(HEIDENHEIM, Germany) — The double-ended ferry M/V Strangford has been in operation for more than 45 years, connecting the two towns of Portaferry and Strangford in the northern part of the Irish Sea. The Department for Regional Development Northern Ireland (DRDNI) responsible for the local ferry service now decided to replace the old double-ended ferry M/V Strangford, which had been equipped with Voith Schneider propellers (VSP), with a new one. Given the reliability of this propulsion system, the DRDNI again chose the VSP propulsion concept for the new double-ended ferry.
The particular feature of this double-ended ferry is its docking at concrete ramps. Two special skegs at the vessel ends ensure stability while at the same time protecting the VSPs. These were therefore not arranged diagonally but along the centerline of the vessel. The new ferry will be able to carry 266 passengers (of which six are crew members) and 28 cars. As an alternative, 22 cars and two coaches or 20 cars and two road trains can be transported. To date, M/V Strangford was limited to 18 cars and could not transport vehicles with a weight exceeding 7.5 tons.
The new double-ended ferry with a length of 38.20 meters and a beam of 15.50 meters will be propelled by two type 16R5 EC/120-1 Voith Schneider propellers. What at first sight seems like a reconstruction of M/V Strangford in fact is a significantly larger and more powerful vessel. The design of the new double-ended ferry that has already undergone model testing is closely related to its sister vessel, the much younger M/V Portaferry II. To date, both vessels only served the Portaferry-Strangford route at the same time during peak times. As a rule, the operating authority alternates between them.
The Voith scope of supply includes two VSPs, two turbo couplings, two bow tooth couplings and the electronic control system. The vessel is to achieve a service speed of 10.75 knots. The maximum vessel speed reached using both 540 kW diesel engines will exceed 12 knots. The new double-ended ferry is currently being built by the Cammell Laird shipyard in Liverpool.
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