Ferry operator to stretch a freight catamaran

Written by Nick Blenkey
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NOVEMBER 15, 2016 — A Netherlands ferry operator is to increase the capacity of a freight catamaran with a conversion that includes inserting a new 20 m long mid section.

Rederij Doeksen has contracted Damen Shiprepair Harlingen to carry out the conversion of its currently 47.15 m long freight catamaran Noord-Nederland.

The conversion work will provide Rederij Doeksen with increased capacity to manage seasonal fluctuations in freight demands. The company operates a fleet of passenger ferries that run services between the Dutch mainland and the Wadden Sea islands of Terschelling and Vlieland. The Noord-Nederland, which serves as a cargo and refuse freighter for the same routes.

The Noord-Nederland has been part of Rederij Doeksen’s fleet since 2002, marking an important step in the division of freight and passenger transport for the company.

“The separate transport of passengers, cargo and rubbish marked a big improvement,” says Rederij Doeksen Director Paul Melles. “The vessel conversion is a continuation of this development.”

After the conversion, the Noord-Nederland’s increased capacity will allow Rederij Doeksen to respond more effectively to seasonal fluctuations in freight as well as provide project-based services for construction projects on the islands.

“We were looking for an experienced and well-equipped shipyard to carry out this substantial conversion,” says Mr. Melles. “We found all that we were looking for in Damen Shiprepair Harlingen.

“What’s more, this contract stimulates the local shipbuilding industry and boosts employment in the north of the country. Especially since Damen Shiprepair Harlingen will be calling on the services of regional companies such as Barkmeijer Stroobos [section fabrication], Piet Brouwer [electronics] and Boldert Revisie en Onderhoud [overhaul and maintenance].”

The shipyard has already begun preparations for the conversion. A major part of their work will be lengthening the vessel’s hull by about 20 metres. This is scheduled for January 2017; when the yard will cut the ship in half and insert a new mid-section. After this procedure, the vessel will measure 67.25 meters in length.

Rederij Doeksen has also specified new engines, new rudders and an additional bow thruster. Completion of the work is expected in late February 2017.

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