Sociedade Fluvial de Transportes S.A. (Soflusa) has ordered seven 49 m passenger-only ferries to operate between Sul e Sueste terminal and Barreiro in Lisbon. Each of the Damen Fast Ferry 4912 catamaran vessels will carry up to 600 passengers and four crew at a service speed of 25 knots.
Damen Shipyards in Singapore will build the ferries, with the first scheduled for delivery in early 2003, and the seventh early 2004.
In addition, two low-wash river ferries were delivered to Portugal early in 2002 and are operating successfully in waterways of Lisbon. These 37 m ferries, built by Image Marine in West Australia and operated by Transtejo Ferries, carry 400 passengers at 29 knots.
Significantly, all nine vessels are powered by twin Hamilton HM Series waterjets.
Propulsion on the larger Damen ferries consists of twin MTU engines, each providing 2320skW to a Hamilton Model HM811 waterjet through a Reintjes gearbox. The pair of smaller Image Marine ferries have twin 1050skW MTU engines driving Hamilton Model HM651 waterjets through Reintjes gearboxes.
Hamilton waterjet propulsion is well suited for the design of these ferries, where special attention has been paid to low wash characteristics of the hull, low sound levels, low maintenance schedules and fast turnaround times.
The Hamilton Waterjet design provides high efficiency at speeds above 25 knots, minimizing cavitation and ingestion of debris, while eliminating risk of engine overload. These characteristics increase fuel economy and engine life. Hamiltons entire model range provides the full maneuvering characteristics unique to waterjet propulsion. This includes such things as 360 degree "zero speed" maneuvering and emergency crash stop.
Hamilton Jet says one of its main advantages for these international ferry projects was its world wide distributor network. Through this network Hamilton Jet provides on-site support for both designers and builders, and on-going assistance for end-users, wherever they are in the world.