Hansa 'Ship of the Year' – Seatruck RoRo Freight Ferry

By George Backwell at March 03, 2012 09:01
Filed Under: General

Roll on roll off freight ferry Seatruck Performance was launched from the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) shipbuilding yard at Flensberg, Germany, earlier this year, the third of the same class whose initial delivery (Seatruck Progress) was acclaimed Hansa’s ‘Ship of the Year 2011’. These compact, fuel-efficient ships for British operators Seatruck Ferries are for service between Irish Sea ports and have interesting features.

Launch – Seatruck Performance: Photo credit FRG

Design Features

Maximum length as well as draft of the newbuildings was entirely dictated by port usage restrictions at one of the main operating ports – Heysham, on the North-West coast of England – and accordingly the quartet of new ships are exactly 142 m (465.9 ft) LOA with a loaded draft of 5.2 m (17.06 ft).

Despite this restriction, the design with the bridge placed above the bows yields a surprising 2,166 lane meters for carriage of unaccompanied trucks, trailers and Ro-Ro casettes on four loading decks including the tank top.  Away with bottlescrews and chain lashings! On these decks heavy vehicles are instantly secured using the ingenious SAT system manufactured by Scandinavian Ro-Ro Construction which mechanically joins the trailer to the ship’s deck for the sea passage.

The shipyard claimed a 30% reduction in fuel consumption for this design against similar carriers, probably key in winning the ‘Ship of the Year’ award, mainly achieved through propulsion enhancements and a refined hull design as will be seen.


Main propulsion system is by two MAN 7L48/60-CR medium speed diesel engines, each with an output of 8,000 kW operating through Renk gears to drive twin 4-bladed high-skew variable pitch propellers.

A cone-shaped shaft deflection cap fitted to the trailing edge of the MAN propellor hub caps which in conjunction with a hydro-dynamically optimised Costa propulsion bulb boosts propulsion efficiency, while at the same time cavitation damage to the rudder is prevented. The rudder itself is a twist-flow design by FSG, turned by a rotary vane steering gear from Rolls Royce. Service speed is 21 kts, then for docking assistance there are two (controllable pitch) Wärtsilä transverse thrusters.

Electrical needs are met by two diesel generator sets from MHI, with emergency backup from a MAN diesel set capable if necessary of feeding 400k VA to the on-board grid. Fuel is warmed by an exhaust gas exchange heater, if necessary by a separate oil-fired thermal heater.

A SAM Electronics MCS 2200 automation system monitors and controls operation of the whole machinery with more than 700 installed sensors and control elements, enabling full control from bridge or engine room.

All four ships of these outstanding specialist ships are classed by DNV and built under their supervision.


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