Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A faster, safer ferryboat

An independent Russian designer has come up with a blueprint for the next generation of super-fast ferry boats.
A faster, safer ferryboat
Ferryboats are an important component of intermodal transport, transporting both passengers and goods. Ferryboats have traditionally been a less expensive, though slower way to travel. Despite growth in air travel over the past few decades, ferryboats remain the preferred mode of transport in several crucial touristic regions of Europe. Scandinavia and the Greek islands are two prime examples.

Until recently, boat speed had to be sacrificed in order to ensure the safety of the ship, its crew, its passengers and its cargo. However, advances in engineering and materials science have been paving the way for higher and higher boat speeds.

An independent Russian naval engineer has designed a so-called "wave-piercing trimaran" that is capable of speeds up to 85 nautical miles per hour (knots). Safety at such high speeds is made possible by maintaining permanent contact with the water. Light construction materials reduce total weight and promote aerodynamic lift, which reduces water resistance and correspondingly fuel consumption.

The wave-piercing trimaran is seaworthy up to a sea state of level 4. It can carry up to 250 passengers. A mock-up model has been successfully tested in the aerodynamic tube of the Krylov Shipbuilding Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. The data gathered during these tests will be incorporated in the final ship design.

The design has been patented in Russia. The inventor requires assistance from companies in the shipbuilding industry with experience in the exploitation of this particular class of ferryboat. The promotion of such designs can help overturn the traditional thinking that ferryboats are slow.
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