Wesmar bow thruster picked for Newfoundland ferry upgrade

The 387-ton, 125-foot Ro-Ro passenger ferry Norcon Galatea joins ferries around the world using Wesmar dual prop, counter rotating stainless steel thrusters The 387-ton, 125-foot Ro-Ro passenger ferry Norcon Galatea joins ferries around the world using Wesmar dual prop, counter rotating stainless steel thrusters Photo courtesy of Burry's Shipyard.

AUGUST 8, 2014 — Woodinville, WA, headquartered Wesmar (Western Marine Electronics, Inc.), reports that another ferry, the 70 passenger, 20 car MV Norcon Galatea, has installed Wesmar commercial bow thrusters. The 387-ton, 125-foot Ro-Ro passenger ferry is owned by Norcon Marine Services, Clarenville, Newfoundland and provides support for the provincial ferry fleet serving Bell Island and Portugal Cove, Newfoundland.

The 40-year-old ferry was previously the MV Hamilton Sound and owned by the Provincial Government, which sold it in 2011, then subsequently leased it back after extensive upgrades by the new owner.

The need for rugged commercial bow thrusters due to the rough weather in Eastern Canada prompted the owner to contact Wesmar, a recognized leader in this type of thruster.

Wesmar suggested its Model V2-26 to provide the HP range of 150 to 225 to augment the twin propellers and a single rudder on centerline that was in use. The Wesmar system is hydraulically powered and its 26-inch all stainless steel dual props and drive leg make it the most rugged available. The counter rotating design provides up to 40% more thrust without increasing the tunnel size.

This system was installed in an 18-foot steel tunnel.

"As the naval architect responsible for the technical component of this retrofit, we were seeking a compact tunnel thruster with a high degree of thrust," says Tim Wetzel, Poseidon Marine Consultants Ltd., St. John's, Newfoundland. "The Norcon Galatea is a relatively shallow draft vessel with a high windage area. The selected Wesmar thruster was well suited for this purpose. Additionally, we appreciated the quality of provided specifications and drawings, as well as prompt technical support as the project progressed."

Since acquiring the Norcon Galatea, Norcon has rebuilt the main engines and gearboxes, overhauled generators, installed a new forward ramp, new anchor and chains, new fire alarm system, new emergency evacuation system, upgraded all navigation equipment, upgraded safety equipment and made considerable upgrades to passenger areas. Installation of the recently added Wesmar thrusters was carried out at Norcon's sister company, Burry's Shipyard Inc. in Clarenville, Newfoundland.

"Our Norcon Marine team has invested considerable effort and energy to prepare the Galatea to deliver safe, reliable and sustainable service. We are both pleased and proud to offer support to the provincial ferry fleet," said Glenn Burry, President Norcon Marine Services.