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Electric Ferry Wins Ship of the Year

Sep 15, 2014

Maritime Executive

Norwegian ferry owner Norled and Fjellstrand Yard have won the prestigious "Ship of the Year" industry award presented in Hamburg last week for the world's first battery driven car ferry – ZeroCat 120. Rolls-Royce contributed to the innovative ZeroCat 120 ferry with optimized Azipull thrusters and hull design and hydrodynamics, based on advanced analysis.

An important factor in the development of the ferry was to provide a propulsion system with the lowest possible energy consumption during fjord crossings, and at the same time ensure safe and efficient low speed maneuvering when operating near piers. The propulsion system is a key element in lowering energy requirements, enabling a reasonably sized battery pack to be installed onboard. To achieve high energy efficiency, the system from Rolls-Royce has a low propeller rotation rate, propeller blades with high aspect ratio and a low blade area, as well as a slender thruster body. The battery technology and electrical systems are provided by Siemens.

Philippine Ferry Sinks

Sep 15, 2014

The Philippine Star

Three people perished while three others went missing after a passenger roll-on, roll-off (RORO) ferry sank off Southern Leyte on Saturday. Initial reports said 113 people were rescued 18 hours after the M/V Maharlika 2 (owned by Archipelago Ferries Corp.) sank at around 4 p.m. Saturday reportedly after developing steering problems off the coastal town of San Ricardo.

The ship’s captain said they were carrying 85 passengers and 31 crewmembers but the ferry’s manifest listed only 58 passengers and 26 crewmen. It also carried 13 vehicles. Maritime investigators, however, ruled out the possibility of overloading as cause of the accident since the ferry had a capacity of up to 400 passengers.

The ferry left Lipata port at 11 a.m. and was supposed to dock at Liloan pier at 5 p.m. Strong winds and big waves spawned by the prevailing monsoon and Typhoon Luis, however, apparently slowed down the ferryboat and sank it midway.

[According to the Shippax Database, the Maharlika II was built in Japan in 1984. Its dimensions were: LOA - 66.3m, Beam - 12.5m, Draft - 4.6m, GT - 1866, Speed - 14.5 knots, PAX - 403, Vehicles - 14, Access - bow and stern.]

Student Team Wins Design Competition for Affordable Ferry Design

Sep 12, 2014

Lloyd’s List

A team from the Memorial University of Newfoundland have won the World Ferry Safety Association’s second annual international student design competition for a safe, affordable ferry. The Canadian team won $5,000 for their design of a double-hulled vessel using standard and cheap features such as mild steel, standard components and a chined hull that allows for simple construction. The team was led by Edward Moakler with Logan Miller, Nicholas Boyd, Luke Hancox, Bethany Randall, and Aron Ng. The WFSA competition is aimed to encourage young designers to enter and learn about the needs of the currently developing market in the shipping industry.

The design criteria for the ferry required it to carry 200 passengers and transport truck freight from Lae and Kavieng in Papa New Guinea. [This is the 350 nautical mile route where the passenger ferry, MV Rabaul Queen, sank in 2012 with the loss of more than 160 people.]

US Transportation Safety Board Issues Ferry Safety Video

Sep 10, 2014

Marine Log

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its first-ever maritime video safety alert. This safety alert addresses the hazards associated with passengers congregating or standing in stairwells during docking or undocking of passenger vessels. It highlights the lessons learned from some recent ferry incidents and warns passengers to avoid stairways during docking and undocking.

Access the video at:

Bangladesh Prime Minister Speaks Out on Ferry Safety

Sep 9, 2014

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has blamed the 'profit craze' among vessel owners as responsible for most ferry disasters in Bangladesh. "Launches sink in moderate storms, this cannot go on. These should be designed in a manner that it can float at any condition," Hasina said during a meeting with the shipping ministry's officials. "The accidents happen because vessels are designed to take in more passengers but not keeping in mind how they would survive a storm," she added. Hasina also emphasised proper training for ferry captains.

French Ferry Operator Loses State Aid Appeal

Sep 5, 2014

Maritime Executive

Cash-strapped French ferry operator SNCM looks set to seek legal protection from its creditors after Europe's highest court ruled on Thursday it must pay back 220 million euros ($289 million) of French state aid. SNCM, owned 66 percent by transport group Transdev, has racked up losses as low-cost competitors have eaten away its market share and is fast running out of funds.

Transdev - itself a joint venture between water and waste firm Veolia and French state bank CDC - has said it will not put more money into SNCM and that court protection from creditors is the only way to shield the ferry operator from two separate state aid repayment claims totaling 440 million euros.

New Double-ended Ferry for Norden-Frisia

Aug 28, 2014

Voith Turbo

The German North Sea ferry operator Norden-Frisia AG has been serving the East Frisian island of Norderney for many decades. The island is currently served by five ferries with a one-hour crossing time from the mainland port of Norddeich. Navigation in these coastal waters poses special challenges: in some areas the waterway only leaves a few centimeters below the keel and the water contains a significant amount of swirled-up sand. A new sister ship of the double-ended ferry MS Frisia IV equipped with Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) is to enter service in summer 2015. The shipping company again chose Voith Schneider Propellers as these are ideally suited for the specific operating conditions in shallow tidelands.

The ferry will be built by the Cassens shipyard in Emden. With a length of 74.3 meters and a beam of 13.4 meters, she will be slightly longer than her sister ship. The newbuild with a draft of 1.75 meters is designed to carry 1,340 passengers and 60 cars. She will reach a speed of 8 knots in shallow water and 12 knots in deeper water.

DFDS Profits Surge

Aug 21, 2014

Lloyd’s List

Improvements in second-half profits have prompted Copenhagen-listed ro-pax operator DFDS to lift its full-year expectations. The Danish shortsea operator saw revenue grow 8%, to DKr3.3bn ($586.5m) and earnings before deductibles rise by 31% to DKr403m compared to the second quarter of 2013. Pretax profit rose by 143% to DKr231m.

While the overall trade and passenger volumes have improved, the group has noted that there has been an impact on its Baltic Sea business from the Ukraine conflict. As a result of the conflict in Ukraine and certain sanctions against Russia, Russia has imposed food import bans from Europe, starting with a meat ban in January and then a one-year general food ban from this month.

DFDS chief executive Niels Smedegaard said in the company’s stock exchange announcement that the quarterly results were ahead of expectations and performance in July, the start of the third-quarter high season, had shown this to be continuing.

Condor Buys Austal Cat

Aug 20, 2014

Marine Log

Austal has completed the sale of the 102 m trimaran stock vessel Hull 270 to Channel Islands ferry operator Condor Ferries for A$61.5 million. Condor Ferries has been operating since 1964 and carries more than one million passengers and 200,000 vehicles between France, the U.K. and the Channel Islands each year. It says it will bring the vessel into service in Spring 2015 and will base it in Poole, Dorset, U.K.

The vessel will remain at Austal's commercial shipyard in the Philippines for customer modifications. The modifications will commence immediately and are valued at approximately A$6 million, to be paid by Condor progressively as works are completed.

Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said the significant capabilities provided at Austal's Philippines shipyard had been crucial in securing the additional customisation contract. Condor Chief Executive Officer James Fulford said: "It is fantastic to be adding this prestigious ship to our fleet. The 102 will offer increased reliability, capacity and comfort for our guests and we are very much looking forward to her arrival in our islands in the Spring."

New Ferries for Japanese Line

Aug 19, 2014


The Osaka-based Meimon Taiyo Ferry (City Line), which operates the Osaka-Kita Kyushu route, announced that it will introduce two 15,000gt ferries in September and November 2015. The new ferries will be built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries with a length of 183m, 2,713 passengers, hybrid propulsion and the energy saving Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System. They will replace the 1992-built Ferry Osaka and Ferry Kita Kyushu (length:183m, beam: 27m, passengers: 713).