Student Ferry Competition Draws Record Participation

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 12, 2015

The Worldwide Ferry Safety Association’s (WFSA) international student ferry design competition, geared toward developing a Safe Affordable Ferry, enters its third year receiving more entrants than ever before.
For this year’s competition for a RoPax (passenger-truck) ferry for Indonesia, 21 student teams have registered, nearly doubling the number of entrants from previous years. A large percentage of the students are from academic institutions in the developing world: there are seven teams from Indonesian universities, four from India and three from Bangladesh.
WFSA’s Executive Director, Dr. Roberta Weisbrod, said, “This high degree of participation by the developing world will likely have influence for the future in the developing world, where it matters.”
Additional entries have been received from schools in Canada and Germany (two each) and one from the World Maritime University in Sweden, one from Scotland and one from the U.S.
The vessel to be designed will connect a series of islands surrounding the Savu Sea by a loop route. Currently the individual islands are each connected to the main island only; for some of the islands the trips are very infrequent. The islands lack economic development and trade, which interconnectivity by a ferry system will address.
The vessel is to be designed to transport up to 185 passengers, 15-person crew, and ro-ro cargo (trucks), to traverse 468 Nautical miles, in waters with wind speeds up to 30 knots and with sea swells up to 4 meters in height.
“The design competition for an Indonesian Ro-Pax is especially timely because Indonesia’s new national policy is to enhance maritime capability nd regional reach, with a stated goal is to improve interisland connectivity by water.” Dr. Weisbrod added. “A key element in this year’s competition will be to address fire prevention and response – a critical problem for RoPax ferries in Indonesia and indeed, the world over.”
This is the third round of competitions, with previous designs for Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea. In each case, high government officials with appropriate qualifications developed the specifications for the competitions, and also serve on the permanent panel of judges. This year, six maritime professionals serve as judges of the competition, two from the U.S., one each from Denmark, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and from Indonesia.
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