Dutch shipbuilding company Damen Shipyards unveiled its new-generation multi-purpose passenger ferry, the Damen Water Bus 2407, in September 2016.
The vessel features a modular design to allow for a wide range of configurations, including public transportation, sightseeing, river cruising and VIP shuttle activities.
A prototype was configured for passenger transportation and underwent sea trials in September 2016.
The prototype represented the first waterbus to be produced by Damen Shipyards Antalya for public transportation.
Belgium-based ferry operator Aqualiner placed an order with Damen for four Waterbus 2407 vessels in June 2017.
An additional contract for a further three vessels was signed in November 2017.
The first ship will be known as Aqua Diamond and was commissioned in June 2017, while the second vessel entered service in October 2017.
The remaining units are currently under construction at Damen Shipyards Antalya in Turkey.
Aqualiner is expected to use the vessels to provide public transport services in the city of Antwerp, Belgium, as part of an arrangement with the Port of Antwerp.
The boat’s route will connect the centre of Antwerp with the southern and northern reaches of the city in half-hour intervals.
Damen Water Bus 2407 features lightweight and slender catamaran hull and superstructure, which was built using fibre-reinforced polymer composite materials.
The hull has been optimised to reduce wave resistance and drag at higher speeds, while increasing fuel efficiency.
The boat’s size varies from 16m to 24m in length depending on the type of application.
It can also be configured to incorporate various interior options such as bicycle and cargo space, 20-120 passenger seating arrangements, entertainment facilities and climate control options.
The commuter ferry has a length of 24.5m, beam of 7m, depth of 2.3m and a draught of 1.6m.
It is able to carry 2m³ of fuel oil, in addition to 0.2m³ of fresh water and sewage each.
Damen Water Bus 2407 offers spacious accommodation for up to 100 passengers, 50 bicycles and two wheelchairs.
It is outfitted with large windows on either side to provide occupants with unobstructed, panoramic views of the surroundings.
The boat is controlled by a two-person crew from the spacious, functional wheelhouse using a simple joystick control unit, which provides precise manoeuvring.
The vessel’s wheelhouse comprises two helm seats and is cooled by an air-conditioning unit.
Its aft deck features a spacious boarding area and offers easy boarding for passengers.
In addition, the sight-seeing variant of the ship can be outfitted with open seating areas on the top deck to offer views of the sea.
A variety of nautical and marine communications systems are installed on-board the vessel to provide safe navigation and reliable communication, even in difficult environments.
The equipment includes the AlphaGSM Box GSM, Alphatron JMA-610 river radar, JVC KD-G161 CD radio and two Sailor RT-2048 VHFs.
An Alphatron AlphaDepth MF echo sounder is also included to provide accurate depth information.
Additionally, the ship incorporates a JRC JLR-20 GPS compass for determining the ship’s heading, position, course and speed characteristics in all weather conditions via the JRC 0J-NAV 500 global positioning system.
Damen Water Bus 2407 is powered by two Volvo Penta IPS-650 / D11 diesel engines, which generate 375bkW of output power each at a rate of 2,250rpm.
Its engines are coupled with twin, forward-facing, double-screw, counter-rotating Volvo IPS-2 pods to provide increased efficiency and high manoeuvrability.
The catamaran passenger ferry is also equipped with a Caterpillar C 2.2. 50Hz, 22.5kVA marine diesel generator set and 24V DC power supplies.
The boat has been certified by Bureau Veritas and offers a maximum speed of 21.5k.
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