First composite vessel set to launch. Damen is set to launch its first composite urban water shuttle as the prototype undergoes sea trials in the next few weeks. Customers benefit from reduced fuel consumption, less maintenance, no corrosion or fatigue problems, and at the same time, the Damen Waterbus is very robust. Besides safety and efficiency, the new Damen Waterbus has also been designed to limit noise and vibrations, making it much more comfortable for passengers.
Marcel Elenbaas, Damen’s Design & Proposal Engineer – Fast Ferries, comments: “This is a prototype for the first of the new generation Damen Waterbus. We believe in this new composite vessel and the benefits it offers to clients. The Damen Waterbus is the best fit for highly congested urban areas, providing a simple and efficient way of making use of natural waterways, and consequently integrating into the public transport network. Hence, the reason we took the decision to invest in developing this new series.”
The Damen Waterbus has a slender hull, weights less than a traditional aluminum vessel, and low resistance, producing only a low wake and ensuring the vessel is fuel-efficient. With a length of up to 24 meters, it can travel at 21.5 knots or 40 km per hour. The highly maneuverable vessel has a capacity of up to 100 passengers.
The vessel can easily be adapted to specific customer requirements, and the selected composites’ production process facilitates a swift delivery to clients.
This next generation Damen Waterbus is also very strong because it is built with high quality vacuum infusion technology, creating a ‘difficult to penetrate closed cell, epoxy sandwich structure,’ Marcel Elenbaas stressed.
The Damen Waterbus is equipped with two, forward facing, double contra rotating podded Volvo Penta diesel propulsion units, which reduce vibrations, besides offering low fuel consumption. Additionally, the exhaust of these units is under water, further reducing noise and vibrations. The vessel is also designed for easy and efficient boarding, and passengers have panoramic views from the large windows on the sides and top deck.
Damen Shipyards Group has a long history of producing water taxis, waterbuses and ferries, mainly built from aluminum and steel, and intended for intensive public transport operations. Damen Shipyards offers a complete infrastructure system for waterbuses, including jetties, bunkering stations, and training and service packages.
The Damen Waterbus is the first vessel for public transportation produced at Damen Shipyards Antalya, which specializes in composite (consisting of glass fiber reinforced polymer) professional workboat series suitable for heavy-duty operations. Its modular design is suitable for a large variety of applications. Thus, the Damen Waterbus can be deployed as taxis, sightseeing boats, commuter ferries, dinner cruises, and many other uses.
The first Damen Waterbus is expected to be in the Netherlands before the year-end, and Damen has another Water Bus hull in stock ready for outfitting.