Schottel Propulsion for Aluminum Ferry Nairana
Nairana, a new all-aluminium ferry, is equipped with Schottel propulsion solutions.
“The brief was to provide two unique, new vessels that are highly maneuverable to facilitate rapid turnaround times, have multiple engines for redundancy, and are economical," said Roger Janes, Sales and Marketing Manager of Australian shipbuilder Richardson Devine Marine. "Overall, they needed to be uncomplicated and reliable.
The Incat Crowther-designed Nairana is constructed entirely from aluminium. By reducing the vessel’s weight, it consumes less fuel, travels longer distances and ensures excellent maneuverability. Being lightweight, yet still robust, the vessel is extremely economical to operate.
The ferry is fitted with four Schottel Rudderpropellers type SRP 100 (200 kW each), one in each corner. The azimuth thrusters, driven by diesel engines, rotate 360 degrees, giving the vessel excellent manoeuvrability and high course stability even on the open sea and with strong side winds. With all four rudder propellers delivering thrust in the direction of travel, maximum propulsion efficiency is ensured. In order to enhance passenger comfort and reduce noise emissions, the azimuth thrusters are resiliently mounted. In addition, the thrusters can be exchanged while the vessel is afloat.
As the 44.9-meter-long and 13.6-meter-wide ferry is double-ended and has two wheelhouses, it does not have to turn around. If required, the vessel can operate on two propulsion units during off-peak periods, further reducing operating costs. This ferry and the second under construction will run at 12 knots as opposed to the current vessels running at around 8 knots. This will allow for more crossings per hour, easing traffic flow burden to the island from mainland Tasmania.
Sealink, operator of passengers and vehicle ferries all around Australia, secured a 10-year contract to operate the RoPax service that forms a link between Kettering, located 35 kilometers south of Hobart, and Bruny Island. Nairana has a total capacity of 36 cars and 192 passengers. The two central vehicle lanes totaling 90 metres are provided for trucks. The vessel is also certified to carry dangerous goods.
The second ferry is scheduled to enter service in March 2021.