Friday, December 13, 2019
Maritime Propulsion

Posted by November 27, 2019

Cummins to Power Kuching Cross-River Ferry

Photo: Cummins

So many cities are built on rivers for obvious reasons of transport up and down but also as ports for foreign trade. But not all of a port city’s trade is up and down the river. People and vehicles must also cross the river. Bridges are great and most cities have one or more, but they are expensive and they lack flexibility.

In Kuching, Sarawak this cross-river traffic created the niche for a ferry. Located on the broad, flat, estuary lands of the Sarawak River the city’s single bridge is some kilometers up from the sea. To meet the need for more river crossings, the Regal Ocean firm has had a fine new double ended car ferry built at the Kaibuok Shipyard in Sibu, Sarawak.

With two more ferries on order, the new boat begins a significant expansion for the firm. Designed by Waterline Tech Sdn Bhd. Of Kuching, the 42.7 meter long ferry has both fore and aft hydraulic ramp doors that give a total overall length, with ramps,  of 59.7 meters. The single lane loading ramps open to a broad deck with a capacity of about 38 average size cars or light trucks. Larger vehicles can also be carried. Shelter for walk-on passengers is provided in a side cabin for a total molded beam of 12.8 meters.

An elevated structure carries the full-visibility bridge that facilitates the ferry’s travel in either direction to negate the need to turn when landing Propulsion for the ferry is provided by four Cummins KTA19M diesels each producing 500 horsepower at 1800 RPM. Each engine turns 1270 m/m diameter five-blade propeller with a 1680 m/m pitch. Each engine turns a 101-m/m-diameter shaft with a length of 4565 m/m mounted on Hangzhou T300 gears with 6.032:1 reduction. This fore and aft propulsion system gives the, 1.7-meter draught, ferry an operating speed of ten knots.

The ferry will operate with a five person crew for the five-kilometer crossing. A Cummins 4BTA3.9 G-powered 40 kW generator will provide auxiliary electrical power. This is the first of a three-ferry order. The other two boats will be similar but the owners have opted for the use of jet pumps rather than conventional propellers.


Cumminscar ferry