Ferry Fleet Standardizes to Cummins Power

Friday, November 01, 2002
In order to preserve Bald Head Island's natural tranquility, its developers have banned cars, and residents have to get around by golf cart and bicycle. Travel to and from the island is by a small fleet of aluminum hulled crew boats. When it came time for the owner's to build a new boat and repower the existing two-cycle boats, they shopped hard and finally settled on Cummins KTA 19M3 engines producing 640 hp each with a Heavy Duty rating.

All told, they have ordered six of these well-proven engines. Two will go into a 65-ft. (19.8-m) aluminum boat in January 2003. These will be coupled to ZF665A gears with a 1.75:1 ratio turning 32x34-inch four blade Michigan propellers.

Tom DeMann of DeMann Marine Power is a Cummins trained applications engineer and has specified the gear ratio based on the boat's 72,000-lb. light weight and 107,000-pound loaded weight. A second pair of KTA19M3s will go into an 76-ft. aluminum Breaux Brothers built boat. These engines will have the same HP rating and ZF gear model but with a 1.97:1 ratio to reflect the larger boat's 87,000-pound light and 121,000-lb. loaded weight.

He is hoping to match an over square 36 or 38-in. propeller to the engines.

A third pair of engines will go into an 82-ft. (24.9-m) catamaran currently building at Island Boats in New Iberia La. The catamaran, designed by Schuller & Allan of Houston Texas, is scheduled for delivery next March. Island Boats president Miles Thomas explains the unique characteristics of the new boat. "The people at Bald Head Island realized that their current vessels, converted oil industry crew boats, just didn't have the cargo capacity for peak passenger periods. This catamaran is being built with the same robust scantlings and plating (3/8 bottom and 5/16-inch sides) as a crew boat. With its 28-ft. beam, we could have given it a 250 passenger rating, but we have gone for the 149-passenger Sub-chapter 'T' rating and built in space for up to 28 luggage carts or 16,800 lbs. of cargo. Even with this modest horsepower, the boat will do 18 knots."

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