Three VSP for double-ended ferry on Upper Arrow Lake in Canada


The contract for a new double-ended ferry that will operate on the Upper Arrow Lake in British Columbia, Canada, has been awarded to Waterbridge Steel Inc. As of 2014, the new vessel is to replace two ferries built in the 1960's which are equipped with Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP). The vessels' Voith Schneider propulsion systems have proven their worth under the specific application conditions and were therefore again chosen as propulsion system for the new ferry.

Since 1968, the two VSP-propelled double-ended ferries "Shelter Bay" and "Galena Bay" have been transporting passengers and their vehicles between the bays of the same name on the Upper Arrow Lake. In 2011, the ferry route served just under 300,000 tourists, forestry workers and hunters. The vessels operate under adverse conditions. For example, forest industry activities in the woods around the lake result in plenty of driftwood and logs in the water.

The shipbuilder Waterbridge has now ordered three Voith Schneider Propellers of the type 18R5 EC/150-1 for a new double-ended ferry. Two VSP will be arranged diagonally in the ship; the third will be used as a spare. Robust stainless-steel propeller blades ensure reliable propulsion, even if the VSP are subject to hard impacts from driftwood or ice.

In addition to the VSP, Voith will supply two turbocouplings as well as the propeller control system for the project in July 2013. The couplings ensure soft start-up of the diesel engines and dampen any torsional vibrations. The combination mode integrated into the control system ensures that the operator Waterbridge achieves a reduction in fuel consumption. When running in combination mode, propeller pitch and engine speed are optimized for maximum efficiency.

The new ferry will operate 7,000 hours a year. With its ability to transport 250 passengers and 80 cars, it has more than twice the capacity of the previous ferries. The vessel is more than 97 meters long and just under 20 meters wide. It is being built in Nakusp on the Upper Arrow Lake where Waterbridge Steel Inc. specifically constructed a shipyard. The contract for the ferry was awarded by the British Columbia Transportation Authority.

Voith Turbo, the specialist for hydrodynamic drive, coupling and braking systems for road, rail and industrial applications, as well as for ship propulsion systems, is a Group Division of Voith GmbH.

Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transportation & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 42 000 people, generates € 5.7 billion in sales, operates in over 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.

By Professional Mariner Staff