All-aluminum Tasmanian ferry features Schottel propulsion

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Double ended ferry is equipped with state-of-the-art propulsion solutions from Schottel

Nairana, an Incat Crowther designed all-aluminum ferry recently delivered to SeaLink Tasmania by Australian shipbuilder Richardson Devine Marine (RDM), is equipped with state-of-the-art propulsion solutions from Schottel. A structurally identical sister ship is currently under construction at RDM.

The 44.9 meters long and 13.6 meters wide ferries are double-ended and will be used by Sealink to operate a RoPax service that forms a crucial road link between Kettering, located 35 kilometers south of Hobart, Tasmania, and Bruny Island.

“The brief was to provide two unique, new vessels that are highly maneuverable to facilitate rapid turnaround times, have multiple engines for redundancy, and are economical,” said Roger Janes, Sales and Marketing Manager at RDM. “Overall, they needed to be uncomplicated and reliable. By installing Schottel Rudderpropellers, the challenge was enthusiastically met and successfully overcome.”

Nairana is fitted with four Schottel Rudderpropellers type SRP 100 (200 kW each), one in each corner. The azimuth thrusters, driven by diesel engines, rotate 360 degrees, giving the vessel excellent maneuverability and high course stability even on the open sea and with strong side winds. With all four rudder propellers delivering thrust in the direction of travel, maximum propulsion efficiency is ensured. In order to enhance passenger comfort and reduce noise emissions, the azimuth thrusters are resiliently mounted. Additionally, the thrusters can be exchanged while the vessel is afloat.

As the ferry is double-ended and has two wheelhouses, it does not have to turn around. If required, it can operate on two propulsion units during off-peak periods, further reducing operating costs.

Both new ferries will run at 12 knots as opposed to the current vessels running at around 8 knots. This will allow for more crossings per hour, easing traffic flow burden to the island from mainland Tasmania.

Nairana has a total capacity of 36 cars and 192 passengers. The two central vehicle lanes totaling 90 meters in length are provided for trucks. The vessel is also certified to carry dangerous goods.

The ferry is fitted with four Schottel Rudderpropellers type SRP 100 (200 kW each), one at each corner.
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