The first two ship sets of the new Yanmar 6AYEM-GT common rail diesel engines have been installed by Aluminium Marine into a pair of passenger ferry destined for service in Mexico. The new model Yanmar engine develops 749 kW or 1004 mph and delivers high torque throughout the rev range.
The latest launching at Aluminium Marine is a pair of identical ferries, commissioned by IBS Broking. These vessels will operate a service in Mexico transporting passengers between the island of Cozumel and the mainland port near Cancun. The trip is relatively short, but the passenger payload is high, with each ferry capable of carrying 300 people. A staggering 8 million passengers a year travel through Cancun aboard ferries.
Before settling on the specific design of the new ferries, Aluminium Marine sent Marketing Manager Matt Tynan to Mexico to see firsthand the ferry operations and berthing facilities so all details were fit for purpose. With the research completed, Aluminium Marine drew upon their vast design experience and built the hull to 30m loa with a beam of 9m and draft of just 1.5m, a hull very similar to the Freedom Fast Cats vessel. The Mexico ferry displaces 70 tonnes lightships but this ramps up to 100 tonnes when fully loaded with passengers plus 4000 litres of fuel and water.
When it came to engine selection, the owners initially had a preference for an alternative brand of a diesel engine. However, it didn’t take too long for the team at Aluminium Marine to convince them that the Yanmar alternative was preferable.
“We very much like the Yanmar line of commercial engines,” said Steve Cordingley.
“Our experience with the Yanmar 6AY and 6HY series is extensive. From an installation and operational perspective, the Yanmar brand is first rate. Our customers are just as enthusiastic as us about the Yanmar engine and speak very highly about the impressive fuel savings, low operation costs and high reliability.”
“Quite apart from the performance, fuel consumption and installation envelope all being favourable, a key strength of Yanmar is that it is a global brand and has solid technical support worldwide.”
The engines selected for both catamarans were the new release Yanmar 6AYEM-GT common rail. These are the most powerful engines that have been installed in a hull built by Aluminium Marine.
“We chose the Yanmar 6AYEM-GT engines based on their power output,” said Steve Cordingley. “At over 1000 mph per engine, these higher rated engines give us a nice boost in power for the relatively short ferry runs. The expectation is that the ferry will cruise comfortably at 24 knots with the engines ticking over at 1850 rpm. Fuel consumption at this speed is 100 litres per engine, per hour.”
The Yanmar 6AYEM-GT features electronic control technology to deliver outstanding economy, power and reliability. This is a six-in-line cylinder configuration, ideal for catamaran applications where space in the engine room can be tight. Displacement is 20.38 litres with maximum engine speed rated at 2000 rpm.
Careful combustion chamber design along with the Yanmar patented ASSIGN injection technology multi-stage fuel injection system via the 8 main and 4 secondary nozzles provide super-low emissions while maximising torque at low or high revs. The Mexico ferries were also fitted with Yanmar transmissions. The Yanmar YXH240 parallel off-set gearboxes have a ratio of 2.27:1. Props are Nakashima branded 38” x 37 ¼, five blade units, fitted to conventional 90 mm prop shafts running 7⁰.
“We’re really happy with the complete package,” said Jack Louwerse project manager. “The new Yanmar 6AYEM-GT engines are perfect for our application. They are a slim fit in the engine room and leave plenty of space all the way around the engine for service and maintenance.”
“The electronic management systems with the Yanmar 6AYEM-GT engines is a good match for the advanced systems at the helm. The Mexico ferries have joystick controls at both the helm and wing stations.”
It takes Aluminium Marine around 6 months to build a ferry of this class, so to roll a pair down the slipway just a few weeks apart is a testimony to the production capacity and capability of the shipwrights at Aluminium Marine. With a high degree of fit out including passenger seating for 300, bathrooms, crew facilities, hospitality station, air con systems and CCTV systems the quality of design and construction to come from this Brisbane based shipyard is truly world class.
“We’re very proud of our ferries and Yanmar makes a significant contribution to the success of our product,” concluded Steve Cordingley.
“Building ferries for Australia and global markets is something which we are immensely proud of. As we supply new markets, we know that more orders are already on their way.”