New facility broadens Dutch yard's scope
The decision by Royal Schelde, the Netherlands' internationally renowned, 120-year old shipyard, to build a brand new shipbuilding facility at Vlissingen-Oost has paid off with its recent delivery of Captain George, a 251 x 71.4-ft. (76.6 x 21.8-m) catamaran fast ferry. (Vessels with a beam greater than 68.89 ft (21 m) cannot be built at Schelde Shipbuilding's main yard in the center of Vlissingen.) The primary catalyst in deciding to open the new facility was the order from the Royal Netherlands Navy to build a 82-ft. (25-m) wide Amphibious Transport Ship (ATS). Contrastingly, Mr. E.M.M.
Bilterijst, Schelde's Marketing Captain George was built by the Netherlands Royal Schelde and delivered t o Piraeus-based owners Greek Catamaran Lines Maritime Company be expected from the Navy made us decide to aim our efforts at other market segments." However, the company carried out an analysis of merchant vessels built throughout the world from 1989 to 1994 and found that 68 percent had a maximum beam of between 69 and 93.5 ft. (21 and 28.5 m.). The building of the new construction site became imperative when the company realized that they were precluded from tendering for more than two-thirds of the vessels required.
Built in one of the two huge construction halls at Schelde-East, as the new facility has now been named, Captain George is an aluminum catamaran with four levels above its twin hulls. The vessel has a sleek, streamlined appearance which belies its capacity of 152 cars and 630 passengers.
Propulsion is by four wateijets, two per hull, each driven by a 5,700-kW Caterpillar 3616 DITA diesel engine. This configuration gives the vessel a fully loaded service speed in excess of 36 knots at design condition. Fully laden and with 41 tons of fuel, the endurance at service speed is approximately 300 nm.
The main passenger deck is located immediately above the two car decks and is divided into two tourist class lounges with a total of 480 seats, and a club class lounge accommodating 100. An additional 40 first class passengers can be seated in an atrium on the aft of the bridge deck.
Captain George has been delivered to Piraeusbased owners Greek Catamaran Lines Maritime Company, and will be in regular service linking Italy and Greece in time for the peak summer traffic.