NOVEMBER 6, 2017 — Spanish shipbuilder Gondan has launched the first of four GRP-hulled eco fast ferries at its Figueras, Asturias, shipyard. The 28 m x 9 m vessels are being built for ferry operator Baleària and will carry 350 passengers at speeds up to 28 knots.

The catamarans are designed with an innovative wave piercing bow that displaces water towards the side tunnels in order to maintain speed and reduce wave slamming.

The many eco friendly features include photovoltaic solar panels that will supply energy for on-board services on board, while the hull will be made of polyester reinforced with fiberglass, which does not require the application of paint.

Each will have twin state-of-the-art 1,450 hp diesels that minimize emissions of polluting gases.

Baleària says that with the new ferries it will "make a qualitative leap" in its transport services between Eivissa and Formentera in the Balearic Islands, "combining reliability, comfort and speed with respect for the planet."

The vessels will have 270 indoor and 80 upper deck outdoor seats and will make the journey in just 30 minutes.

To be names Eco AQUA, Eco TERRA, Eco AIRE and Eco LUX, the ferries will be delivered between the end of this year and the middle of next.


Published in Ferries

NOVEMBER 6, 2017 —The Government of Ontario and Damen Shipyards Group have signed a contract for the design, build and delivery for two ferries to operate in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.

The ferries will be a 68 m Damen Road Ferry 6819 and a 98 m Damen Road Ferry 9819. Although one vessel is 30 m longer than the other they will share many design features and equipment specifications. Both will also be hybrid-ready, enabling them to be fitted with batteries when required.

Both vessels are being designed in-house by Damen and will be fully customized for the local infrastructure.

The ferries will be based in Kingston and Loyalist Township, Ontario, at the northeastern end of Lake Ontario. They will be significantly larger than the existing vessels on the routes that they will serve and will create more economic benefits - helping more people, vehicles and goods travel to and from the islands.

The larger of the two new ferries will serve the nearby Wolfe Island while the smaller will serve Amherst Island, just a few kilometers to the west.

The ferries are expected to make crossings faster for the one million passengers and 500,000 vehicles which travel annually between Wolfe Island and Kingston, and the 270,000 passengers and 130,000 vehicles which travel to and from Amherst Island each year.

"We are very happy and very proud to have this opportunity to further expand Ontario's fleet of ferries," said Damen Sales Manager Leo Postma following the signing ceremony: . A rigorous tender process is always a test of how competitive we are and we are very pleased with the result. This new contract is a continuation of successful sales into Canada by Damen and the two new ships will take the number of Damen ferries operating in the country up to eight, along with other Damen workboats. More are also currently under construction. As a result of orders such as these, Damen Shipyards Galati is becoming an international center of excellence for the production of ferries."

The ferries are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2019 (Amherst) and at the end of 2020 (Wolfe).

Published in Ferries

OCTOBER 9, 2017 — Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) has booked a contract, valued at EUR 126 million (about $148 million), to design and build two 117m high-speed vehicle passenger trimaran ferries for long time customer Fred Olsen S.A. of the Canary Islands, Spain.

The aluminum trimarans, designed by Austal Australia, will be the second and third trimarans to be delivered to Fred Olsen S.A. which already operates the world's first and largest trimaran vehicle passenger ferry, the 127m Benchijigua Express – designed and built by Austal in 2005.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton thanked Fred Olsen S.A. and the Olsen family for the company's continued partnership and investment in Austal's innovative trimaran technology and shipbuilding expertise.

"It is truly exciting to announce this major shipbuilding contract with Fred Olsen, who had the courage and foresight to work with Austal's advanced trimaran technology in developing the Benchijigua Express in 2005," Singleton said.

"The Benchijigua Express has become an industry benchmark for blue-water commercial ferry operations, exceeding expectations for performance, speed and customer experience in the Canary Islands."

Austal Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ben Marland added, "This is a watershed contract for our next generation trimaran design that will deliver new levels of seakeeping, passenger comfort and efficiency, and proves the trimaran is the right tool for the job in the challenging sea conditions of the Atlantic. It is a game-changer in the market."

The two new trimarans will each be capable of transporting over 1,100 passengers and up to 276 cars at speeds of up to 38 knots, with both commencing construction in 2018.

The vessels are due for delivery in 29 and 36 months, respectively. The build shipyard will be announced separately.

Published in Ferries

OCTOBER 9, 2017 — Hyen, Norway, based Brødrene Aa reports that it has signed a new contract for three additional high speed carbon fiber catamaran ferries for the Chinese market. The customer, Zhongshan-Hong Kong Passenger Shipping Coop Co., Ltd (ZS), China will be operating the ferries between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China.

Two of the vessels in the contract will be 42 meters in length with a capacity of 300 passengers and will have maximum operating speed of 40 knots. The third vessel will also be 42 meters long, but with a capacity for 230 passengers and a max operating speed of 37 knots.

Construction of the vessels will begin at the shipyard in Hyen in November 2017 and all will be completed and delivered to Hong Kong by June 2019.

"This contract represents an important milestone in our efforts to penetrate the Chinese market," said CEO Tor Øyvin Aa.

In 2015 Chinese Chu Kong Shipping made an equity investment in Brødrene Aa. In this partnership one objective was to establish a joint composite manufacturing facility in China as well as providing market opportunities for completed vessel from Brødrene Aa's yard in Norway.

Composite technology has long been the construction material of choice for Brødrene Aa and the company is today recognized as a world leader for fuel efficient low emission carbon fiber ferries. It launched its first carbon fiber ferry in 2002.

"With vessels operating long hours at speeds of 40 knots you really capitalize on the benefits of carbon fiber constructions. Lighter vessels render lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. This contract will allow us to demonstrate the benefits our vessels bring to the markets in China and other Asian markets as well," says Tor Øyvin Aa.


Published in Ferries

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 — Rolls-Royce is to deliver its first MTU EPA Tier 4-compliant propulsion systems to San Francisco Bay ferry operator WETA (Water Emergency Transportation Authority) for installation in three 44 m catamaran ferries on order at Anacortes, WA, shipbuilder Dakota Creek Industries.

The first of the three high-speed ferries is expected to enter service on the San Francisco Bay in late 2018. The San Francisco Bay is subject to special environmental protection.

"Our goal is to operate a ferry service that is sustainable, cost-efficient and eco-friendly," said Nina Rannells, WETA Executive Director. "The MTU Tier 4 engines will play a critical role in WETA's expansion of sustainable and reliable ferry service on the San Francisco Bay."

MTU is to supply in total six 16V 4000 units, six MTU-built SCR systems and six ZF gearboxes for the three vessels, which will also be equipped with MTU BlueVision ship automation. Each engine will deliver 2,560 kW/ 3,435 bhp at 1,800 rpm), enabling the catamarans to reach speeds up to 34 knots.

The EPA Tier 4 emissions standard which came into force in the on January 1, 2016 demands substantially lower nitrous oxide, particulate and hydrocarbon emissions compared with the previous emissions stage.

"The system solution that MTU offers satisfies all our criteria with respect to emissions, space requirement and performance," said Rannells.

The MTU - San Francisco Bay Area ferry partnership goes back to 1997 and its development was strongly supported by the MTU distributor Pacific Power Group.

WETA now operates over thirty MTU engines – Series 2000 or 4000 – in its passenger-only ferries.

Knut Müller, head of marine and governmental business at MTU said: "We are immensely proud that WETA has selected our Tier 4 engines. WETA has always sought drive technology of the highest order in terms of innovation and ecological soundness and that has constantly challenged us to keep on developing."

WETA's current ferry fleet comprises14 high-speed catamarans that provide service via nine terminals between the cities of Vallejo, San Francisco, Alameda, Oakland and South San Francisco. Since 2012, passenger numbers have grown by 78% and now reach the 2.7 million mark. The ferries are deployed to relieve the traffic on Bay Area bridges.

"We are experiencing unprecedented growth in ferry ridership," said Rannells. "As our Bay Area population expands and traffic congestion continues to worsen, more and more people are looking for a convenient and enjoyable means of transportation, and they're turning to ferries."

In 2016, WETA adopted a Strategic Plan that outlines a vision for 44 vessels, 16 terminals and a 740% increase in peak capacity by 2035.


Published in Ferries

SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 — Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., Panama City, FL, recently hosted a steel cutting ceremony with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division

The ceremony marked the start of construction of the first of three new 320 ft Ollis Class ferries and took place in Eastern's steel processing and prefabrication building at its Allanton facility in Panama City. This indoor facility supports both of Eastern's new construction shipyards with state of the art numerically controlled equipment, and a highly skilled workforce.

Attending the ceremony from Staten Island Ferry Division was John Collins, Director of Ferry Engineering and Bill Tomalonis, Vessel Construction Manager SIF Division. Eastern's CEO, Brian D'Isernia, and President, Joey D'Isernia ,greeted the attendees. Eastern's project managers for construction, outfitting, and delivery of the ferries are Kenneth Winpigler, Joe Stark, and Brian D'Isernia Jr.

Project engineering staff from the firms of Elliott Bay Design Group, which undertook preliminary design of the ferry, and Glosten Associates were also in attendance at the steel cutting.

Onsite owners' representation for the duration of the project will be managed by Glosten Associates

Eastern has selected Guido Perla & Associates to produce the detailed design work while Eastern's Vice President of Engineering Fernando Malabet and Naval Architect Kim Brooks are overseeing the design and engineering efforts for the project.

The three Ollis Class double-ended 4500 passenger ferries are based on a preliminary design provided by Elliot Bay Design Group, with each ferry featuring four Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) 12-710 Tier 4 compliant propulsion engines. Total installed horsepower is 9,980 HP. The double-ended ferries have two engines at each end of the vessel, powering one Reintjes DUP 3000 P combining reduction gears and one 36 RV6 ECS/285-2 Voith Schneider propeller

  • Length Overall 320'-0"
  • Length on Design Load Waterline 308'-3 1/2"
  • Beam, Molded 70'-0"
  • Beam over Guards 70'-3"
  • Depth at Main Deck at Side 21'-6
  • Draft to DLWL 13'-0" Gross
  • Tonnage, Estimated 4,570 Tons


Published in Shipyard News

AUGUST 31, 2017 — The Shearer Group, Inc. (TSGI) has recently been awarded a five-year indefinite deliverable contract with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). TSGI will provide design, engineering and construction oversight services to TxDOT for a new 500 passenger, 70 car ferry providing service from Galveston Island to Bolivar Peninsula.

The Houston-headquartered Shearer Group, Inc. (TSGI) is a leading designer of inland towboats, ferries and barges.

Published in Ferries

AUGUST 23, 2017 — London's MBNA Thames Clippers has added two more fast ferries to its expanding fleet. Built by Britain's Wight Shipyard Co., the 35 meter low-wash catamarans Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper each entered service within 48 hours of completing their respective 200 mile, 10 hour delivery voyages from the Wight Shipyard facility at East Cowes on the Isle of Wight to Trinity Buoy Wharf in east London in just ten hours.

"The new boats have been designed and built to accommodate the unique tidal conditions of the River Thames, allowing them to navigate its shallow reaches and pass under London's famous but sometimes low bridges," says Peter Morton, CEO of Wight Shipyard Co. "They offer London's commuters and visitors a comfortable, relaxed and highly efficient way to get from A to B while taking in the sights of the capital."

Designed by Australia's One2three Naval Architects, the role of the vessels is to provide rapid passenger transport services on the River Thames in Central London on various routes ranging from Putney in the west to Royal Woolwich Arsenal in the east.

The two new 172 capacity passenger vessels took 10 months to build and represent a GBP 6.3 million investment in London's port and transport infrastructure.

With the order, MBNA Thames Clippers set the record for the largest fast ferry contract for a UK shipyard in over 20 years with non-government backed funding.

MBNA Thames Clippers now has the largest fast commercial passenger fleet operating solely in English waters.

Sean Collins, MBNA Thames Clippers' co-founder and CEO says "We are excited to welcome Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper to the fleet. It's fantastic that we were able to build these ultra-high specification catamarans here in the U.K. This build marks a significant investment in MBNA Thames Clippers and London's river network and I'm proud of it enabling investment in our team too.

"Mercury and Jupiter Clipper join the fleet following the two boats we added in late 2015 and combined, the four mark a 30 per cent growth in our fleet. Along with continued pier additions to the route, we are committed to ongoing investment in the capital's growing river network." he says.

The two new Wight Shipyard low wash river vessels are catamarans with twin symmetric hulls of all welded construction. The hull structure is designed for frequent and repeated berthing at London's floating piers with particular attention paid to potential contact with obstructions in the water in weather conditions that can reasonably be expected in the area of operation.

The vessels are each powered by twin resiliently mounted Scania DI16 072M marine diesel engines, each delivering 625kW @ 2100 rpm. They power two Rolls Royce Kamewa 40A3 waterjets via two ZF2000 series reversing marine gearboxes, 1.5000:1 reduction ratio,

Operating in a high-profile area of the River Thames in Central London they have a modern style with an appearance representative of a contemporary rapid passenger ferry operated by a professional company.

Marine grade high-gloss vinyl wrapping, rather than paint, is applied on external surfaces of the superstructure for application of the eye-catching MBNA Thames Clippers livery. The wrapping also provides a weight-savings advantage with vinyl covering across the vessel being approximately two thirds the weight of required paint applications.

Customers enter the air conditioned passenger cabin port and starboard, forward and aft. Seating is provided for 172 persons in comfortable Beurteaux Ocean Tourist seating.

Panoramic and roof windows maximize opportunities for passengers to enjoy the London skyline. LCD screens enable seated passengers to view safety messages, service and tourist information and on board refreshment menus. Outboard seating is provided with USB points for recharging mobile phones.

Separating the main cabin area from the forward seating space is a kiosk which offers passengers a range of snacks and beverages, including espresso coffee served by MBNA Thames Clippers' on board baristas. The kiosk block is also shared with access to an electronics space and the cabin-top wheelhouse.

The wheelhouse is equipped with the latest in electronic, navigation and communication equipment to comply with the High Speed Craft Code. There are two forward facing adjustable seats with the Captain sitting on the centerline, and the Mate to port.

Published in Ferries

AUGUST 10, 2017 — St. Johns Ship Building (SJSB), Palatka, FL, launched a 190 ft landing craft vessel, the Grand Master II, for Bahamas Ferries in front of a crowd in excess of 300. 

Designed for service among the Bahamian islands, the vessel is fitted with a forward, hydraulic bow ramp and offers 6,400 square feet of cargo space.

Propulsion is supplied by two 700 hp Cummings QSK19 main engines and Schottel rudder propellers. For manueverability, the vessel has a 22 inch electric Wesmar bow thruster, and ships power is supplied by two 99 kW John Deer generators. 

A raised two-story deckhouse on the aft of the vessel allows for unimpeded cargo room from the bow to stern. The first tier of the deckhouse supports the crew quarters, galley, and passenger lounge. The second tier contains the pilothouse and captain's quarters.
This is the first of three landing craft the shipyard is set to deliver to Caribbean transportation groups in the near future.

Other projects nearing conclusion at SJSB are the series of eight 100 ft tugs for Vane Brothers, a 130 ft barge, a house barge, and another 190 ft landing craft.

Published in Ferries

JULY 12, 2017 — The Trust for Governors Island has awarded a contract to design and build a new passenger-only ferry to the team of shipbuilder Blount Boats, Warren, RI, and naval architectural firm Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), Seattle, WA.

Starting in 2019, the new double-ended, passenger-only ferry will operate on a route between a slip at The Battery in Lower Manhattan and Governors Island. It will have a maximum passenger capacity of 400, with a length of 132 feet, beam of 40 feet and depth of 13 feet. The boat will be built to meet U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter K.

Located just 800 yards off the tip of Lower Manhattan, Governors Island has a long, storied history dating back to the first Dutch settlers in the 1600s. After serving more than 180 years as a U.S. Army base dating back to Colonial times and later as a U.S. Coast Guard installation, the 172-acre island is now being redeveloped as an expansive public park. The National Park Service also administers a small portion of the island.

Blount Boats President Marcia Blount said the company was "honored to have been chosen by the Trust to build another iconic vessel for New York Harbor." Blount Boats Vice President Robert Pelletier will serve as project manager for the construction.

Meanwhile, EBDG Matt Williamson, PMP, Project Manager for Design, said the company looked forward to working with Blount and "designing a quality vessel for the Trust." EBDG will supply the contract and detail design and along with vessel delivery support. Delivery of the boat is set for March 2019.

The team of Blount Boats and EBDG brings together a wealth of passenger vessel and ferry design and construction experience. A number of Blount-built vessels already ply the waters of New York Harbor, including the 1954-built Miss Liberty, which is operated by Statue Cruises to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Besides the high-profile Governors Island ferry, EBDG is also currently designing the three new Ollis Class ferries for the New York City Department of Transportation, Staten Island Ferry that are being built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, FL.

132 Foot Governors Island Ferry boat Model 2 Light

Published in Ferries
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