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Wind turbine blades being transported and prepared for installation

Sjøhest Blade Installation

A firm grip on installing your blades

  • Description Description

An alternative installation methodology with major time savings

The Sjøhest – Norwegian for ‘seahorse’ – is a Wind Blade Installation (WBI) solution. GustoMSC started the Sjøhest development in cooperation with NOV Lifting & Handling in Norway in early 2021 in response to the installation challenges related to the bigger wind turbines; higher towers accommodate larger blades. To install these blades at these heights (175 to 200 m), contractors encounter downtime as the wind makes the tower and blades sensitive to movements, obstructing safe installation and increasing installation time and downtime.

With the Sjøhest WBI solution, the larger installation jack-up vessels equipped with heavy lift cranes install the towers and nacelles, while a dedicated WBI jack-up vessel equipped with a smaller handling crane and trolley with telescopic leader boom installs the blades. The Sjøhest WBI solution consists of a dedicated new build NG-5500XL with integrated blade installation equipment, or smaller jack-up vessels can be converted. With this conversion, the fleet of smaller jack-up vessels extends their operational life and is saved from becoming obsolete.

Large installation jack-up vessels have relatively high day rates; therefore, increased installation time or downtime is costly and needs to be avoided as much as possible. The alternative installation methodology with Sjøhest ensures major installation time savings. All three blades per turbine can be installed within one day.

Illustration of a seahorse under the sea

Inspired by nature

Like the seahorse's unique and strong grasping tail enables it to resist ocean currents, the Sjøhest connects itself to the tower, creating an aligned movement for safe and efficient blade installation.

A smaller handling crane (manipulator) picks up the blades from the blade rack and feeds the trolley. As a telescopic leader boom connects the Sjøhest with the already installed tower, the leader boom connection aligns with the tower's movements. This creates an aligned movement between the blade and the tower. Once the blade is connected to the trolley, the trolley horizontally transports the blade along the leader, rotates the blade into a vertical position, and connects it to the rotor.

Improve the logistics process

The installation methodology with Sjøhest enables splitting tower/nacelle and blade mobilization into separate onshore mobilization hubs. Due to their size, existing and future blades create a huge necessity for space. Furthermore, quayside blade loads are far less than towers and nacelles. The mobilization split creates much more flexibility in the mobilization location and benefits the entire logistics process.


  • Significantly faster installation, resulting in an improved project timeline
  • No need for a bigger crane for loading in port, as blades can be loaded via a roll-on/roll-off system
  • Different ports and locations, from tower and nacelle, can be used to load the jack-up (four sets of blades when using a dedicated new build NG-5500XL)
  • Fleet of smaller jack-ups remains relevant (life extension)
  • Suitable for different sets of blades
  • Ability to be installed on any jack-up vessel
  • Collaboration with Liftra, the #1 in blade handling tools

The sequence of Sjøhest blade installation and handover of the blades

Render of the Seahorse Blade Tool in action, first in the sequence
NOV handling crane (manipulator) picks up the blade from the blade rack
Render of the Seahorse Blade Tool in action, second in the sequence
The crane is docking on the trolley, and a telescopic leader boom connects the Sjøhest with the installed tower
Render of the Seahorse Blade Tool in action, third in the sequence
The trolley horizontally transfers the blade along the leader with Liftra blade handling tool as one package into a vertical position and connects to the rotor

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