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Wightlink G-Class Ferry Steel Cut
First steel cutting for the Wightlink G-Class ferry took place earlier this month at the Turkish shipyard Cemre in Yalova. For a ship design company like Houlder, one of the most exciting and rewarding events is seeing a design being made into a reality. This is especially true when that design is the innovative and green Wightlink G-Class Ferry that will link Portsmouth Gunwharf to the Isle of Wight. The design is illustrated in a Houlder 3D model above.
The Wightlink G-Class ferry is part of Wightlink’s Investing for the Future programme. The programme also includes new two tier boarding ramps at Portsmouth and Fishbourne. These enable more efficient loading and unloading at the terminals. Houlder’s design optimises loading/offloading rates when using these new ramps.
When Houlder won the tender to design the vessel, the brief specified a ferry that would be energy efficient and have a reduced carbon footprint compared to other vessels of a similar size. Houlder is a strong supporter of green technology, so designed the vessel as a diesel-electric hybrid ship operating on Marine Gas Oil (MGO) and batteries.
The vessel has a total length of 89.7m and a breadth of 19.4m. It has a draught of 2.6m. It can transport 1208 people and 178 cars. Its battery packs are powerful enough to smooth out power demands so the engines run closer to optimum efficiency.
The power storage is large enough that all the MGO engines can switch off while loading and unloading in port. This gives zero emissions and reduces operating noise giving fewer disruptions for local residents.
The vessel also has a number of other ingenious energy saving features such as LED motion sensitive lighting, elevators that put power back into the ship’s electrical system and heating that uses waste heat from the engines. The engines are being supplied by Wartsila and the batteries are by Corvus Energy.
Houlder will continue to support the Wightlink G-Class Ferry project with support and technical services during the build phase. The ferry is due to enter service in the summer of 2018.