Commercial Marine 431

Splash for second LHD
The second of two amphibious landing helicopter dock (LHD) ships acquired for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been launched in Spain.

The LHDs are the largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy and will provide the ADF with one of the most capable and sophisticated amphibious deployment systems in the world.

The Canberra Class LHDs are bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, and when completed will be more than 230m long, 27.5m high and weigh around 27,500 tonnes.

Each ship can carry a combined armed battlegroup of more than 1100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters, and feature a 40-bed hospital.

Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, as a subcontractor to BAE Systems Australia, has constructed and is fitting out the hulls of both amphibious ships.

The superstructure, combat and communications systems will be consolidated with the hulls in Australia at the BAE Systems shipyard in Williamstown, Victoria.

The arrival of the first amphibious ship hull at BAE’s Williamstown dockyard is expected later this year.
When the hull arrives in Melbourne the task of marrying the superstructure, hull, combat system and communications system can commence, in preparation for delivery of the first ship to the ADF in 2014.

Top photo: The second of two LHDs acquired by the Australian Defence Force is launched in Spain. They are the largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy.

Sydney Ferries enters new private era
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian ushered in a new era for Sydney Ferries in late July, with the new operator commencing services five months early.

“Before we came to Government we promised the people of Sydney we would deliver a world-class ferry service,” said O’Farrell. “The NSW Government has made it clear we want the new operator Harbour City Ferries to get on with the job of running the ferries effectively, and making sure there’s a smooth transition for the millions of passenger trips each year.”

Berejiklian said the NSW Government has already restored 140 ferry services scrapped by the previous Labor Government, and provided an additional 25 weekly services along the Parramatta River.

“I am pleased to welcome the new private operator onboard, five months before we promised,” said Berejiklian. “It will be business as usual for customers in the short term, but over time Harbour City Ferries will be expected to lift standards of customer service, and work with the Government to deliver safer, cleaner and more reliable ferries.”

As part of the seven-year franchise contract the Government will retain ownership of Sydney Ferries’ existing vessels, the Balmain Shipyard, and maintain control over fares and service levels. The service will also keep its iconic name Sydney Ferries.

Harbour City Ferries is a joint partnership between leading transport operators Transfield Services and Veolia Transdev Australia.

Harbour City Ferries chief executive officer, Steffen Faurby said staff were looking forward to delivering improvements for everyone who uses ferries on the harbour.

“Customers can be assured Sydney’s ferries are in the hands of a safe and experienced operator committed for the long-term,” said Faurby. Harbour City Ferries also has a management team with many decades of experience in transport and customer service operations, he added.

Almost 90 per cent of existing Sydney Ferries employees transferred to the new organisation, with the remaining staff accepting voluntary redundancy or support for redeployment.

Fantasea exits Whitsundays
Fantasea Cruises has sold its Whitsundays tourism operation to Cruise Whitsundays, which has now taken over the former’s rights to service Hamilton Island, the two Reefworld platforms on Hardy Reef, the vessel Charmer, and the land and marina holdings at Port of Airlie.

The Fantasea brand will continue to operate elsewhere, including Sydney, Palm Beach Ferries and the Townsville Magnetic Island ferry service.

Cruise Whitsundays owners, Chris Jacobs and Roger Dold said they were delighted with the acquisition.

“We have steadily built our presence in the Whitsundays, but it has been a struggle to get the business to its full potential,” they said in a joint statement.

“With the additional passengers and services we have acquired from Fantasea, the economics of the business will be stronger and will allow us to focus on growth and innovation in these challenging times.

“We can now look forward to a significant partnership with the whole Region. The Whitsundays will be the winner here,” they said.

Yanmar repower delivers for Victorian fisherman
Based out of the port of Portland, Victoria, professional fisherman Tom Bibby knew that an engine repower was ahead for his heavy Russian-built trawler, but he didn’t expect to do the job quite so soon. However, while heading up the NSW coast to Birdon Marine at Port Macquarie for major maintenance works a few years ago, the gearbox in Moira Elizabeth failed. Fortunately for Tom and the crew, it was locked in gear.

So with a failed transmission and an old V12 diesel engine with 100,000 hours logged, not to mention multiple rebuilds over the years, the decision to repower was made all the more easier. And Bibby chose Yanmar for the repower.

“I was impressed with both the Yanmar brand and the specifications of the Yanmar 6AY series,” Bibby recalled. “Whenever I asked other commercial operators around the traps about Yanmar, I never heard a bad word. That was good enough for me.”

The 25m, 170-tonne Moira Elizabeth is one of a batch of five new trawlers that were imported from Russia in 1982. Reflecting the heritage, it is ice rated for Baltic conditions and started life with a factory-fitted SKL diesel engine.

Bibby first worked onboard in 1993, when he signed on as engineer. By that time the vessel had a US-built V12 diesel and was logging 5000 hours annually. Bibby later became skipper and ultimately the owner.

At that time Moira Elizabeth was bottom trawling for orange roughie and virtually anything the market would take. These days Bibby supplies the fish markets in Melbourne and Warrnambool, trawling between Kangaroo Island and the west coast of Tasmania.

In June 2009, when fuel prices were going through the roof and the GFC was beginning to bite deep, Bibby gave Birdon Marine the okay to replace both the engine and transmission. Power Equipment, the Australian distributor for Yanmar diesel engines, had a 6AYM-ETF in stock, which helped expedite the whole process.

Eventually it all came together with the engineroom transplant achieved via a hole cut in the deck and then through the freezer room. Bibby got back to sea with a fresh drivetrain — Yanmar 6AYM-ETF diesel engine, Twin Disc MG-5170-DC transmission with 5.95:1 reduction, and Veem prop supplied and matched by the team at Austral Propellers to suit the new power-train and existing nozzle configuration.

With 13,000 hours now logged on the Yanmar 6AYM-ETF aboard Moira Elizabeth, and not a single day lost due to an engine breakdown, Bibby can speak with authority on the repower. The trawler is good for 9kts at 1300rpm.

“The transformation has been remarkable. You can actually feel the difference in power through the helm,” Bibby said.

“With the Yanmar spinning away in the engineroom at only 1300rpm, we have the same power and same hull speed as we had with the old engine. But now I have a massive 40 per cent increase in torque.

“For trawling with big nets out the back, torque is everything. Now with the Yanmar I can hold the boat better in bad weather while towing nets. With the weather beating on us beam on, I can actually tow where I want to go.

“For every day that I spend at sea, I save at least 200lt of fuel. And with the standard oil changes now at every 500 hours, I save a further 50lt of engine oil, or 500lt of oil a year,” he said.

Bibby began as a sceptic when it came to the engine manufacturer’s specifications and sales pitch on fuel savings and performance. Having now experienced the 6AY Series impressive performance firsthand after the repower and following 34 months, he concedes that the claims are indeed his reality.

The Yanmar 6AYM-ETF diesel engine has given the 25m, 170-tonne, Russian-built trawler Moira Elizabeth
a new lease on life.

Victorian fisherman Tom Bibby was sceptical of Yanmar’s sales pitch on fuel savings and performance, but is now a convert.

Transplant complete, the fuel-efficient Yanmar 6AYM-ETF takes pride of place in Moira Elizabeth’s engineroom.

New Austals for New Caledonia
WA-based shipbuilder Austal has delivered two new fast-ferries to New Caledonia in recent months. The 41m high-speed aluminium passenger catamaran Vale Grand Sud entered into operation for mining company Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie, marking the fourth Austal-built vessel to operate in New Caledonia. Earlier this year, Austal delivered a 35m monohull passenger ferry, Mary D Odyssey, to Noumea-based tourism operators, Mary D Enterprises. It has been transporting passengers between Noumea and Amadee Island, as well as servicing other locations on New Caledonia’s south and west coasts, since April 2012.

Mary D Odyssey joins Austal-built Mary D Dolphin, which has transported more than 300,000 passengers on the Amadee Island route since its delivery in 1998. The 52.4m passenger catamaran, Betico, delivered to Compagnie Maritime des Iles in 1999, is the largest Austal-built vessel to operate in New Caledonia to date.

Vale Grand Sud was designed to provide new levels of speed and comfort to members of the company’s 1000 strong workforce, as they commute between Noumea and the Goro mine site’s Prony Port. The vessel offers Vale’s Goro workforce a commute of about one hour, which makes it possible for mine workers to return home each day, instead of staying on the mine site or driving approximately two hours through mountainous terrain from Goro to Noumea. As a result, Austal says the introduction of Vale Grand Sud makes a considerable difference in improving quality of life for employees.

Austal CEO, Andrew Bellamy said Austal was pleased to have delivered another quality product to New Caledonia, and commented the company works hard to create and maintain strong relationships with all of its customers.

“Throughout the sales, design and construction process of Vale Grand Sud, Austal worked closely with Vale’s Marine Operations team in New Caledonia. Our design manager and sales manager spent a significant amount of time assessing every detail of the operational requirements between Noumea and Prony Port,” said Bellamy.

“This close interaction between client and builder benefitted the development of this vessel immensely, as we were able to see firsthand the operating environment of the vessel.

“This close relationship continued with Austal’s Project team during the construction and commissioning stages, and resulted in a vessel that is truly customised for optimal passenger convenience and operational efficiency,” he said.

The head of Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie’s Maritime Section, Olivier Rousseau said that Austal impressed throughout the design, construction and delivery process.

“We were most impressed with the Austal sales, design and project teams we worked with throughout the build process,” said Rousseau. “Austal always sent us very professional teams, which gave us the confidence in the product, and the feeling that our assets were always in good hands.”

Seating for 439 passengers is spread over two decks, with functionality and comfort a priority. The spacious upper deck also includes a large meeting room, captain’s office and crew mess. A kiosk is located on the main deck, while flatscreen televisions are located throughout the vessel, and all passengers are provided with comfortable Beurteaux reclining seats.

Working closely with the customer, Austal’s designers developed an interior colour palette that complements Vale’s brand identity, while matching the vessel’s sleek green, yellow and white exterior. The interior of the vessel was also designed to reduce maintenance requirements with the selection of hardwearing, easy-to-clean material for bulkheads and flooring.

The vessel’s wheelhouse contains ergonomically designed navigation and control stations as well as Austal’s Marine Link fully integrated monitoring and control system. This provides the ferry’s engineer with the ability to monitor and control the vessel’s safety, propulsion, generating and other operationally critical systems, as well as remote monitoring.

Capable of travelling up to 37kts, Vale Grand Sud is powered by four MTU 16V 2000 M72 engines coupled to Kamewa waterjets through Reintjes gearboxes.

The catamaran is based on the same platform design as used for four 41m ferries designed and constructed for the National Infrastructure Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago and delivered in mid-2010.

The 35m monohull Mary D Odyssey principally operates between Noumea and Amadee Island, but also services other locations on New Caledonia’s south and west coasts. Capable of travelling at speeds of up to 36kts, it is powered by three MTU 12V 2000 engines coupled to Hamilton waterjets through ZF gearboxes.

Seating for the vessel’s 138 passengers is spread over two decks. The upper deck lounge is open-plan with easily accessible seating grouped around tables. The main deck passenger area continues the theme of light and space with wide aisles and staircases, and a mixture of row and table seating. All passengers are provided with the popular and comfortable Beurteaux Ocean Tourist High Back seat featuring a generous seat pitch offering ample leg room and access for all passengers. Large tinted windows on both decks afford panoramic views and further enhance the feeling of openness.

Both decks are air-conditioned using bulkhead-mounted units. This eliminates the need for in-ceiling ducting and vents, as well as providing increased headroom.

Considerable space is provided for luggage, with large racks on the main passenger deck on either side of the main staircase to the upper deck. Space is also provided on the aft deck for baggage and/or food containers. These can be lifted aboard by the crane on the starboard quarter. The design also provides for an external garbage bin storage space, with an access hatch from the main deck kiosk.

The compact kiosk serves hot and cold beverages and snacks and is located towards the rear of the deck. It also serves as the control point for the public address and entertainment system.

Flatscreen TVs located throughout the vessel are linked to the central entertainment system, which has DVD, CD and iPod connectivity. Ceiling speakers throughout can broadcast entertainment audio, public address, automatic messages and fire alarms. Two unisex toilets are forward on the main passenger deck together with one disabled toilet and baby change room, which also contains a shower.

Passenger loading and unloading is through wide port or starboard access doors amidships on the main deck, supplemented by port or starboard bulwark gates accessing the main aft deck. The vessel’s wheelhouse is similar in layout and function to Vale Grand Sud.

According to Austal, Mary D Odyssey is one of only a small number of monohull ferries that are fully compliant with the International Maritime Organisation High Speed Craft (HSC) Code 2000.

The Austal-built Mary D Odyssey was earlier this year delivered to Noumea-based tourism operators, Mary D Enterprises.

All passengers aboard the Mary D Odyssey travel in comfort on Beurteaux Ocean Tourist High Back seats. 

The Mary D Odyssey’s wheelhouse contains ergonomically designed navigation and control stations as well as Austal’s Marine Link fully integrated monitoring and control system.

The 35m monohull Mary D Odyssey can travel at speeds up to 36kts.

Inside Vale Grand Sud’s engineroom are four MTU 16V 2000 M72 engines coupled to Kamewa waterjets through Reintjes gearboxes.

Saab announces fifth-generation AIS
Saab’s advanced fifth-generation R5 family of AIS products are now commercially available.

“The new R5 AIS products from Saab are the first to incorporate software-defined radio (SDR) transceivers together with newly developed high-speed analog-to-digital converters in a type approved Class A system,” says Stefan Karlsson from Saab TransponderTech. “The result is a dramatic improvement in receiver sensitivity, stability and signal processing compared to our already exceptional R4 platform.”

Designed on platforms built to grow with new requirements, the latest R5 products feature quick and easy installation of additional units with support for truly redundant/multiple Control and Display Units (CDUs), USB keyboards and flash drives. Sensor information available to R5 transponders can be relayed on the Ethernet interface, and additional CDUs can be used to display and monitor any sensor data available on the network.

“The SDR technology in the R5 products provides unlimited flexibility in adding new radio channels with software upgrades in the future,” says Karlsson. “In addition to VHF ship-to-ship and shore-to-ship AIS messages, the R5 could also process other signals and future additional AIS messages and e-navigation radio channels.”

Saab is rolling out the new R5 technology in different configurations to meet various market requirements, including inland waterways, coastal fishing, deep-sea shipping, military and coastal surveillance.

The company says the easily installed, water-resistant, single-box R5 SOLID AIS (pictured below) provides a minimal AIS solution for SOLAS compliance, primarily for the coastal fishing market and inland waterways.

At the high end of the market, the R5 SUPREME AIS is a two-unit system with a separate CDU and transponder. The IMO-compliant shipborne AIS transponder is a type-approved AIS Class A Transponder system for SOLAS-class vessels, providing unlimited flexibility for incorporating with a ship’s integrated bridge system.

The new R5 GPS and DGPS navigation systems are type approved for carriage by SOLAS-class ships.

“The new navigation systems feature additional R5 CDUs for redundant or slave navigation display configuration using Ethernet,” added Karlsson. “One common control and display unit for all AIS and navigation systems simplifies operations, and the redundancy provides a larger measure of safety.”

Norwegian seats for Customs crews
Alu Design & Services has secured a substantial contract with Austal to provide advanced pilot chairs for a new series of eight patrol boats for the Australia’s Customs and Border Protection fleet.

Alu Design will provide a total of 40 chairs, equipping the ships with its lightweight and ergonomically designed Alutech 200 and Alutech 500 (pictured below) products. The chairs will offer comfort, strength and usability, with integrated tiller holder and trackball functions.

Austal’s decision marks a continuation of a growing relationship with Alu Design, which has already provided chairs for a range of the firm’s vessels in the international market.

Commenting on the latest development, Frank Robertsen, marketing director of Alu Design said: “We are very proud to have won this new, significant contract from Austal — our biggest to date with the firm’s Australian operation.

“The client recognises that our products offer them an attractive combination of leading design and build quality, together with very competitive pricing. We have also proven to them, through our previous contracts, that we can fulfil promises, meet expectations, and deliver on time and budget,” he said.

Nathan Foster, Austal’s senior main equipment officer, noted that he was pleased to consolidate the firm’s relationship with Alu Design.

“Austal’s decision to award the helmseat contract for the Cape Class Patrol Boat project to Alu Design, was based on their innovative designs, operator comfort and commercial competiveness,” said Foster. “We have been installing Alutech helm seats in our vessels since 2009 and have had very positive feedback from our clients.”

From Trade-a-Boat magazine Issue 431, Sept-Oct 2012.