Dutch builder Shipyard De Hoop has successfully delivered a passenger/event boat to Rotterdam-based tour operator Spido, following on from its launch in March this year. Currently referred to as Hull No. 491, and scheduled to be christened in September, the vessel was “specifically designed and built for more upmarket events…such as company presentations, theatre shows or music and sport events”, De Hoop explains. However, she will also be utilised for sightseeing tours around the port city, to make the most of her maximum 250-passenger capacity – and complementing previous De Hoop deliveries to Spido, such as the 1998-built Vasco da Gama and 2000-built Abel Tasman.
The vessel measures 44.55m in overall length (or 43.98m on the waterline), has a moulded beam of 8.5m and a moulded depth of 3m. She has been designed to draw 1.5m when fully loaded and features an air draught of 8.8m. The boat is powered by twin 294kW main engines, delivering a service speed of approximately 11.5knots, and incorporates two Z-drive rudder propellers and an electrically-driven bow thruster. De Hoop says: “The main propulsors, as well as the diesel generators, are situated in two aft engine rooms.” Both engine rooms are protected by a FirePro fire suppression system, whose non-toxic FPC extinguishing agent is designed to put out fires without depleting the oxygen in these spaces.
An onboard CCTV system will not only monitor passenger welfare but assist with manoeuvring in restricted spaces, “due to the shape and size of the vessel”, says De Hoop. Other features include air-con units and a 380VAC power supply on the aft deck, which will provide sufficient juice for live band and DJ performances. This area has also been fitted with see-through mirrors, behind which movies and visuals can be projected.
Design-wise, the vessel employs a straight axe bow. De Hoop adds: “The characteristic Spido arc that runs forward from the transom appears to hold a ‘protective hand’ above the wheelhouse. The descending line of the decks to the aft ship is recognisable from the world of megayacht design.” The main deck can seat 122 passengers during dinner service while the VIP lounge seats 22 guests. The boat’s scissor lift features a buffet platter, which will most commonly be used to move food from the below-deck galley to the main deck. However, the platter, which has an accompanying 'cage', is also strengthened to take heavier loads – for instance, De Hoop says, it could be used to transfer motorbikes and small cars to the main deck for new product launch parties.
The newbuild was constructed in line with Dutch ILENT/NBKB inland shipping regulations. For an additional ‘green’ touch, the vessel has solar panels installed above the foredeck and in the sides of the top deck, for the vessel’s hotel needs. The passenger decks are fitted with artifical teak and feature brushed stainless steel railings.