SEA RIDER Infiltrates Small Craft Propulsion Market
The Ferry Transport Company Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi, owned by Italian Government, and the Taiwan Coast Guard have ordered Sea Rider propulsion. Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi is responsible for ferry transportation on northern Italian lakes Garda, Maggiore and Como. The line, connecting hundreds of cities and tourist sites along the banks of the lakes, is serviced by a fleet of fast passenger commuters and passenger/vehicles ferries. The fast service, started in the late 1950s with the introduction of the first hydrofoils, is being rejuvenating with the introduction of a series of new less expensive catamarans, with larger passenger capacity and lower maintenance cost.
The Taiwan Coast Guard, very busy fighting around against smuggling and piracy, were demanding not only a very high speed for their interceptor missions but also a low consumption at cruising speed when patrolling in order to increase their range of action. Last year, an order for building twenty, 49-ft. (15- m) new fast patrol boats, was placed to a shipyard in Taiwan.
Navigazione Laghi tried three different propulsion systems on four of their catamarans in order to find out the most suitable one in terms of efficiency and operation costs. The vessels tried were: Carducci (Sea Rider Ti 60) vs. Foscolo (Controllable Pitch Propellers) Citta di Como (Sea Rider Ti 90) vs. Citta di Lecco (Water jets, competitor-1) Characteristics of all four crafts are shown below.
From these results, Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi has decided to fit the remaining six. 91-ft. (27.7-m) catamarans under construction with Sea Rider Ti90. Navigazione Laghi has considered overall performance at maximum speed as the most important data, since the estimated operative time for the vessels will be 2.000 hours a year, with 70 percent of the time spent at maximum power.
Last year the Taiwan Coast Guard decided to build two fast patrol boats fitted with Sea Rider Ti25 surface piercing propellers and two fast patrol boats with water jets (competitor-2), in order to accurately define benefits from one or other propulsion type both at maximum and cruising speeds.
Characteristics of these boats follow: It is important to notice that when cruising, at 1.825 rpm, the speed difference is amazing with 15.38 kn for water jets (still in cavitation zone) and 30.71 kn for Sea Rider. The difference in fuel consumption is more than evident. Performance at top regime, at 2,300 rpm, is also superior with 38.45 kn for water jets against 39.22 kn for Sea Rider. Taiwan Coast Guard has ordered a further 16 sister boats all fitting a pair of Sea Rider Ti25.
LA.ME SRL - Marine Division LA.ME srl has been designing propulsion systems since 1989 and has been producing Sea Rider packages for 10 years.