Hydrolift P45 RS 175 «Wilhelm Wilhelmsen» is a new SAR model developed in close collaboration between Eker Design, Hydrolift, Hyke and the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue, financed by the Wilhelmsen Foundation.

The P45 SAR is an innovative expansion to the RS Staff-class, developed with focus on advancing maritime rescue technology and to make a big leap towards a more sustainable fleet. The development has led to numerous innovations in engineering, technology, and its reduced carbon footprint, that ultimately puts this vessel forward as the most advanced maritime rescue boat that the Sea Rescue Society operates to date.

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Image: Eker Design

In the pursuit of designing the future of maritime rescue, Eker Design and Hydrolift have poured their passion for technology and engineering into the RS 175 «Wilhelm Wilhelmsen». This project, born out of the desire to design the ultimate and most environmentally friendly rescue vessel, stands as a testament to Eker Design’s commitment to pushing boundaries in design and functionality.

Powering the Future: HVO Drive and E-Fuel

Backed by the Wilhelmsen Foundation, the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue came to the Eker Group to design their next vessel that would be their test area for new technology, discovering innovative solutions and meeting their ambitious goal of a 50% CO2 reduction in their operation on average by 2030. All based on the current Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue Staff Class.

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The P-45 being christened 9th of January. Image: Geir Moen

Through a comprehensive insight phase, we challenged suppliers from all around the world for driveline technology that would meet our requirements in terms of size, weight, operation speed, and distance. The Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue goes offshore when others go onshore, meaning the need for a reliable driveline is highly important. Choosing the High Vegetable Oil (HVO) driveline for the Smart Saver P45 ended up being the most powerful decision aimed at achieving a close to “net-zero” impact on the environment as possible. With up to 90% reduction in CO2 emissions well to wake and a remarkable 9% decrease in NOx/particulate matter, this vessel not only meets current sustainability standards but also paves the way for a future where it can run entirely on eco-friendly E-fuel, achieving CO2 neutrality.

Innovative Design for Maximum Efficiency

The shift to a larger motor room to accommodate the HVO driveline, the repositioning of the transom, and the enlargement of the aft platform have collectively increased the boat’s length from 42 to 45 feet. A 50% increase in air intake through new ventilation boxes ensures the engines receive optimal airflow, enhancing overall efficiency.

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Photo: Eker Design

For this project, Hydrolift and Eker Design also teamed up with Jotun. The RS 175 «Wilhelm Wilhelmsen» now serves as a testing ground for revolutionary water-based antifouling solutions that are yet to hit the market, furthering the vessel’s commitment to sustainability and serving its purpose as a testing ground for the future of maritime technology.

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Image: Eker Design

Human-Centric Ergonomics

The introduction of a new driveline and cutting-edge technology has impacted all systems in the current Staff Class. All 52 systems were redesigned, and new strength and dynamics analyses were conducted on the engine foundation, stringer, hull, deck, and towing system. Eighteen new composite molds and inserts have been produced in-house and with our partners, ensuring the part quality required to meet the vessel’s robustness.

The integration of new technologies, including a hydraulic bow thruster and hydraulic outlets, necessitated a reimagining of the vessel’s control center. Through physical and digital workshops and the construction of mockups, Eker Design was able to find the most ergonomic placement of screens and controls, actively involving the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue and volunteers in the process.

Hyke Sense Pro: A Technological Marvel

Hyke Sense PRO is a system that provides continuous 360-degree awareness of the vessel’s surroundings at sea. By utilizing multiple sensors, objects of all shapes and sizes around the vessel are detected, tracked, and classified, providing a prioritized overview of potential risks and interesting objects. To meet the unique needs of specific sectors, custom applications can be built on the Hyke Sense PRO system. The first application, SMART SEARCH, developed in collaboration with the Rescue Society, is optimized for search and rescue operations.

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Render: Eker Design

The incorporation of the Hyke Sense Pro system, comprising five sensor units and a Hub Unit in the mast and roof, underscores the commitment to cutting-edge technology. The system has been optimized through workshops with the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue, and integrations and housings have been designed with a specific purpose. With a dedicated server creating a wireless network and a tablet with a user-friendly interface in the control room, this vessel is at the forefront of technological innovation.

The technology stems from Hyke’s development of the Time Magazine Best Innovation of the Year: the Hyke Smart City Water Shuttle, an autonomous ferry ecosystem. The interdisciplinary Eker Group-collaboration on the Smart Saver project has been a collaboration across design, development and technology.

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Image: Eker Design

The RS 175 «Wilhelm Wilhelmsen» emerges as a vessel of excellence in maritime rescue, setting new standards for the industry. This vessel is not just a project; it’s a testament to the relentless pursuit of innovation and an unwavering commitment to saving lives at sea.

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Technical data:

• Length: 13.9 m
• Width: 3.9 m
• Speed: 30+ knots
• Weight: 14.7 tons
• Traction: 3.2 tons
• Fuel Capacity: 700 L +
• Engine: 2x Volvo Penta D8 MH Diesel 425 hp

Read more about the Hydrolift P45 Smart Saver

A big thank you to everyone involved, the contributions from the Wilhelmsen Foundation, the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue and their amazing volunteers. Thank you for your invaluable support and dedication to this project.

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