How Austal is delivering evolutionary design

Australian shipbuilder Austal is improving upon its tested trimaran design with new features onboard Fred. Olsen Express’s Bajamar Express

How Austal is delivering evolutionary design
Bajamar Express features an optimised hull form which improves fuel economy and comfort

Austal Australia celebrated the launch of the latest evolution of its high-speed trimaran ferry design at the Henderson, Western Australia shipyard in February 2020.

Austal Hull 394, one of two Auto Express 118 trimarans under construction for Canary Islands-based operator Fred. Olsen Express, will be known as Bajamar Express. The vessel incorporates a number of design enhancements that have been developed since the launch of Austal’s first high-speed trimaran ferry, Benchijigua Express, in 2005. The ferry has never had a sailing cancelled due to bad weather or technical faults during the almost 15 years it has been in operation for Fred. Olsen Express.

Austal’s Australia-based design team has created a new, optimised trimaran hull form that lowers resistance and improves fuel economy while allowing the ferry to comfortably achieve speeds of up to 40 knots. The design, which features a long slender central hull and two outriggers hulls, was developed using advanced 3D modelling and robust tank testing to simulate various operating environments and achieve optimum seakeeping.

The evolved hull form further enhances the inherent benefits of the trimaran, providing a longer roll period and lower vertical and transverse accelerations while at sea. This means a more comfortable ride for both passengers and crew.

The trimaran is augmented by Austal’s Motion Control System, which features T-foils on the centre hull and outriggers to help manage pitch, heave and roll. The vessel will also include the MarineLink and new MarineLink-Smart systems which help to monitor and control numerous operating systems and component performance, including trim, speed, fuel consumption and passenger comfort.

Austal has designed, constructed and delivered a total of 14 trimarans since 2005, with a further three commercial trimarans currently being built. Bajamar Express and another trimaran of the same design, Bañaderos Express, are under construction for Fred. Olsen Express, while an 83-metre passenger trimaran will be delivered for JR Kyushu of Japan.

Watch the launch here.

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
26 June 2020

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