Fraser to build new ferry for Ontario community


(SUPERIOR, Wis.) — Fraser Shipyards has announced that it will build a double-ended ferry to serve Christian Island, Ontario, in Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay. Beausoleil First Nation (BFN) will be the owner and operator of the new vessel.

The new ferry will employ two Voith Schneider propellers (VSPs) for its propulsion, with the units expected to be delivered to Fraser in 2021 for installation.

“To meet the needs of BFN, Voith worked very closely with the shipyard and designer during the project phase,” said Ivo Beu, director of sales, Marine Business Americas, Voith Turbo. “Together with our research and development department, we supported the optimization of the hull form in many ways to have an efficient overall concept which will meet BFN’s needs for decades to come.”

Fraser Shipyards photo

The ferry has a diesel-electric power plant, which means the VSPs are directly driven by an electric motor. The ferry design and VSP configuration take into account the most effective way to operate a vessel under many different environments, including icy conditions.

The project scope includes two size-18 VSP units, which were reinforced for operation in icy water during the late autumn and early spring, and the Voith electronic control system, which is used for safe navigation of the ferry. A third VSP unit will be held by BFN in case of a grounding, accident or maintenance issue. The ferry has been designed so that a VSP can be exchanged while the vessel is still afloat, which saves cost and time during the exchange procedure.

– Fraser Shipyards

By Professional Mariner Staff