VESSEL REVIEW | P55 – Electric boat trio to patrol Amsterdam’s inland waters

MARITIME SECURITY WEEK
P55 (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Sjors Rodenburg)

The Damen Shipyards Group of the Netherlands recently handed over three new electric-powered boats in a series to the city of Amsterdam. The vessels are slated for two different operators but all three will be used for general patrol duties and related tasks within the many canals of the Dutch capital.

Waterpieper (“Water Pipit”) and Waterhoen (“Moorhen”) will be operated by the Gemeente Amsterdam city government while the third boat, P55, will be added to the harbour patrol fleet of the Politie Eenheid Amsterdam (Amsterdam Police). All three belong to a series of Damen-designed patrol boats that are optimised for navigation in restrictive inland waters but have been upgraded to incorporate all-electric propulsion to guarantee reduced noise and emissions, making them ideal for use in urban areas.

Each of the new patrol boats measures 13.5 by four metres and is fitted with a single 130kW electric motor and an 11kW bow thruster, though there are slight differences in energy storage capacity among the three vessels. Specifically, Waterpieper and Waterhoen each have an EST-Floattech 273kWh battery pack while P55‘s batteries have a 136kWh total capacity. The police boat also has a diesel generator to extend operating range if needed.

The Gemeente Amsterdam electric patrol boats Waterpieper and Waterhoen (Photo: Damen)

All three boats can reach speeds of up to 8.6 knots. Damen said that sailing at average speed will allow each boat to operate for a full day on a single charge of the batteries.

The accommodation on each boat consists of a wheelhouse with windows that provide all-round visibility, a dinette, a galley, and a sanitary space. The wheelhouse was designed to keep the overall vessel height to just under 1.8 metres to allow transits underneath Amsterdam’s many low-hanging bridges. Also, the special hull design results in low wash, thus minimising inconvenience to houseboats during manoeuvres in the city’s busy canals.

Aft of the wheelhouse is an open deck that can accommodate additional personnel and a mix of light cargo. Mounted on top of the wheelhouse are handrails that help facilitate safe passages between the bow and the stern via the side walkways.

The hulls for the new patrol boats were built at Damen Shipyards Kozle in Poland and then shipped to Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld in the Netherlands for outfitting and delivery. An additional two vessels from the same electric patrol boat series are scheduled for delivery in 2023. All five fully-electric vessels will operate in Amsterdam’s waters alongside two earlier Damen-built patrol boats from the same 13.5-metre series but are powered by diesel engines and hybrid electric propulsion, respectively.

See all the other news, reviews and features of this month’s Maritime Security Week right here.

P55, Waterpieper, & Waterhoen
SPECIFICATIONS
Type of vessel:Patrol boats
Flag:Netherlands
Owners:Gemeente Amsterdam, Netherlands; Amsterdam Police, Netherlands
Designer:Damen Shipyards Group, Netherlands
Builders:Damen Shipyards Kozle, Poland; Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld, Netherlands
Length overall:13.5 metres
Beam:4.0 metres
Main engine:130 kW
Side thruster:11 kW
Cruising speed:8.6 knots
Batteries:EST-Floattech, 273 kWh; 136 kWh
Safety equipment:Handrails
Type of fuel:Battery power
Accommodation:Dinette; galley; sanitary area

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