Lisbon will introduce nine new low-wash fast ferries over the next two years. The new vessels are in response to an increase in ferry commuters and an outdated ferry service currently operating in the city’s waterways.
Sociedade Fluvial de Transportes S.A. (Soflusa) has ordered seven 49 meter passenger-only ferries to operate between Sul e Sueste terminal and Barreiro in Lisbon. Each of the Damen Fast Ferry 4912 catamaran vessels will carry up to 600 passengers and four crew at a service speed of 25 knots. Damen Shipyards in Singapore will build the ferries, with the first scheduled for delivery in early 2003, and the seventh early 2004.
In addition, two low-wash river ferries were delivered to Portugal early in 2002 and are operating successfully in waterways of Lisbon. These 37 metre ferries, built by Image Marine in West Australia and operated by Transtejo Ferries, carry 400 passengers at 29 knots.
Significantly, all nine vessels are powered by twin Hamilton HM Series waterjets.
Propulsion on the larger Damen ferries consists of twin MTU engines, each providing 2320skW to a Hamilton Model HM811 waterjet through a Reintjes gearbox. The pair of smaller Image Marine ferries have twin 1050skW MTU engines driving
Hamilton Model HM651 waterjets through Reintjes gearboxes.
The Hamilton Waterjet design provides high efficiency at speeds above 25 knots, minimizing cavitation and ingestion of debris, while eliminating risk of engine overload. These characteristics increase fuel economy and engine life. What’s more, unlike many other similar sized waterjets, Hamilton’s entire model range provides the full manoeuvring characteristics unique to waterjet propulsion. This includes such things as 360 degree “zero speed” manoeuvring and emergency crash stop.
One of Hamilton Jet’s the main advantages for these international ferry projects was the company’s world wide distributor network. Through this network Hamilton Jet provides on-site support for both designers and builders, and on-going assistance for the end-user, wherever they are in the world.