BC Ferries Chooses SCHOTTEL Propulsion
Captain Jamie Marshall, Vice President, Business Development and Innovation at BC Ferries, said, “We’ve had positive experiences with SCHOTTEL azimuth thrusters in our Salish Class ferries, and opted for the German manufacturer for our Island Class as well. The propulsion system is efficient, quiet and sustainable, and a good fit for our Island Class ferries.”
Each of the four newly built vessels will be equipped with two high-efficiency SCHOTTEL Twin Propellers. The main propulsion for each ferry consists of a pair of electric motors – each rated 950 kW at 1,700 rpm and driving the SCHOTTEL STP 340 azimuthing thrusters. Provided with a propeller diameter of 1.85 meter, the STP enables a free-sailing speed of 14 knots.
By sharing the load between two propellers, the risk of cavitation is minimized and tip clearance is increased, SCHOTTEL said. Both of these characteristics, in turn, lead to lower underwater radiated noise and vibration levels. This concept also improves the efficiency of the propulsion system and reduces fuel consumption compared to single propellers, according to the manufacturer.
BC Ferries announced the vessel order in November 2019. The four newbuilds – built to Damen’s Road Ferry 8117 E3 design and also known as the “Island Class vessels” – will be capable of carrying up to 300 passengers and crew as well as 47 vehicles.
The first two Island Class vessels will be deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island route and the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula Island route by mid-2020.
The third and fourth new vessels will service the Campbell River – Quadra Island route and the fifth and sixth new ships will serve the Nanaimo Harbor – Gabriola Island route by 2022.