While much of the accolades for advanced fast ferry construction is heaped on Australian companies, Italy
's Rodriquez Cantiere Navali has not so quietly built an enviable stable of business and references. Most recently the company emerged as the winning yard to build a new high speed ferry for Navigazione Libera del Golfo (NLG) in Naples, Italy.
Rodriquez will deliver a 50-m, 446-passenger only, 36-knot all-aluminium fast ferry, model TMV
50 (yard number 306) in May 2003 for service from Naples to Capri. Passengers will be accommodated on three decks with bar service on the main and upper decks. The as yet un-named vessel will be fully HSC compliant and will be classed by RINA.
As has become a hallmark of the fast ferries built by Rodriquez, the vessel will have an advanced ride control system consisting of four anti-roll fins (two per side) and transom mounted intruders. Designed and supplied by Rodriquez Marine Systems
, such a system combined with the motion characteristics of a monohull work in unison through a central control panel to significantly reduce adverse vessel motions and thereby increasing passenger comfort and the total travel experience
The TMV 50 for NLG differs significantly from the three previous TMV 50's that were delivered to Ferrovie dello Stato in 1999 in that:
-- The passenger capacity has been slightly reduced to allow for more pitch between the seats;
-- The propulsion system is now based on three diesels with three waterjets (the outboard jets being steerable, and reversible and the central jet being for boost only) whereas the earlier TMV 50's had twin MTU 16V396's. This additional installed power and slightly lower payload has resulted in an increase of the service speed from 28 to 36 knots.
With this contract, Rodriquez currently has under construction six fast ferries as well as seven medium speed ferries. Combined with their military and yacht production, Rodriquez's order book stands at 41 vessels with a total value in excess of $260 million. The orderbook is a diverse one, ranging from 16-m/70-knot fast patrol boats built out of Kevlar to an all steel 73-mluxury yacht to a pair of all-aluminium/38-knot/84-m car carrying fast ferries.
Rodriquez Cantieri Navali is privately held company with four shareholding groups of which General Electric (GE) Equity is one of the equal partners. The company is a multi-faceted shipyard who specializes in fast ferries, military and para-military patrol vessels, and yachts. Based in Messina, Sicily, Rodriquez has production facilities The current order book (excluding Conam) is for 41 ships representing approximately euro 260 million and for deliveries through 2005: