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Three BMT-Designed Flex Ferries Delivered in Singapore

A trio of 38m Flex Ferries, built by Singapore’s Penguin Shipyard International and designed by Southampton-based BMT Nigel Gee, have been delivered to their new owner, Horizon Ferries, following successful sea trials in Singapore. BMT Nigel Gee is a subsidiary of BMT Group, the international design, engineering, science and risk management consultancy.

The BV-classed, Singapore-flagged monohull ferries – christened Horizon 7, Horizon 8 and Horizon 9 – are among only a handful of fully compliant high-speed ‘2000 HSC Code’ monohull ferries to be designed and built in recent years. The vessels recently commenced operations between Singapore and the Indonesian island of Batam, a ferry route that is generally regarded as the most competitive in Southeast Asia.

Instead of competing on ticket prices, Horizon has chosen to differentiate itself from the other ferry operators through the innovative, efficient and economical design of its Flex Ferries, which is the second joint development project by Penguin and BMT Nigel Gee over the last two years. BMT Nigel Gee developed the full production design for Penguin to construct the three vessels, with a timescale of only 12 months from design commencement to delivery. In order to meet the aggressive build schedule, the design was developed in close co-ordination between the project partners.

The Flex Ferry is 38.5m in length and 8.7m in breadth, with a capacity of 238 passengers, including an airy main deck seating for 208 passengers and a plush upper deck VIP saloon for 30 passengers, plus ample space for luggage stowage on both levels. The design also features a spacious wheelhouse with excellent all-round visibility and a dedicated crew rest area with comfortable amenities.

The Flex Ferry is powered by three Caterpillar C32 diesel engines driving fixed pitch propellers, which together with the hydrodynamically efficient hull form, enabled the fully loaded vessel to hit speeds of 28 knots at 90 percent MCR.

The hull design in particular is the result of extensive R&D development by BMT Nigel Gee and has been extensively tank tested to minimise the vessel’s power demand. The result is an extremely low resistance hull which offers unrivalled fuel efficiency for a high-speed ferry in this category.

Overall, the spacious and bright interior, together with low noise levels at high speeds, puts Horizon’s Flex Ferries well ahead of the pack in the Singapore-Batam ferry route. Meanwhile, Horizon has ordered a fourth Flex Ferry to be delivered in the second half of 2015.

Ed Dudson Technical Director of BMT Nigel Gee stated “The success of the Flex Ferry reinforces the strong ongoing relationship between BMT Nigel Gee and Penguin. These three vessels demonstrate that the partnership between the two companies can provide high quality vessels within an extremely short timescale.”