Sunday, November 19, 2017

August 23, 2017

Maritime Propulsion

Bangkok’s Chao Phraya Tourist Boat

  • The “Hop On Hop Off” tourist boat is now one of the best ways to see Bangkok. (Photo: Chao Phraya Express Boat Ltd.)
  • A functional pilothouse elevates the captain for better visibility. (Photo: A.Haig-Brown courtesy of Cummins)
  • An upper deck area offers tourists a fair weather view of the river’s exciting traffic. (Photo: A.Haig-Brown courtesy of Cummins)
  • A pair of classic Cummins NTA855 diesels is fitted into the hull under the port and starboard platforms that support the stairs to the upper decks.(Photo: A.Haig-Brown courtesy of Cummins)
  • The “Hop On Hop Off” tourist boat is now one of the best ways to see Bangkok. (Photo: Chao Phraya Express Boat Ltd.)
  • A functional pilothouse elevates the captain for better visibility. (Photo: A.Haig-Brown courtesy of Cummins)
  • An upper deck area offers tourists a fair weather view of the river’s exciting traffic. (Photo: A.Haig-Brown courtesy of Cummins)
  • A pair of classic Cummins NTA855 diesels is fitted into the hull under the port and starboard platforms that support the stairs to the upper decks.(Photo: A.Haig-Brown courtesy of Cummins)

 Many visitors to Bangkok will experience a ride on the Chao Phraya Express boats. These long, sleek, wooden, commuter boats, with their dramatically raked bows, are a staple of the river’s traffic. They can also be very crowded and, with many stops, a bit of a challenge to the tourist. A popular alternative is the tourist boats. These vessels have a more limited route and series of stops, all of which are near important tourist destinations such as the Grand Palace and Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn.

 
Recently, the owners have introduced two new tourist boats, CTB 1 and CTB 2, that will dramatically enhance the riverine experience. With a 29.6-meter length and a 4.9-meter beam, they are wider than some commuter Express Boats with similar length but as little as 2.7-meter on the beam. The new tourist boats include a top deck seating area as well as a top mounted wheelhouse. This gives them a total seating capacity of 96 passengers and an excellent vantage for viewing the riverside scenery. 
 
Most of the Express boats have only a single engine, while the new Tourist boats are twin-engined. A pair of classic Cummins NTA855 diesels is fitted into the hull under the port and starboard platforms that support the stairs to the upper decks. The engines, each rated for 350 HP at 1,800 RPM, turn propellers through ZF gears with 2:1 reduction to give the boat a top speed of 12 knots.
 
The hulls, built further up the river from Bangkok by B.P. Center 1995 Co. Ltd and S.T.P. Consultant and Acency Co Ltd., are, like the Express boats, planked in Takien with frames sawn from Teng hardwood. Takien is a popular wood for hull planking with similar strength and rot resistance to teak but it is usually painted as it doesn’t take a bright finish so well as teak. 
 
For first-time visitors to Bangkok or those wanting to enjoy an inexpensive and leisurely cruise through the city, the new boats, like their sisters, will offer an exciting option. 
CumminsHPGrand Palace
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