Ferry Vital Link for Island off Taiwan
Nearly 13,000 people inhabit the four-by-two-kilometer Linqiu Island located about 7.5 nautical miles southwest of the Donggang on the main island of Taiwan. Primarily fishermen, the island’s population is very dependent on the ferry service to get to the larger center on the main island.
Lingiu is also the only one of Taiwan’s smaller islands that has been formed by coral. Increasingly the fantastically shaped geographical forms and the excellent diving afforded by the coral has led to an increase in tourist visits. As commercial fishing can have fluctuations, this alternate economy is most welcome.
Fast ferries depart from two of the island’s ports to make the run to the big island. One of these routes is owned by the Liouchiou Township and is serviced by their ferry Xintai.
The aluminum-hulled, mono-hull, 30- by 6.29-meter ferry is a twin engine with fixed pitch propellers. With the existing 12-V MTU-396-TE74L showing their age, the township decided that it was time to repower the ferry. Speed and reliability are the two governing factors for the ferry’s operation. This led the owners to choose a pair of V-16 four-stroke Cummins KTA50-M2 engines, each producing 1,800 HP at 1,900 RPM. The new engines turn into ZF BW465S marine gears with 2.529:1 reduction turning Cardon shafts fitted with Centra couplings to reduce vibration and noise.
When the new ferry returns to service, the people of Lingui Island will be assured of a reliable year-round link to the big island. And tourists, wanting to view the unique coral formations of the island, will enjoy a quick trip to and from their destination.