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New ferry for Frisco

Ship & Boat International: eNews August 2018



Washington, US boatbuilder Vigor Industrial has delivered the third in a series of four ferries to California’s Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA).This authority, which primarily covers the San Francisco area, has two key responsibilities: providing passenger-only transits, to relieve heavily congested routes; and coordinating emergency-response water transits.


Ferry number three, Argo (pictured, right), is the latest addition to the Hydrus class, designed by Australia’s Incat Crowther. The first two vessels in this class, Hydrus and Cetus, were delivered to WETA in Q2 2017, while the fourth sister, Carina, is currently under construction at Vigor and earmarked for handover by the end of 2018.


Like her sisters, Argo is an all-aluminium catamaran, measuring 41.15m x 11.3m overall, drawing approximately 1.6m max and accommodating up to 400 passengers (with additional space allocated to bicycle storage). Capable of a service speed of 27knots, increasing to 29.5knots max, each vessel has been designed to accommodate 325 passengers internally and 75 on the outside decks, and will employ a four-person crew.


Each Hydrus class vessel is equipped with twin MTU 12V4000 M64 engines, rated 1,454kW at 1,830rpm apiece, feeding twin propellers via ZF gears. Interestingly, and on a green note, the engines are able to burn B5-type biodiesel: B5 indicating a mix of 5% biodiesel and 95% petrodiesel.


Another common feature of the Hydrus class, Vigor adds, is that each sister’s superstructure has 180 independent mounts. Subsequently, the builder states: “The engines and wheelhouse sit on isolation mounts while the gears are hard-mounted. This configuration greatly reduces vibration, increasing passenger comfort.” Each ferry can store up to 11,356litres of fuel oil (split between two tanks), 2,840litres of fresh water and 2,840litres of waste water.