Customized boat construction


Delivery of the vessel Benchi Express from the company Fred Olsen


Delivery of the vessel Benchi Express from the company Fred Olsen

Drassanes Dalmau delivers the new “Smart Ferry” of FRED OLSEN EXPRESS.

The Barcelona Shipyard Drassanes Dalmau delivered the last month of September a new passenger’s catamaran of the FRED OLSEN EXPRESS shipping company, designs and built like an answer of the innovating concept “Smart Ferry” of the shipping company.

Since the beginning of the project, the shipyard departs from a blank sheet to conceive a vessel able to offer to the passenger a high level of comfort, an excellent accessibility and at the same time an enough habitability for the passengers to travel comfortable with a lot of luggage and also can transport bikes, mopeds or pets.

All adapted at the exigencies of the navigation area and a route that, at certain times of the year, requires skills to navigate with more complex weather situations than usual in this type of vessel.

Also, being a boat that makes a regular public service all the year, it should have an exigent level of reliability and reduced operational cost. 

The Shipyard built an innovated and strong catamaran with the bow type Wave Piercing of 28,7m length and 9m of beam with capacity of 250 passengers, 4 of them with reduced mobility, 4 crew, 250 big luggage, space for the transport of pallets, parking for 12 bikes/mopeds and 6 cages for big dogs.  

All of that offering to the passenger a high comfort studied until the last detail, with all the seats two of two, wide hallways, stairs with reduced slope, coffee service, 4 public toilets, one of them adapted to disabled people and baby changer.

In the main deck there’s air-conditioned system, wide access ramps with electronic drive, big size cabin luggage with an area for pallets charge, parking for bikes and mopeds, special dark glasses to filter the sun UV but giving at the same time an excellent night visibility, tables for passengers, information screens for the passengers, piped music, electrical outlets for the passage to connect or charge electronic equipment, WIFI service, ….

The upper deck is planned like a comfort space similar to the main deck but outdoor where there’s installed an innovate rigid and practicable roof that allows to the passengers to protect from the sun the days with a great sunstroke and also it is possible close completely the deck if the weather conditions required it. This deck also has two public toilets, luggage area and comfortable jails for pets so that they can also enjoy the trip.

In order to increase the life of the boat beyond the usual standards and optimize it according to the operational characteristics, the shipyard has opted, as usual in their lasts constructions, for build a boat with high quality composites, entirely with vinylester resin and laminated inside a mold with monolithic structure and areas of sandwich. Also the live work has been internally covered with an antiosmosis barrier and externally with an epoxy barrier followed by a last generation silicone antifouling that allows to reduce considerably the fuel consumption and the emissions besides being completely ecological for the marine ecosystem..

The propulsion system has two propulsion engines of 1450hp of last generation and electronic use that allows excellent benefits with an exigent level of efficiency and reliability.

The demanding operational profile of the boat requires a significant reduction in maneuvering time compared to similar boats, for which it has been equipped with a self-mooring system, high-performance transverse helices, auxiliary control posts on lateral wings and video surveillance system to assist maneuvers among others.

Also with the aim of optimizing the maximum tasks on land, the boat is equipped with an innovative system of loading and motorization of filling of centralized fuel tanks with dry aviation intake that allows filling at high pressure, duplicity of the capacity of fuel to increase the autonomy of the same in long-term transfers or in situations of difficult supply and system of processing and pumping of wastewater to port in case this does not have means for extraction.

In a boat where every detail has been taken into account to optimize its capabilities to the maximum, it could not miss a special attention to the crew where there is an exceptional government bridge specially large with air-conditioned, tinted windows with sun protection curtains, with the main position of government with all the centralized controls so that a single person can control and activate all the equipment of the boat, two auxiliary work tables with computer system, meeting table, government ailerons in maneuver. In skates the boat also has two crew rest spaces with separate toilets as well as 4 cargo holds, workshop area in the engine room, rails in them to raise and move interior components, as well as multiple fixing points in the hull to allow replacing elements such as rudders or propellers without the need to beach the boat.

Safety, as it could not be otherwise, has been considered crucial in this project in which it has been chosen to install systems beyond the legal requirements, in which life rafts have been installed with ramps remotely operable from the bridge itself of controls, and self-lashing system of the same to the boat, fixed and integrated evacuation ladders to survival craft, rescue boat with electric lowering system and manual self-handling by a single person, duplicity of external communication systems VHF, duplicate installation of ECDIS, electronic government controls and maneuvering system with backup, autopilot, fire detection in toilets, tanks and crew spaces, closing and opening of fire doors for ventilation in automatic machines controlled by the system of fire detection, ... In addition to the usual systems in these vessels such as the detection of fires in the engine room, CO2 firefighting, life rafts for all passengers and crew, life jackets for 125% adult passengers, for children, lifebuoys, ... navigation equipment and communications such as (Radar, Probe, AIS, NAVTEX, ...)

Following Dalmau Shipyard policy in its latest vessels, respect for the environment has been decisive in this project, this policy also contributing in most cases to a significant reduction in the operation costs of the vessel. Examples of this are the application of the process of the lamination by infusion of the majority of components that reduces emissions, the application of a long-lasting ecological antifouling that contributes to reduce emissions and does not require its annual painting, the integrated manufacture of the vessel painted in the mold that does not make necessary the repainting of the boat, the installation of latest generation engines that meet the most demanding anti-pollution regulations, the wastewater processing system, as well as actions aimed at reducing energy expenditure of services such as the ultraviolet filter system to the acclimatized zones, the installation of all the interior, exterior and navigation lighting with LED technology, the electrical connection to the port network that allows to operate all the systems of the vessel in port no need to produce emissions, installation of energy storage systems without long life maintenance with recharging by the main engines that allows the boat to operate without the need to start the auxiliary engines ...