New all-aluminum Australian ferry powered by Schottel

Schottel Nairana 02

(SPAY, Germany) — Nairana, a unique all-aluminium ferry, is equipped with state-of-the-art propulsion solutions from Schottel. Australian shipbuilder Richardson Devine Marine (RDM) has recently handed over the Incat Crowther design vessel to ferry owner and operator Sealink Tasmania. A structurally identical sister ship is currently under construction at RDM.

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 maneuverability 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. Furthermore, the thrusters can be exchanged while the vessel is afloat.

As the 147-foot-long and 45-foot-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 ro-pax service that forms a crucial link between Kettering, south of Hobart, and Bruny Island. Nairana has a total capacity of 36 cars and 192 passengers. The two central vehicle lanes totalling 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.

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By Professional Mariner Staff