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Ro Pax design to reduce US traffic

BMT Nigel Gee and Associates Ltd, a subsidiary of BMT Ltd, has completed the detailed design of a large, high-speed ro-pax vessel for SeaBridge USA, Inc. (‘SeaBridge’). SeaBridge will use the vessel to establish short sea operations on the unserved coasts of the USA.

SeaBridge will build the high-speed pentamaran ships for a network of routes, which will carry trucks, cars and passengers between major metropolitan areas (initially on East and Gulf coast routes), thereby providing a highly cost-effective option to reduce rapidly growing highway congestion in US coastal corridors.

SeaBridge will not compete for freight. Instead, it will provide an effective option for long-haul trucking customers to complete journeys without exposing drivers to frustrating delays and related risks on America’s increasingly congested coastal highways. It will also provide an attractive alternative to millions of motorists who prefer to spend time at their destinations with their cars, yet skip the long drive along frequently clogged coastal highways. SeaBridge will provide the capacity to move more freight and passengers, faster, at lower total cost, with much less environmental impact than expanding any comparable infrastructure alternative.

SeaBridge, which holds an exclusive development agreement on the vessel, is using BMT’s patented ‘Pentamaran’ design because it enables a new generation of efficient, high-speed operations. The SeaBridge ‘Pentamaran’ design is configured to carry trailers and/or cars and offers 2,900 lane metres of car and truck capacity (approximately 173 trailers or 75 trailers and 500 cars). Passenger capacity is flexible, with up to 1,800 passenger berths provided.

The vessel has a maximum service speed of 42 knots at 90% MCR and is configured for maximum flexibility. Accordingly, it has a diesel electric propulsion plant allowing for efficient vessel operation at lower ship speeds.

The preliminary design of the vessel is complete. SeaBridge and BMT have successfully conducted a detailed structural analysis using loads calculated from a 3D-hydrodynamic software package verified by strain gauged model tests. The structural design has undergone preliminary design appraisal preview by DNV.

SeaBridge has selected VT Halter as the lead yard to build these vessels which under U.S. Jones Act rules must take place in the US.

Principal particulars for the vessel are listed below:-

Length Overall – 300.00 m
Length Waterline – 290.00 m
Overall beam (including sponsons) – 45.00 m
Main Hull beam – 23.40 m
Draught – 9.70 m
Passengers – 1864
Commercial Vehicles – 173 (2900 Lane m)
Passenger cars – 500 + 75 commercial vehicles
Max Deadweight – 6500 t

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