Arcadia Alliance

Front Street Shipyard to build carbon fiber hulled ferries

Working in conjunction with Maine Composites Alliance and Martin Grimnes, a Norwegian composites expert living in Maine, Arcadia Alliance is aiming its highly efficient ferries at state and federal agencies seeking to replace aging, less efficient passenger vessels.

Brødrene Aa designs and builds carbon-fiber passenger vessels in a modern shipyard, well suited for manufacturing of composite products, with a total of 3,000 square meters of fully moisture-and temperature controlled indoor facilities, The company has built 50 carbon ferries to date.

Carbon fiber ferries are lighter weight and consume less fuel than aluminum or fiberglass vessels, releasing fewer emissions into the air.

“Given the significance of ferry transport to travelers in coastal regions coupled with concerns about gas consumption and emissions, efficiency of our country’s ferries is critical,” says J.B. Turner, president of Front Street Shipyard. “Brødrene Aa has a progressive design to reduce consumption and emissions, and they have an exceptionally efficient construction method we can apply to the U.S. ferry market at Front Street Shipyard.”

Brødrene Aa is a 60-year-old company that introduced the world’s first carbon-fiber passenger vessel more than a decade ago.

It has built 50 carbon ferries to date. Last month it won an international tender issued by Guangzhou Panyu Lianhuashan Port Passenger Transport Co., Ltd , (subsidiary of Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises Holdings Co. Ltd) to design and build two coastal high speed catamarans for Hong Kong. The contract is for two identical vessels; both made of carbon fiber composites, each with a capacity of 270 passengers.

Representatives from Front Street Shipyard met with officers of Brødrene Aa in Hyen earlier this summer.

“Given Front Street Shipyard’s modern facility and boatbuilding capabilities, we believe their team can deliver the same high-quality vessels in the United States that we produce in Norway,” said Leif Riksheim, chairman of the board at Brødrene Aa.

The organizations are now working together to develop ferry designs for U.S. waters. The Arcadia Alliance sales team will begin marketing the boats later this year, with hopes that Front Street Shipyard will be able to begin construction on the first fast ferry in 2016.

Recent contracts won by Brødrene Aa include two 270 passenger coastal high speed catamarans for Hong Kong

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