FEBRUARY 15, 2018 — Shipbuilder Blount Boats, Warren, RI, reports that it has signed a contract with Fire Island Ferries to construct an 85-foot aluminum ferry boat for service between Bay Shore and Fire Island on Great South Bay. This vessel is a sister ship to the M/V Fire Islander (Hull 368) built by Blount Boats in 2013.

The triple-screw vessel will be built and certified under U.S. Coast Guard, Subchapter K Rules and Regulations. It will be powered by John Deere Model 6135SFM85 diesel engines, 650 hp each at 2,100 rev/min with 2:1 ZF 550 reduction gears. This vessel marks the 10th boat designed and built by the Blount shipyard for Fire Island Ferries since 1972, a milestone for the two companies. Delivery for Hull 370 is scheduled for May 2019.

In review, the Blount Shipyard has built the following vessels for the Fire Island Ferries fleet: Capt. Patterson (1972), Fire Island Miss (1976), Traveler (1977), Vagabond (1979), Fireball (1981), Firebird (1983), Fire Island Flyer (2001), Fire Island Belle (2009), and Fire Islander (2013).

Fire Island Ferries has been in operation since 1948 and supplies fast marine transportation services from Bay Shore, Long Island to Fire Island.

Published in Ferries

FEBRUARY 12, 2018 — Britain's Wight Shipyard Co has secured its first export order. It comes from Austria and is for a 250-passenger river catamaran to operate for Central Danube Region Marketing & Development GmbH's Twin City Liner – a tourist service running on the River Danube between Vienna and Bratislava.

"This order for Twin City Liner in Vienna, our first export order, follows domestic orders for Red Funnel and MBNA Thames Clippers, both of which we secured against international competition," says Wight Shipyard CEO Peter Morton."Our reputation for building the finest high speed ferries in the world is spreading, making the prospects for Wight Shipyard look healthy. Our strong order book is a big vote of confidence for our Isle of Wight shipwrights, the marine industry and indeed the UK economy." 

The 39 m vessel will be a low wash round bilge catamaran designed by Incat Crowther. The Danube presents a challenging operating environment with currents up to 8 knots, water depths in the main navigation channel as low as 100 cm. The hullform is designed to cope with water conditions reasonably expected on the river, being able to resist floating timber and debris. As a restricted waterway it is imperative that wave wash be minimized.

Passengers will board the new craft via midship doors port and starboard and enter a bright and airy main cabin capable of seating up to 186 passengers. A kiosk providing a range of snacks and refreshments will be provided aft on the starboard side. On the port side toilets are provided one of which is for disabled customers.

Above, the upper deck is accessed from a center staircase in the main cabin as well as two staircases aft on the open deck. External seating will be provided for 29 passengers while, aft of the elevated wheelhouse, interior seating is available for 35 passengers. As the vessel serves as a commuter ferry as well as a cruise vessel, there will be space for 12 bikes on the aft deck.

In the hulls, the engine rooms are designed to provide crews with maximum access with all machinery arranged in the same space. The engine rooms as well as the jet rooms are designed so the engines, generators and water jets can be removed without slipping the vessel or damaging the superstructure or hull.

The vessel will be powered by four Scania DI16 072M main engines, each producing 809 kW at 2,300 rpm. Capable of reaching a maximum speed of 38 knots, the vessel will sail on the Danube at a service speed of 32.4 knots at modest MCR.

"Since 2006 Central Danube Region Marketing & Development GmbH has been operating successfully with more than 148,000 passengers experiencing the service between Vienna and Bratislava each year using two high speed catamarans," says Dr Gerd Krämer, Managing Director of Twin City Liner.


"With the new vessel from Wight Shipyard Co we want to extend the success story of Twin City Liner for the next 25 years. Customer experience is key to our business and with our new catamaran we are promising our passengers an even more exciting and enjoyable time on the Danube River.


"We have been impressed with the quality of the three vessels Wight Shipyard has delivered to Red Funnel in Southampton and MBNA Thames Clipper in London over the past 15 months. We are convinced that we have found the right shipyard partner with the experience, dedication and passion in the field of building high quality high speed vessels.


"With this confirmed order, we will cater for projected traffic growth, achieve much better operating economies of scale, greatly reduce our environmental footprint and at the same time be able to offer a comfortable and exciting high speed transit along this beautiful waterway," Mr Krämer says.


The new vessel will be delivered in time for the 2019 summer season, starting at the end of March.

Designer: Incat Crowther, Sydney, Australia

Length Overall: 39.99 m

Length waterline: 38.1 m

Beam: 11.40 m

Load Draft: 0.8 m

Passengers: 250



Main engines: Four Scania DI16 076M marine diesel engines

Gearboxes: Four ZF 3050 D

Propulsion: Four Rolls-Royce Kamewa S40-3 waterjets

Published in Latest

FEBRUARY 2, 2018 — There was an unusual sight on the Solent (the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland U.K.) on January 31. The sleek new lounge modules for the RoPax ferry Red Eagle were being transported from Wight Shipyard Co in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, to Southampton Marine Services (SMS), where the vessel is undergoing a major refurbishment that marks a £3 million (about $4.25 million) investment by ferry operator Red Funnel.

The project will see a significant increase in the number of internal seats for customers and will be completed in time for the summer timetable which starts on March 29.

Highlights of the modernization include:

  • New sun deck and promenade walk (with wheelchair/pushchair access)
  • Two new passenger lounges with additional toilets & baby changing facilities
  • New pet friendly lounge, new Signature Lounge and designated quiet zone
  • New food and drink options
  • Digital entertainment
  • Air-conditioning in all passenger lounges and improved heating in winter
  • Flexible space to host live music, entertainment and meetings
  • High capacity Wi-Fi solution and more laptop/phone charging points
  • Reduced environmental footprint thanks to LED lighting and additional recycling.

ferrymodule300The aluminum fabrication work was awarded to Wight Shipyard and interior fit-out is being carried out by Trimline.

Lounge module is lifted into place at SMS

The Red Eagle refit comes at a particularly good time for Southampton Marine Services as it begins 2018 in a period of expansion that includes the recent acquisition of dry dock and marine workshops at Lowestoft on the U.K.'s North Sea Coast.

"Our expansion with Lowestoft coupled with the addition of marine workshops in Poole, Avonmouth, Portsmouth, Devonport and Dover to our facilities at Southampton and the dry dock at Shoreham means SMS is now the largest independent ship repair business in the U.K.," says Managing Director Chris Norman. "It is therefore particularly pleasing to manage the refurbishment of the Red Eagle and a pleasure to work with the Red Funnel team."

The refurbishment of Red Eagle, coupled with the Wight Shipyard Co order for fast ferry Red Jet 7 (see earlier story), already amount to an investment of over £10m (about $14 million) in Red Funnel's cross-Solent services.

Kevin George, Red Funnel's CEO commented "The refit of Red Eagle will bring the interior right up-to-date with a contemporary new look and a class-leading travel experience for customers which matches the best in the UK ferry industry. We are particularly pleased to award the work to local suppliers, supporting jobs in both Southampton and in East Cowes on the Island."

Published in Ferries

JANUARY 29, 2018 — The Fourth Annual Conference of the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association (WFSA) will take place in lower Manhattan, March 21-23, 2018.

The agenda for the conference includes:

• March 21 Exhibits (one day)

• March 22 Conference sessions

• March 23 Electric ferries workshop; waterborne tours

The formal conference, on March 22, reports the results of an international survey on training, beta testing Google Glass Nav on Staten Island Ferry, and on the progress on making 3D printed ferry weather monitors. In response to issues of recent interest, there will be discussions regarding aluminum and composite materials used in ferry construction, maintenance of floating landings, and the application of data-mining for electric ferries.

In addition, a full range of applications of AIS data will be presented, along with a discussion of the further expansion of AIS to meet ferry safety needs.

On March 23, there will be a workshop panel of operators, designers, builders and overseers of electric spectrum ferries (diesel hybrid, pure electric, and hydrogen fuel cell). This session has been in added in response to the expansion of interest in electric ferries in NYC and around the world. The day will also include technical tours on metropolitan NY ferries, with discussions of relevant issues such as mapping the bottom of the harbor near the channels.

Now in its fourth year, the conference has grown in scope and number of attendees. You can see the agenda at: https://ferrysafetyconference.squarespace.com/program/.


To avoid disappointment of being closed out we are encouraging early registration- you may register at: http://ferrysafetyconference.squarespace.com/

A perennial highlight of the conference is the award to a team of naval architectural students meeting criteria that were announced at the beginning of the Fall 2017 school term. This year the students were asked to design a passenger ferry that could traverse the highly congested Singapore Strait and access terminals in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and carry 300 passengers plus crew. The competition is supported by a grant from an anonymous family foundation and by sponsors of the Ferry Safety and Technology Conference to which the awardees are invited to speak. Travel and registration for students is supported by the TK Foundation.

Dr. Roberta Weisbrod, Executive Director of the WFSA (photo at right), emphasized that: “The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority’s Kevin Wong and the Safety Inspectorate team devised the specifications for the Singapore Strait ferry and have been powerful and effective leaders for ferry safety, collaborating with other interested parties in the region.”



Published in Ferries

JANUARY 29, 2018 — South Korea's plans to pioneer LPG as a marine fuel with a GE COmbined Gas turbine Electric and Steam System (COGES) powered car/passenger ferry are picking up pace. Classification society Bureau Veritas has now given the design Approval in Principle and the Korea LPG Association reports that a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed for what it says will be the world's first LPG ship bunkering hub.

In addition to GE, companies involved in the project include Hyun-Seong Marine Cruise Transport (a joint venture of ship operator Youngsung Global and ship manager DINTEC) ship designer Far East Ship Design & Engineering and Yuil Shipyard.

South Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has been conducting a study on LPG fueled ship’s feasibility and safety since November last year that will serve as a baseline for setting up rules and regulations for gas fueled ships,

The ferry will operate between Korean domestic ports and on Korea-China or Korea-Japan routes. The shipbuilding contract is expected to signed in the first quarter of this year and delivery of the vessel is expected before the end of next year.

Published in Ferries

JANUARY 24, 2018 — New Bedford, MA, based Imtra, a leading marine products manufacturer and importer, reports that it is involved in a number of large ferry projects. These include a six vessel refit program for the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) and a new 150-foot fast ferry being built for Seastreak LLC Atlantic Highlands, NJ.

The TXDOT has contracted Southwest Shipyards, Channelview, TX, to refurbish six ferries deployed on its Port Aransas and Galveston-Port Bolivar routes and has selected the Colorlight CL25-11 high-output HMI searchlight from Imtra for the vessels.

The searchlight's focusable beam from 4-20 degrees allows it to be adjusted to a narrow beam for distance and wide spread for flood illumination. It also provides continuous rotation on both axes and no hard stops.

Due to the demanding conditions in which the ferries operate over relatively short distances, the CL25 is capable of illuminating the entire crossing, making it invaluable for the crew.

As we reported in September, Seastreak has commissioned a new Incat Crowther designed 600 passenger catamaran from Franklin, LA, shipbuilder Gulf Craft that will be the highest passenger capacity USCG K-class high-speed ferry in the U.S. At 35-knots the new ferry will provide service between Wall Street and Monmouth County, New Jersey in under 40 minutes.

For this project, Imtra is supplying CLite2 searchlights, NorSap 1500 Helm chairs, LED lighting in all passenger areas, IS15 utility lights in the engine room and Ventura LED lights in the wheelhouse.

In addition, Imtra is providing Offshore series LED deck lights for various external lighting applications.

"Our ferry clients must operate effectively and efficiently in some of the most demanding conditions in our country," said Alex Larsen, vice president of commercial sales, Imtra. "Whether relying on our searchlights for safe passage at sea, LED deck lights for safe passenger embarkation or our interior LED lights for passenger comfort, the crew of these vessels need their equipment to function flawlessly. We are proud to be selected by the Texas Department of Transportation and Seastreak Ferries to fulfill their safety and aesthetic lighting requirements."

Published in Ferries

JANUARY 23, 2018 — The Danish maritime sector is one of the country's most important export sectors and a major supplier of jobs. However, the industry faces tough competition in a world market undergoing rapid change as a consequence of changes to the global distribution of work, consumer behavior and digital and technological developments.

In response, the Danish Government has unveiled a plan for growth in the Danish Maritime Sector that positions the country to become a global maritime hub by 2025.

​The plan includes initiatives aimed at making Denmark a global frontrunner in terms of maritime autonomous technologies and maritime digitalization. It also aims to create more work-experience positions at sea and to increase the number of applicants admitted to training programs for masters and ship officers, as well as ensuring the development of an overall maritime marketing strategy in close cooperation with the industry.

"With the Plan for Growth in the Danish Maritime Sector, the Government has set the course for Denmark to become a global maritime power hub by 2025," says Minister for Industry, Business and Growth Brian Mikkelsen. "Now, all forces in the Danish maritime sector must join forces, roll up their sleeves and get to work to make the vision behind the plan for growth into reality."


The Plan for Growth includes 36 initiatives that focus on individual challenges as well as on more general framework conditions.

The plan is based on results already achieved through an industrial and entrepreneurial agreement reached in November 2017. This agreement involved an extension of the application of the DIS scheme (Danish International Register of Shipping) to seafarers on board offshore special ships, initial dialogue with the EU Commission about a scheme for maritime service engineers and the removal of the registration fee for merchant ships.

"Abolishing the fee for registration has removed a substantial factor when shipping companies choose where to register their ships," says Mikkelsen. "The abolition will make DIS (Danish International Register of Ships) more attractive. I see the news that Maersk will register more ships under Danish flag as a clear sign of this."


As part of the plan for growth, the government also aims develop a standard concept for island ferries. It says that the introduction of a standard ferry will support the Danish positions of strength in maritime energy efficiency and climate and environment solutions and thus support the maritime sector and export.


The scope of the plan for growth covers a wide spectrum of the maritime sector, and the initiatives will be implemented on an ongoing basis towards 2025 in cooperation with the industry, the two sides of industry and research and educational institutions. The ambition is that companies in the maritime sector can recruit employees with the right qualifications both now and in the future. More flexible work-experience jobs will be established and recruitment for master and ship officer programs will be increased.

"It is important that more young people see the opportunities of a future in the maritime businesses," says Søren Pind, Minister of Education and Research. "Education of high quality and skilled young people is essential for the maritime sector to be an important part of the future growth of Denmark."

Published in Latest

JANUARY 22, 2018 — The completed hull of the new Irish Ferries cruise ferry W. B. Yeats was launched January 19 by German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft (FSG)

The €150 million (about $184 million), 54,985 gt cruise ferry will arrive in Dublin next July when it will enter year-round service on the Ireland – France and Dublin – Holyhead routes. In the intervening months, remaining construction work on the hull will be completed and the vessel fitted out with all of the technical, operational, décor, furnishings and passenger amenities required onboard. Before entering scheduled services, the vessel will undergo sea trials, crew training and docking procedures at the Irish, U.K. and French ports into which it will operate.

Set to be the largest and most luxurious ferry ever to sail on the Irish Sea, the W. B. Yeats will have space for 1,885 passengers and crew, 435 cabins including luxury suites with their own private balconies, and almost 3 km of car deck space. However, it will hold that "largest ever" title only until 2020. Earlier this month Irish Continental Group plc — the parent of Irish Ferries — placed an order worth €165.2 million (about $198 million) with FSG, for a second, even larger cruise ferry for delivery in 2020.

Intended for service on the Dublin – Holyhead route, this second new vessel will be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity with accommodations for 1,800 passengers and crew. Its vehicle decks will have 5,610 freight lane meters, providing the capability to carry 330 freight units per sailing – a 50% increase in peak freight capacity compared to the current vessel on the route.

In a comment, Irish Ferries managing director, Andrew Sheen. said: "the launch of our new cruise ferry W. B. Yeats – and the expectation of our second new cruise ferry yet to come – herald in a new era in ferry travel between Ireland, U.K, and Continental Europe bringing with it new standards in terms of passenger and freight capacity, comfort and reliability beyond anything previously envisaged."

Published in Ferries

JANUARY 22, 2018 — Swedish ferry operator Destination Gotland AB has signed a contract with Hamburg based Linde Group subsidiary Nauticor GmbH & Co. KG covering the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel for the ferry service connecting the Swedish mainland with the island of Gotland.

Destination Gotland's first LNG fueled RoPax ferry M/S Visborg, under construction at China's Guangzhou Shipyard International, will begin operations on that route later this year.

The 200 m long vessel will have a deadweight capacity of approximately 4,800 tonnes, room for about 1,650 passengers and 1,750 trailer lane meters.

Christer Bruzelius, CEO of Destination Gotland, stated, "We are glad to have found in Nauticor a leading and experienced LNG supplier and partner. We are now able to offer not only a comfortable and safe passage from the mainland to the island of Gotland to our 1,75 million passengers per year, but at the same time contribute to the protection of the environment along the Swedish coast."

"We are very happy that we have been able to win Destination Gotland, which is a highly professional operator of one of the largest LNG-fueled ferries in the world, as a customer," said Mahinde Abeynaike, CEO of Nauticor. "Our new LNG bunker vessel will play an important role in developing a tailor made solution for Destination Gotland. Further, we will closely cooperate with our sister company AGA that operates the Linde Group's LNG terminal in Nynäshamn. Thus, we create a unique supply chain leveraging the expansive LNG assets of the Linde Group in Scandinavia. This marks an important step in the development of a stable supply of LNG for the shipping industry in North Sea and Baltic Sea."

Published in Latest

JANUARY 18, 2018 – In a presentation at the International Tourism Fair in Madrid, Spain, ferry operator Baleària today gave an update on the two LNG fueled vessels that it has under construction at Italian shipbuilder Cantiere Navale Visenti.

The first of the two smart ships, to be called Hypatia de Alejandria, is expected to begin serving the Balearic Islands at the beginning of 2019.

Baleària Chaiman Adolfo Utor, said that the company's commitment to the environment "is a strategic line for the company based on the use of liquified natural gas and other clean energies as well as fleet ecoefficiency."

He noted that use of LNG fuel helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) by 30% and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 85%, in addition to eliminating sulfur and particle emissions.

"The use of this environmentally-friendly fuel will have an immediate impact on air quality and the greenhouse effect," said Utor.

Besides their dual fuel LNG engines, with an output of 20,600 kW, the ships will be equipped with photovoltaic panels, LED lighting and trim control, among other features.

Baleària is investing EUR 200 million euros in the ships, which will have identical characteristics:186.5 meters long with a maximum speed of 24 knots and the capacity for 810 people, 2,100 linear meters of cargo and 150 vehicles.

"We're working on two smart ships with digitized onboard services as added value to make our trips unique experiences," said Utor.

The ships will provide services that include pet video surveillance, mobile access to onboard services and á-la-carte digital entertainment.

The main engines have already been installed in the first of the ferries, and the hull is nearly complete with the tanks set to be installed in the next few weeks.

Prior to his presentation, Mr. Utor and the Director of Wholesale Marketing for Iberia at Gas NaturaL Fenosa, Joaquín Mendiluce, signed bunkering supply contract for the LNG that will fuel the ships in that will have an initial term of 10 years.

Baleària is a pioneer in the use of liquified natural gas: its ferry Abel Matutes has now been operating for a number of months with the first LNG fueled auxiliary engine in Spain while stationed at the ports of Palma and Barcelona.


Published in Ferries
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