Barge ferry starts operations in Canada's Northwest Territories

Aurora Yukon Aurora Yukon

OCTOBER 13, 2017 —Alberta, Canada, based Waiward Steel LP has delivered the Aurora Yukon, a 30 m barge ferry that will carry vehicles and passengers across the Mackenzie River at Norman Wells, Northwest Territories.

The Aurora Yukon will operate with an existing tug, and replaces a barge originally built in 1969.

Designed by Robert Allan Ltd to Transport Canada regulations and Lloyd's Register (LR) Inland Waterways Ships Rules, the barge can carry up to twelve passengers and two crew on Sheltered Waters voyages, with a maximum cargo load of 115 tonnes and a maximum single vehicle load of 50 tonnes. The vessel is classed with the following notation:

LR ✠ AN I.W.W. Roll On-Roll Off Pontoon, Zone 1 (Mackenzie River Service)

Dimensions are:

Length overall: 30.0 m
Beam, molded, extreme: 9.9 m
Depth, molded (hull): 1.6 m
Maximum operating draft: 0.8 m (approx.)
Maximum deadweight: 115 tonnes

The project stipulated very strict weight requirements to ensure the vessel will suit an existing transport trailer. The barge design was developed in a 3D environment from the proposal stage in order to closely monitor weights and visualize changes. Extensive FEA analysis of the structure was performed in order to optimize the design for minimum steel weight while ensuring the required service life during river operations.

The barge is outfitted with the required regulatory safety equipment as well as a hydraulically operating loading ramp at one end. Mooring bitts are fitted on main deck along with heavy duty haul out bitts on the barge sides to facilitate launch and retrieval for over-wintering on dry land.

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