Spanish Group Endorses Pentamaran

As part of its strategy to foster business in the high-speed marine transportation sector, Spain's IZAR Group is collaborating with the British technical consultancy Nigel Gee & Associates (NGA) in the development of fast RoPax and RoRo vessel designs.

The recent unveiling of a proposal for a 40-knot RoPax type followed the signing of a license agreement granting IZAR exclusive European manufacturing rights to the adoption of the Pentamaran hull form in large RoRo equipped vessel applications.

The pact gives a further string to IZAR's bow in its multi-faceted bid to re-enter the high-speed ferry market. It also provides a basis whereby the innovative, patented Pentamaran could be pro- gressed from a widely-acclaimed concept to forming the template for a range of vessels to be introduced to the market over the next five years.

IZAR has substantial experience in the design and construction of light-displacement fast ferries, built at its San Fernando yard. Market studies car- ried out by the group pointed to a future demand for vessels of up to 40 knots incorporating higher deadweights than previously possible, with shipowners seeking 1,000-dwt and looking longerterm to 2,000-dwt or more.

Rather than scaling-up existing monohull types for such combinations of speed and higher payloads. IZAR sought alternative, more cost-attractive solutions.

The Pentamaran form, a slender monohull stabilized by two pairs of sponsons resulting in a broad loading platform, was favored for the potential it offers for a 30 percent reduction in power in large, high-speed vessels relative to current monohull or catamaran alternatives. The Pentamaran RoPax proposal, moreover, employs steel construction and heavy fuel oil-burning medium-speed diesel plant, out of consideration of owners' preferences and operating cost criteria.

In a paper prepared for the recent Fast Ferry Conference in Nice by Juan Antonio Moret, IZAR's high-speed vessel design manager, and Nigel Gee, managing director of Southamptonbased NGA, it was explained that the IZAR Pentamaran fast ferry had been developed to carry 900 passengers and 280 cars, or up to 24 x 30-ton trucks plus 48 cars.

While formulated in mind of a wide range of potential route applications, special reference had been made in the project development to the conditions and requirements on two busy connections, the 20-mile route across the Gibraltar Strait between Algeciras and Ceuta. and the 120-mile link between Barcelona and Palma di Mallorca.

Propulsion machinery would be installed in the central hull just aft of midships. Four engines of the Wartsilii 38-series medium-speed design have been built into the provisional specification.

driving a total of three transommounted, steerable and reversible waterjets.

The configuration is intended to yield the requisite raw power and maneuverability, while also conferring flexibility and economy by better enabling engine usage and settings to be closely matched to actual service and speed requirements.

IZAR is also cooperating with NGA in the development of a larger Pentamaran design for carrying up to 3,000-tons of RoRo cargo in open-sea conditions. This would have a top speed of 41-knots, engendered by a medium-speed diesel plant, and be fabricated from high-tensile steel throughout.

Other stories from April 2002 issue

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