Volvo Penta Supplies Italian ferry with IPS Installation
not only excellent maneuverability, fuel economy and emissions benefits, the compact packaging liberates more seating space on board. Thousands of tourists flock each year to enjoy the splendours of the Amalfi coastline, the 50km strip of picturesque coastline on the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. Now visitors are able to enjoy a new attraction – a 36m ferry that can transport up to 540 passengers each sailing on visits to the towns of Salerno, Maiori, Positano, Amalfi and the islands south of Naples.
The ferry, called Vega, is also unique, as it is the first vessel in the region to combine the benefits of Volvo Penta IPS with the company’s latest SCR aftertreatment system that complies with the new IMO III emissions regulations. The ferry is designed to work for between 3-3,500 hours a year during a normal tourist season, which stretches from Easter to the end of October. It entered service in mid-August this year and by October 18th had clocked up 360 successful and trouble-free hours of operation.
The ferry belongs to marine transport company Travelmar and operates for 10 hours a day from Monday to Sunday, covering approximately 110 nautical miles each day. The ferry has been built in Travelmar’s own boatyard.
As an inboard integrated propulsion system, IPS offers greater performance, fuel efficiency, maneuverability and comfort than a traditional inboard engine. The design features forward-facing twin counter-rotating propellers that are mounted beneath the hull. As the propellers operate in undisturbed water, they experience less drag. This improves performance and reduces fuel consumption – by up to 30% compared to a traditional inboard shaft-drive engine arrangement, reducing operating costs significantly. For such a sizeable boat, the Vega consumes only 120-130 liters of fuel an hour. The individually steerable pods are controlled via a joystick and enhance maneuverability, offering precision handling and secure berthing, even in difficult weather conditions – an asset given the regular docking that this ferry will experience.
Travelmar already has a good experience of the IPS system, as in 2016 it built a 21m ferry, the Antares, which uses a twin-pod IPS installation and has a capacity of 180 passengers. Such has been the success of this craft that the company was sufficiently confident to adopt IPS on the much larger Vega, which uses a quad pod IPS 900 installation. The IPS 900 has a crankshaft power of 700 hp and has been calibrated to allow for a maximum speed of 20 knots at full load