Leading engineering design consultancy BMT announces new 43m High-Speed, Fast Ferry contract
BMT has announced the signing of a contract for two new 43 metre (104’ x 37’’ x 12.5’) high-speed, passenger Fast Ferries for Kitsap Transit, with an option for a third to be added to this vessel fleet. The custom design project will once again see the UK’s leading engineering design consultancy partner with US shipyard Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) and will join the Kitsap Fast Ferry service in Seattle once completed.
John Bonafoux, Business Development Director for Commercial Shipping at BMT commented on the signing of the consultancy’s latest contract: “It’s fantastic to win this contract for the newest addition to the Kitsap Fast Ferry service fleet in Seattle, Washington. BMT is a highly-skilled team made up of specialised naval architects, engineers and technology experts, and are amongst the best equipped to deliver efficient, safe and technologically advanced passenger ships such as this. Once again, we’ll be working with the great team at the Nichols Brothers yard for this Fast Ferry project, and we’re all looking forward to seeing the first of these two exciting new vessels hit the water in January 2020.”
The bow and side loading vessels will accommodate a maximum of 255 passengers on board with protected storage capacity for 26 bicycles. Mooring and passenger loading arrangements have also been optimised to improve turnaround times.
The 43 metre aluminium, high-speed vessel built to comply with the United States Coast Guard regulations will be the first of two ferries for the Kitsap Fast Ferry service, with an option in place for a third vessel to add to the fleet. Serving Pier 50 in Seattle, with routes out to Kingston and Southworth, the ferry will provide an integral transit link for hundreds of commuters per day once delivered and in operation in 2020.
A top speed of 37 knots and a cruising speed of 35 knots has been made possible thanks to the developed skillset and naval architecture expertise at BMT in collaboration with NBBB. This latest addition to the BMT fleet follows a number of successful projects with the shipyard, including the 81-metre (267’) Project Sea Fighter, also known as the X-Craft. Built for the US Navy, this aluminium catamaran is the fastest large vessel in the current US Navy fleet.
Particular attention for this high-frequency, water transportation service has been paid to passenger comfort. An air conditioning system will keep the passenger cabin cool in the summer and warm in the winter. In addition, the vessels are designed to reduce cabin noise by minimising the overlap of the passenger and engine compartments and utilising the latest in noise attenuation materials.
BMT are renowned for their expertise in low wash ferry design which was an important requirement for Kitsap Transit. Good seakeeping is also prioritised to provide comfortable motions for customers during spells of more inclement weather on Puget Sound. BMT has supported the design and build of over 150 high-speed catamarans and pioneered the design and development of high-speed passenger ferries since the early 1980s. In addition to these new Kitsap Transit ferries, BMT has developed several successful hybrid vessel design solutions for public transportation departments, private customers including High Net Worth Individuals and large companies.