Wight Shipyard completes two catamarans for Ultramar

Britain’s Wight Shipyard Co. has completed its second export order. Placed by Ultramar, the largest ferry operator in Mexico, it consists of two 37 meter catamaran fast ferries which will be transported to Cancun at the beginning of July.

“Working with Ultramar is a good match for Wight Shipyard, our standards and attention to detail are of paramount importance to produce not only an on-time build, but one of superior quality. Ultramar provide both commuter and holiday destination vessels and the level of fitout is far higher than normal commuter boats. Stages for live bands, multi colored LED lighting above and below the waterline and very powerful sound systems were a first for us,” said Peter Morton, CEO of Wight Shipyard

Morton said that the critical issues for these newbuilds were timely delivery and the weight savings target that needed to be achieved. Fuel costs are high in Mexico and are of paramount importance to Ultramar.

The vessels were designed by Incat Crowther, which has a long-standing relationship with both Ultramar and Wight Shipyard.

Ultramar said that one of the main reasons for choosing Wight Shipyard for the build was that the yard has a strong reputation for delivering on time, something it said has struggled with in the past. These builds will also have been completed in the short turnaround time of 10 months.

In addition, the vessels come in 20,000 kg lighter than comparable models and 3,000 kg lighter than originally designed, which means they are faster and more fuel-efficient

The weight savings result from using new construction techniques developed by Wight Shipyard, the use of light-weight materials and an attention to detail.

Because the focus has been on efficiency, the engines in these vessels are capable of achieving their service speed at lower MCR, something that Ultramar specified.

Both vessels have the capacity to accommodate 459 passengers over three decks, with bright airy mid deck seats, accessed from a central staircase in the main cabin and two external staircases leading to a top deck with seating for 122 passengers.

The vessels are each powered by two MTU 12V4000 M63 engines with output at 2 x 1,500 kW (2,012 hp) @ 1,800 rpm. Gearboxes are two ZF 7600’s with propulsion being supplied by two fixed pitch propellers supplied by CJR Propulsion which also supplied its new curved hydrodynamic designed rudders.

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