to the Carnival Vista's azipod system,[21][22][23] following the closure of one of Grand Bahama Shipyard's drydocks after one of the drydock's cranes collapsed on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas.[24]

Costa Concordia proposalEdit

In September 2013, Dockwise Vanguard was proposed to move Costa Concordia from Isola del Giglio to a salvage yard on the Italian mainland for "breaking"[25] and Costa Crociere announced a $30 million option with Royal Boskalis Westminster the following month to use the ship.[26] In the event, Dockwise Vanguard was not used, and Costa Concordia was instead refloated and towed to Genoa in July 2014.


  • The Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners' 2011 KVNR Shipping Award[27]
  • Offshore Technology Conference 2012 Spotlight on New Technology Award[28]



  1. ^ a b c d e "Dockwise Vanguard (31662)". DNV Vessel Register. DNV. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  2. ^ "Dockwise Vanguard". Maritime Connector. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  3. ^ "State-of-the-Art Heavy-Lift Vessel Dockwise Vanguard Ready for Sea Trials". World Maritime News. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Dockwise Vanguard Christening Ceremony". Offshore Kinematics. Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Dockwise Ltd : Dockwise Vanguard started maiden trip". Market Wire. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Dockwise Vanguard Heavy Transport Vessel, Netherlands". Ship Technology. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Making heavy lift transportation by sea more efficient" (PDF). Wärtsilä. Retrieved 26 January 2013.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Dockwise Vanguard specifications". Offshore Kinematics. Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  10. ^ a b Morgan, David (June 2012). "Bowless Vanguard adds new strings" (PDF). Offshore Engineer: 32, 33. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-03.
  11. ^ "Spotlight on Technology". Offshore Technology Conference. Archived from the original on 6 April 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  12. ^ a b c Thomas, Mark (9 July 2012). "Heavy-lift vessels tip the scales". Archived from the original on 24 February 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  13. ^ a b Arnsdorf, Isaac (15 February 2013). "Dockwise Vessel Loads Largest Offshore Platform on Maiden Voyage". Bloomberg. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  14. ^ a b c Sinke, Piet. "Collection of maritime press clippings, Special report" (PDF). Daily collection of maritime press clippings. Retrieved 26 January 2013. google canched copy[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Howard, Gary (6 May 2014). "Boskalis plans Vanguard-beating heavy lift crown-taker". London: Seatrade Global. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  16. ^ a b c "Dockwise targets giant platforms, offshore maintenance for latest vessel". Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Drawing Board". Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  18. ^ Ball, Eldon. "Aker designs largest spar". Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  19. ^ "DOCKWISE VANGUARD photos". Marine traffic. Archived from the original on 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  20. ^ "Boskalis offers combined refloat and dry dock solution through SMIT and Dockwise". Reuters. 8 August 2013. Archived from the original on 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  21. ^ Thakkar, Emrys (13 July 2019). "Carnival Vista Arrives to Begin First-Ever Floating Dry Dock". Cruise Hive.
  22. ^ Labrut, Michele (4 July 2019). "Heavy lift world first for Boskalis to transport Carnival Vista to drydock". Seatrade Maritime - Shipping, Maritime and Offshore Marine News.
  23. ^ "Carnival Vista Repair Underway". 15 July 2019.
  24. ^ Riotta, Chris (2 April 2019). "Crane crashes into one of world's largest cruise ships, injuring eight". The Independent.
  25. ^ ""Vanguard" could load the whole wreck and ship it efficiently to any scrapyard in the world". Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  26. ^ "Huge salvage vessel may help lift Costa Concordia wreck". BBC News. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  27. ^ "The Netherlands: Dockwise Wins KVNR Shipping Award". World Maritime News. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  28. ^ "2012 Spotlight on New Technology Award Recipients". Offshore Technology Conference. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.

External linksEdit

  • Official website.
  • An animation of the ship on YouTube.