Damen is set to launch its first composite “water bus” as the prototype undergoes sea trials in the next few weeks.
The Damen water bus has a slender hull resulting in less weight than a traditional aluminium vessel. It can travel at up to 21 knots. The highly manoeuvrable vessel has a capacity of up to 100 passengers.
“This is a prototype for the first of the new generation Damen water bus,” said Marcel Elenbaas, Damen Design and Proposal Engineer – Fast Ferries. “The Damen water bus is the best fit for highly congested urban areas, providing a simple and efficient way of making use of natural waterways, and consequently integrating into the public transport network.”
According to Damen the vessel can easily be adapted to specific customer requirements, and the selected composites’ production process facilitates a swift delivery to clients. “This next generation water bus is built with high quality vacuum infusion technology, creating a difficult to penetrate closed cell, epoxy sandwich structure,” stressed Marcel.
The Damen water bus is equipped with two, forward facing, double-screw podded propulsion units that allow exhaust gasses to exit under water.
The first Damen water bus is expected to be in the Netherlands before the year-end.
Alex Baird is the Managing Director of Baird Maritime