Dockwise Vanguard has a flat bow-less deck measuring 70 by 275 metres (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.
The bridge and living area superstructure is situated at the far starboard side, and the deck also contains four movable buoyancy casings.The watertight deck allows water to flow over the deck without risking the ship.
Dockwise Vanguard is semi-submersible 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 metres (52 ft) below the surface, allowing her to handle deep draught cargoes.
Loads can then be floated above her, and her ballast tanks emptied allowing her to lift and transport cargoes up to 110,000 tonnes, 50% more than the Blue Marlin.
She can also be loaded from a dockside, and large cargoes loaded by skidding them on tracks.Dockwise Vanguard is able to offer 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.
This will save operators a huge amount of money compared with towing the rigs back to dock taking them out of service for months.