VESSEL REVIEW | Marnix Van Sint-Aldegonde – Low-emission ferry designed for Antwerp’s inland waters

VESSEL REVIEW | Marnix Van Sint-Aldegonde – Low-emission ferry designed for Antwerp’s inland waters

Photo: BWB

Estonia-based shipbuilder Baltic Workboats (BWB) recently handed over a new all-aluminium catamaran ferry to DAB Vloot, the Flemish government-owned company that operates a wide assortment of coastal and inland vessels. The newbuild has been named Marnix Van Sint-Aldegonde after a famed Dutch-Flemish statesman and writer from the sixteenth century.

The Lloyd’s Register-classed ferry has a length of 30 metres, a beam of 9.5 metres, a draught of 2.5 metres, and capacity for 200 passengers, five additional wheelchair-bound individuals, and 75 bicycles besides the crew of three. Its area of operations encompasses the Western Scheldt River and the other inland waterways of the city of Antwerp. Specifically, the new ferry was built to replace Simon Stevin, an older vessel that has been operating in those same waters since 1931.

Photo: BWB

“The owners wanted an economic and functional vessel that can transport passengers and bicycles on Antwerp’s inland waterways,” BWB told Baird Maritime. “The catamaran hull shape was thus developed to provide the maximum allowable deck space while ensuring a reduction in required propulsive power.”

The builder added that a challenge lay in installing the necessary equipment in the narrow catamaran hull pontoons in such a way that maintenance can still be easily carried out.

Power is provided by a pair of Volvo Penta D13 diesel engines, each with a rated output of 214 kW. The engines turn two propellers via ZF W325 gearboxes to deliver a cruising speed of just under 10 knots and a range of 3,500 nautical miles. The catamaran hull form has been optimised so that the fuel consumption will be lower compared to monohull vessels of similar size and capacity.

Two Sleipner SH420 side thrusters provide added manoeuvrability for negotiating the narrow waters in and around Antwerp.

Photo: BWB

The ferry’s electronics include a JMA-610-7 radar and a JLR-21 GPS from JRC, a Nirolo NIR19AL-10 plotter, an Airmar B45 depth sounder, a Sailor 6222 VHF DSC radio, a Saab AIS, CCTV cameras from Hikvision, and a Zenitel Phontech audio setup. These systems, as well as the onboard pumps and the air conditioning system, draw power from a Hatz IB 160 25kW generator supplemented by an array of solar panels from Victron.

The incorporation of solar panels is in line with the operator’s goal of achieving reduced CO2 emissions. Specifically, this will ensure that the ferry will always have an adequate onboard electrical supply even without having to draw power from the main engines.

Photo: BWB

In a bid to further reduce emissions, the ferry’s design also considered alternative propulsion options as these become available.

“The vessel was also built with the possibility of being upgraded in the future to accommodate a hydrogen or fully electric propulsion system,” BWB told Baird Maritime.

Marnix Van Sint-Aldegonde has already begun operational sailings on the Scheldt. However, due to Covid-19 prevention measures currently in effect in Belgium, the ferry is limited to transporting no more than 35 passengers on each trip.

Click here for the other news, features and reviews comprising this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.

Marnix Van Sint-Aldegonde
Type of vessel:Commuter ferry
Classification:LR + 100A1 SSC Passenger Catamaran Zone 2, LMC, UMS
Owner:DAB Vloot, Belgium
Operator:DAB Vloot, Belgium
Designer:Baltic Workboats, Estonia
Builder:Baltic Workboats, Estonia
Hull construction material:Aluminium
Superstructure construction material:Aluminium
Deck construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:30 metres
Beam:9.5 metres
Draught:2.5 metres
Capacity:75 bicycles
Main engines:2 x Volvo Penta D13, each 214 kW
Gearboxes:2 x ZF W325
Propulsion:2 x propellers
Generators:Hatz IB 160 MB4, 25 kW
Side thrusters:2 x Sleipner SH420
Maximum speed:9.7 knots
Range:3,500 nautical miles
Radar:JRC JMA-610-7
Depth sounder:Airmar B45
Radio:Sailor 6222 DSC VHF
Plotters:Nirolo NIR19AL-10
AIS:Saab R5
Audio/video systems:Zenitel Phontech CIS 3130; Zöllner Zetfon 300 310 DC horn
Cameras/night vision:Hikvision surveillance camera system
Other equipment installed:Victron solar panel, 330 W/24 V
Type of fuel:Diesel
Fuel capacity:16,000 litres
Fuel consumption:46 L/hr at 9.7 knots
Freshwater capacity:5,000 litres
Sewage/blackwater capacity:3,000 litres

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