Damen Optima nozzle has major benefits on waterways

AUGUST 4, 2016 — Damen Shipyards Group is promoting the advantages that its Damen Optima Nozzle to the North American inland shipping sector.

The Optima is a propeller nozzle developed and manufactured by subsidiary Damen Marine Components (DMC).DMC produces propeller nozzles for a wide spectrum of maritime applications, but says that the Damen Optima yields the most benefits for inland waterways operators.

"Using the Damen Optima has many advantages," says DMC Managing Director Steef Staal. "And it's these that we want to pass on to our North American customers.

"Looking at today's inland shipping operators in Europe, you'll see that everyone uses a nozzle."

One of the main reasons for the dominance of nozzles is the use of skew-type propellers, whose rounded profile addresses the historical problem of sediment and debris blockage.

DMC designed the Damen Optima – a nozzle with a slightly longer and higher intake and a propeller positioned just aft of the centerline – to increase performance even further.

Real-life results from the first customers confirmed what model testing had predicted: "The feedback we heard from operators on the subject of thrust, both forward and reverse, was very positive," says Steef Staal. "This is a very important factor for inland vessel and push boat captains: they need to be able to count on optimum stopping distances."

Staal says the Optima is better in other aspects too. "Fuel use and exhaust emissions are decreased; thus reducing fuel costs and improving air quality, he says.

DMC tailors the propeller frequency specifically for each vessel, thus reducing sound and vibration levels. This makes life more pleasant for the crew and is also important when inland waterways pass through urban areas.American focusDamen's increased marketing of the Optima nozzle for the American market follows the recent opening of Damen North America – the company's branch office located in Houston, Texas (see earlier story).

As each Damen Optima nozzle is tailored to the specific needs of the client, personnel at the new office will be able to advise owners on the selection of correct systems.
"Of course the North American inland shipping sector is a substantial market for Damen. Our new office will allow us to really concentrate on what we do best: listening to, and then acting on, what our customers need," concludes Mr Staal.

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