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Lightweight Austal aims high


Targeted at the ro-pax market, a new range of aluminium-hulled vessels designed for efficient operation at more moderate speeds than previous lightweight fast ferries has been unveiled by Austal Ships, reports David Tinsley.


passengers, cars and freight, and powered by four-stroke, medium speed diesels driving controllable pitch propellers for maximum speeds of up to 28knots. Te new designs give first form to what is dubbed as the medium speed series, distinguishing the range from Austal’s established, faster Auto Express ferries and other types which provide for speeds in the region of 35-40knots. One of the proposed types is a so-called medium speed version of Austal’s 39knot, 102m ‘next generation’ trimaran class, conceived for a 25knot laden speed. Economy in relation to existing,


T


conventional ferries at comparable speeds has been the Australian specialist’s principal goal, as it pursues a strategy of broadening the market reach of lightweight, aluminium designs at a time of operators’ increasing attention to all facets of running costs and design efficiency. Austal’s technical manager James Bennett


explained that the company wanted to bring its world-renowned brand of aluminium multi-hull platforms to a market previously typified by steel monohull, SOLAS-regulated technology. “Our aluminium platforms deliver a significant reduction in lightship


Side view of the medium speed variant of Austal’s 102m trimaran.


weight compared to traditional steel ro-pax vessels. Tis means lower fuel consumption and thus lower emissions and operating costs, while still carrying the same passenger and vehicle loads,” he said. “As operators continue to face rising fuel


costs, increased emphasis on environmental factors and new regulatory requirements on energy efficiency, we expect the use of aluminium hull forms in the medium speed market to grow,” stated Mr Bennett. The


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ARMATUREN-WOLFF Friedrich H. Wolff GmbH & Co. KG


22419 Hamburg, Germany The Naval Architect September 2010


transport efficiency of an Austal medium speed aluminium catamaran is reckoned to be 14% better than that of a comparable steel monohull operating at the same speed. Previous Austal studies had indicated that a steel ro-pax ferry would use approximately 23% more fuel than the same design constructed in aluminium. Another potential benefit highlighted by


the company is the fact that each of the new range is still High Speed Craſt code(HSC)


he initial offering includes a 100m catamaran and 102m trimaran, each laid out for a payload mix of


Phone: + 49 - 40 - 532 873 - 0 Fax: + 49 - 40 - 532 873 - 29


Email: aw @ armaturen-wolff.de Web: www.armaturen-wolff.de


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