VESSEL REVIEW | Sinichka – Electric commuter boats designed for Russia’s Moskva River
A series of three new electric monohull commuter ferries have already begun operational sailings on the Moskva River in the Russian capital Moscow.
Built by Russian shipyard Emperium, sister vessels Sinichka, Filka, and Presnya – all named after rivers in Moscow – are being operated by the Moscow Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development (Moscow Deptrans). They are the first units of a planned fleet of 20 vessels that will serve the capital city and other nearby communities. The new ferry system will be the water transport system to be operated on the Moskva River in 16 years.
Each vessel has a welded aluminium hull, an LOA of 21 metres, a beam of 6.2 metres, a draught of only 1.4 metres, a displacement of 40 tonnes, and capacity for 80 passengers plus two crewmembers. Seating is available for 42 passengers on each ferry, and the main cabins are also fitted with USB charging ports, wifi connectivity, tables, toilets, and space for bicycles and scooters. The cabin layout can be rearranged to allow the operator to adjust the distances between the seats and to install armrests of varying widths.
An open upper deck is also accessible to passengers and is the only area on each ferry where smoking is allowed.
The ferries are all of modular construction with each ferry’s wheelhouse, main cabin, and other structural elements being built as complete, separate components. This enables the ferries to be easily dismantled for transport to anywhere in Russia by rail and then quickly re-assembled within seven days.
The ferries are also ice-capable. Recently completed operational trials on the Moskva showed that the vessels can also easily navigate under mild winter conditions with broken surface ice, though year-round operations are planned for the entire fleet.
The ferries are each fitted with 500kWh lithium iron phosphate battery packs that supply power to two 134kW motors. This configuration can deliver a maximum speed of 11.8 knots, a cruising speed of just under 10 knots, and a range of 150 kilometres.
Emperium said the transfer of rotation of electric motors to the propeller is carried out by direct drive. As a propulsion installation, a pulling rotary propeller-steering column with double screws is used. The installation of double pulling screws, with similar power, allows an operator to increase the efficiency of the propulsion system to deliver a slightly higher speed or to reduce energy consumption. This arrangement also provides the ferries with enhanced manoeuvrability necessary for navigating in close quarters.
The batteries themselves have projected service lives of 10 to 12 years and are fitted with safety features such as built-in fire extinguishers and gas vents. Quick-disconnect features allow the batteries to be easily removed for replacement or maintenance.
Some of our readers have expressed disquiet at our publication of reviews and articles describing new vessels from Russia. We at Baird Maritime can understand and sympathise with those views. However, despite the behaviour of the country’s leaders, we believe that the maritime world needs to learn of the latest developments in vessel design and construction there.
Click here to read other news stories, features, opinion articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.
|Sinichka, Filka & Presnya|
|Type of vessel:||Commuter ferries|
|Operator:||Moscow Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development, Russia|
|Hull construction material:||Aluminium|
|Length overall:||21 metres|
|Propulsion:||2 x 134 kW|
|Maximum speed:||11.8 knots|
|Cruising speed:||10 knots|
|Batteries:||Lithium iron phosphate, 500 kWh|
|Accommodation:||Cabin; toilets; bicycle/scooter area|
|Operational area:||Moskva River, Russia|
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