A new generation fast ferry has left Tasmania on her delivery voyage to Denmark via the Panama Canal.
The Express 3 is a 109 meter long high speed vehicle/passenger ferry from Australian shipbuilder Incat Tasmania for Danish operator Molslinjen, becoming the fourth Hobart-built catamaran in the company’s current fleet.
An entirely new generation fast ferry, the 109 meter wave piercing catamaran Express 3 has evolved from Incat’s well proven 112 meter catamaran range which first entered commercial service in mid-2007.
Incat’s Tim Burnell commented, “The design brief was simple. Ensure a consistent passenger experience and fleet commonality for Molslinjen, who already successfully operate two Incat 112 meter catamarans, whilst delivering a minimum 10 percent fuel and emissions saving plus faster vehicle deck turnaround times.”
Building on the in-service experience of the Incat 112 meter, the concept was redesigned from the keel up by Incat’s in-house naval architects, Revolution Design. The result is the 109 meter catamaran with a lightship weight saving of just over 100 metric tons.
The design refinement has also produced an improvement to vessel trim. Fuel, domestic fresh water and sullage tanks have all been moved forward but significantly, by repositioning the engine rooms six frames further forward, the vessel benefits from vastly improved speed and fuel consumption performance. Adding a skeg to the keel has enhanced directional stability.
On sea trials, Express 3 achieved a speed of 43 knots with 600 metric tons deadweight on board, easily exceeding contractual speed and fuel consumption expectations.
“Incat’s suppliers played their part in the quest to redefine vessel design. LifeRaft Systems Australia for example, designed and gained regulatory approval for longer Marine Evacuation Systems (MES). This allows the MES bays to be moved one deck up into the passenger space, rather than on the tween (upper car) deck on earlier vessels, resulting in a reduction in weight as well as more overall space on the tween deck,” Burnell said.
“Additionally, the vehicle deck layout has been enhanced with a new two pillar line arrangement, offering an overall gain of 600mm width in workable vehicle deck space, greatly assisting loading and discharge which in turn has a positive effect on turnaround times in port,” he said.
Vehicle deck capacity offers space for up to 411 cars, or up to 227 cars and 610 meters of truck space. Aside from the many proactive design and operating measures to reduce SOx, CO2, NOx and particulate matter, another important consideration was to install charging stations for electric vehicles, allowing motorists to charge their electric car as they travel across the Kattegat.
Accommodation on board Express 3 is provided for 1,000 persons with varied seating configurations in the aft, midship and forward lounges. To service both tourist and business class sections close attention has been paid to the dining areas to cater for passengers on the busy fast routes between Odden, Arhus and Ebeltoft. In addition to a large free flow restaurant there is also an American style diner, a walk-through kiosk and an espresso coffee shop.
“The 109 meter catamaran is Incat’s response to increasing demand for quality newbuild high speed craft that will provide reliable year round service,” Burnell said. “We pioneered this mode of high speed transport in 1990 and our ferries have since operated over 2.5 million hours in intensive commercial service. By deconstructing already successful designs and operator experience Incat has produced a fast ferry that truly is of a new generation.”
The new ferry will enter commercial service on June 1, 2017. “Molslinjen offer up to 30 sailings per day and taking the ferry typically saves customers around 400km of driving while being faster and more relaxing,” said Vice Chairman Søren Jespersen.
“Designed and optimized for our use Express 3 offers a fantastic onboard service for our customers. With the arrival of this fantastic craft our business transformation continues, expanding our route capacity, facilitating opening up new services and ensuring continued profitability growth for our company,” Jesperson said.
Burnell pointed out that in 2017 Molslinjen is a dramatically transformed business. “Molslinjen is now making its largest profits in its 54-year corporate history, representing a significant turnaround from the recent past. Credit must go to the vision and hard work of Molslinjen’s Board, Management and Employees, who have grown traffic on their routes between Sjealand and Jutland by 48 percent in the past three years such that they now annually carry over 2.5 million passengers, one million cars and 350,000 freight vehicles per year,” he said.
“At Incat we are proud that we have been part of the Molslinjen transformation in that they are currently operating an Incat fleet of the 91 meter Max Mols (delivered in 1998), the 112 meter Express 1 (ex KatExpress 1, delivered in 2012), the 112 meter Express 2 (ex KatExpress 2, delivered in 2013) and now Express 3 delivered in April 2017.
“Our customers are demanding we build vessels faster and more cost efficiently. Keel laying to delivery on Express 3 was 491 days (16 months) and this project has allowed us to grow our skilled workforce from a core of 200 to now over 550 people with recruitment continuing,” Burnell said.
Classification: DnV +1A1 HSLC R1 Car Ferry “B” EO
Gross Tonnage: 10842
Length: 109.4 m
Beam: 30.5 m
Draft: 4.05 m
Deadweight: 1,000 metric tons
Cars: 411 cars in car-only mode
Engines: 4 x MAN Diesel & Turbo 20V 28/33D
Waterjets: 4 x Wartsila Lips LJX 1500SR
Gearboxes: 4 x ZF NR2H 60000
Loaded Speed on SeaTrials: 43 knots with in excess of 600 metric tons deadweight
Service Speed: 40 knots
Lightship Speed: 47 knots