Derecktor picks MJP waterjets for new hybrid ferry duo

Written by Nick Blenkey
hybrid ferry

The two 65-foot long hybrid ferries will feature dual MJP Ultrajet 305 waterjets and permanent magnet traction motors from BAE Systems.

Two new hybrid ferries being built by Derecktor Shipyards New York for Chatham Area Transit (CAT) of Savannah, Ga., will feature Marine Jet Power (MJP) waterjets as part of their sophisticated power and propulsion package.

The two 65-foot long ferries will feature dual MJP Ultrajet 305 waterjets and permanent magnet traction motors from BAE Systems for their electric propulsion, with BAE’s innovative HybriGen power system allowing for the elimination of large diesel propulsion motors, reducing maintenance, space requirements, and environmental impact. The 308 kWh energy storage system (ESS) component of the hybrid solution will be provided by Xalt Energy. The integrated starter generators will pair two Cummins 6.7L marine diesel engines with a BAE HDS 200 ISG generator.

The ferries, operating on short, continuous routes between three local Savannah area landings (City Hall Landing, Trade Center Landing, and Waving Girl Landing), will have a maximum speed of 11 knots.

MJP waterjets are well-suited for integration into hybrid propulsion systems, as seen in this project. The use of a serial hybrid system from BAE Systems allows for greater flexibility in power management, enhancing overall efficiency and environmental sustainability, while benefiting from the other benefits of waterjets, including, shallow draft capabilities, high maneuverability and enhanced fuel efficiency.

“The unique advantages of waterjet propulsion, such as shallow draft, maneuverability, safety and capability with hybrid systems, make them an excellent choice for the specific operational requirements of the Chatham Area Transit Ferries,” said Kevin Kirby, president and regional director of Marine Jet Power Americas.

Derecktor Shipyards has emerged in recent years as a leader in commercial hybrid construction in the United States with four hybrid vessels launched since 2014. With a track record of delivering quality vessels, including those with environmentally conscious designs, Derecktor is committed to sustainable solutions and innovative marine construction.

Faye DiMassimo, CEO of Chatham Area Transit, said: “As our region continues to thrive, we have an opportunity to think holistically about what the future of transit can and should be for Chatham County.”

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