VESSEL REVIEW | Insula Oya III – Inter-island Ro-Pax for Western French operator

Best Medium Ro-Pax – Insula Oya III (Photo: David)
Best Medium Ro-Pax – Insula Oya III (Photo: David)

The government of the Pays de la Loire region in western France has taken delivery of a new Ro-Pax ferry from local shipyard Piriou.

Insula Oya III was designed by Stirling Design International based in Nantes and built by Piriou as a replacement for an earlier ferry in the owner's fleet. The steel-aluminium newbuild has a length of 55 metres, a beam of 13 metres, a maximum draught of only 2.35 metres, a displacement of 900 tonnes, and a crew complement of eight.

<em>Photo: MYG Design</em>
Photo: MYG Design

The ferry can transport 391 passengers, 340 cargo pallets, 20 ten-foot containers, and up to 18 vehicles including 12 cars, four motorcycles, and two 19-tonne lorries. All these account for a 40 per cent increase in freight capacity over the older ferry Insula Oya II. The vessel is also equipped with two Toimil 13-tonne deck cranes, though vehicles and other heavy freight will be loaded and unloaded via two folding port-side ramps.

Two 1,440kW IMO Tier III-compliant engines deliver a maximum speed of 15 knots. NOx and sulphur emissions are significantly reduced thanks to the installation of filtration equipment. To further reduce emissions, the ferry relies on a shore power connection as an alternative to generators for shouldering hotel loads while at berth. Two stabilisers are also fitted to ensure smooth transits even in rough seas while two bow thrusters provide additional lateral manoeuvrability for berthing, unberthing, and sailing in restrictive port waters.

<em>Photo: MYG Design</em>
Photo: MYG Design

The passenger spaces include a main cabin with seating for 252 people, lounges, a lift, and toilets. Large windows are fitted all around the main cabin to provide unobstructed views of the outside and to allow as much natural light as possible into the interior. Interior design work was provided by MYG Design.

Another 139 people can be accommodated in an outdoor seating area, which also has space for a fast rescue boat and a dedicated davit.

Insula Oya III is being operated by transport company Aleop on a regular service between the western French mainland and Yeu Island in the Bay of Biscay. In addition to transporting passengers and vehicles, the ferry will be used to carry essential goods such as fresh produce and construction materials to and from the mainland.

Insula Oya III
Type of vessel:Ro-Pax ferry
Owner:Pays de la Loire Regional Government, France
Operator:Aleop, France
Designer:Stirling Design International, France
Builders:Piriou, France
Hull construction material:Steel
Superstructure construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:55 metres
Beam:13 metres
Draught:2.35 metres
Displacement:900 tonnes
Capacity:20 containers; 340 pallets; 18 vehicles
Main engines:2 x 1,440 kW
Side thrusters:2
Maximum speed:15 knots
Cranes:2 x Toimil
Interior designer:MYG Design
Accommodation:Main cabin; lounges; toilets
Passengers:391 passengers
Operational area:Bay of Biscay, France

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