The Express 3 is a 109 metre high speed vehicle-passenger ferry from Australian shipbuilder Incat Tasmania for Danish operator Molslinjen, becoming the fourth Hobart-built catamaran in the company’s current fleet.
An entirely new generation fast ferry, the 109 metre wave piercing catamaran Express 3 has evolved from Incat’s well proven 112 metre catamaran range which first entered commercial service in mid-2007.
Incat’s Tim Burnell comments, “The design brief was simple. Ensure a consistent passenger experience and fleet commonality for Molslinjen, who already successfully operate two Incat 112 metre catamarans, whilst delivering a minimum 10 per cent fuel and emissions saving plus faster vehicle deck turnaround times.”
Building on the extensive in-service experience of the Incat 112 metre, the concept was redesigned from the keel up by Incat’s in-house naval architects, Revolution Design. The result is the 109 metre catamaran with a lightship weight saving of just over 100 tonnes.
The design refinement has also produced a marked improvement to vessel trim. Fuel, domestic fresh water and sullage tanks have all been moved forward but significantly, by repositioning the engine rooms six frames further forward, the vessel benefits from vastly improved speed and fuel consumption performance. Adding a skeg to the keel has enhanced directional stability.
On sea trials, Express 3 achieved a speed of 43 knots with 600 tonnes deadweight on board, easily exceeding contractual speed and fuel consumption expectations.
“Incat’s suppliers played their part in the quest to redefine vessel design. LifeRaft Systems Australia for example, designed and gained regulatory approval for longer Marine Evacuation Systems (MES). This allows the MES bays to be moved one deck up into the passenger space, rather than on the tween (upper car) deck on earlier vessels, resulting in a reduction in weight as well as more overall space on the tween deck,” Tim Burnell says.
“Additionally, the vehicle deck layout has been enhanced with a new two pillar line arrangement, offering an overall gain of 600mm width in workable vehicle deck space, greatly assisting loading and discharge which in turn has a positive effect on turnaround times in port,” he says.
Vehicle deck and accommodation
Vehicle deck capacity offers space for up to 411 cars, or up to 227 cars and 610 metres of truck space. Aside from the many proactive design and operating measures to reduce SOx, CO2, NOx and particulate matter, another important consideration was to install charging stations for electric vehicles, allowing motorists to charge their electric car as they travel across the Kattegat.
Accommodation on board Express 3 is provided for 1,000 persons with varied seating configurations in the aft, midship and forward lounges. To service both tourist and business class sections close attention has been paid to the dining areas to cater for passengers on the busy fast routes between Odden, Arhus and Ebeltoft. In addition to a large free flow restaurant there is also an American style diner, a walk-through kiosk and an espresso coffee shop.
Tim Burnell comments, “The 109 metre catamaran is Incat’s response to increasing demand for quality newbuild high speed craft that will provide reliable year round service. We pioneered this mode of high speed transport in 1990 and our ferries have since operated over 2.5 million hours in intensive commercial service. By deconstructing already successful designs and operator experience Incat has produced a fast ferry that truly is of a new generation.”
The new ferry will enter commercial service on 1st June, 2017. “Molslinjen offer up to 30 sailings per day and taking the ferry typically saves customers around 400km of driving while being faster and more relaxing,” says Vice Chairman Søren Jespersen.
“Designed and optimised for our use Express 3 offers a fantastic onboard service for our customers. With the arrival of this fantastic craft our business transformation continues, expanding our route capacity, facilitating opening up new services and ensuring continued profitability growth for our company,” says Mr Jesperson.
Tim Burnell points out that in 2017 Molslinjen is a dramatically transformed business. “Molslinjen is now making its largest profits in its 54-year corporate history, representing a significant turnaround from the recent past. Credit must go to the vision and hard work of Molslinjen’s Board, Management and Employees, who have grown traffic on their routes between Sjealand and Jutland by 48 per cent in the past three years such that they now annually carry over 2.5 million passengers, one million cars and 350,000 freight vehicles per year,” he says.
“At Incat we are proud that we have been part of the Molslinjen transformation in that they are currently operating an Incat fleet of the 91 metre Max Mols (delivered in 1998), the 112 metre Express 1 (ex KatExpress 1, delivered in 2012), the 112 metre Express 2 (ex KatExpress 2, delivered in 2013) and now Express 3 delivered in April 2017.
“Our customers are demanding we build vessels faster and more cost efficiently. Keel laying to delivery on Express 3 was 491 days (16 months) and this project has allowed us to grow our skilled workforce from a core of 200 to now over 550 people with recruitment continuing” says Tim Burnell.
Classification DnV +1A1 HSLC R1 Car Ferry “B” EO
Gross Tonnage 10842
Length 109.4 m
Beam 30.5 m
Draft 4.05 m
Deadweight 1 ,000 tonnes
Cars 411 cars in car-only mode
Engines 4 x MAN Diesel & Turbo 20V 28/33D
Waterjets 4 x Wartsila Lips LJX 1500SR
Gearboxes 4 x ZF NR2H 60000
Loaded Speed on SeaTrials 43 knots with in excess of 600 tonnes deadweight
Service Speed 40 knots
Lightship Speed 47 knots