Damen & Hydromaster Develop New Ferry Thruster for Blue Amigo
In 2020, Damen signed a contract with Blue Amigo for the delivery of nine passenger vessels. The ferries will operate services between Rotterdam and
In 2020, Damen signed a contract with Blue Amigo for the delivery of nine passenger vessels. The ferries will operate services between Rotterdam and the Drecht cities in the Netherlands in a service known as the Waterbus. Damen identified that six of the vessels, hybrid carbon fibre water buses that will operate fast, inter-city routes, would require a thruster that had not been seen before. What was needed was a fully azimuthing, 360-degree thruster that would make docking easy and propulsion fast. Damen approached the experts of Hydromaster, a company with decades of experience in the field of steerable propulsion. Renowned for their sturdy, fully-mechanical design, Hydromaster thrusters propel hundreds of ferries, ships, barges and pontoons every day all over the world.
Hydromaster went to MARIN. The Maritime Research Institute Netherlands worked together with Hydromaster to develop the hydromechanics necessary to produce the thruster. MARIN was able to provide the detailed calculations that would facilitate a computational fluid dynamics study and the fine-tuning of Hydromaster’s design. Using its extensive experience and conducting a thorough assessment of Damen’s hull design, MARIN was able to come up with the solution, a propeller of 840mm diameter with a clearance of 23% diameter from the hull -reducing vibration to a minimum and allowing for increased efficiency.
For control of the thruster, Damen has developed in-house a single joystick controller that is intuitive to use and fulfills the circle of efficiency offered by the thruster.