Damen Marine Components receives steering system contract for SunStone’s fifth Infinity-class

Damen Marine Components (DMC) has received the contract to supply the rudders and steering gear for the fifth Infinity-class vessel to be built for SunStone Ships by China Merchants Heavy Industries to an Ulstein design. The contract was awarded once again by propulsion specialist Brunvoll Volda, with whom DMC is working on this ongoing series.

DMC will supply two Van der Velden® ATLANTIC rudders and two Van der Velden COMMANDER™ rotary vane steering gear systems. The ATLANTIC is a full-spade rudder with a surface area of eight square metres and steering gear torque of 110 kNm. It delivers excellent course-keeping, particularly on long-distance, straight line voyages. The COMMANDER™steering gear is likewise a dependable choice for long-distance, open ocean vessels. It has a simple, robust and compact design with just one moving part and a second-generation compact actuator for the smoothest rudder movements. Mounted inside closed housings, DMC’s advanced sealing technology prevents internal leakage and ensures a greatly extended seal life. The result is trouble-free operation for more than 60,000 hours between inspections.

The DMC components are an integral part of the system supply from Brunvoll, consisting of gearboxes and propellers, rudders, steering gear, a tunnel thruster and control systems. The propulsion system is a twin-screw, diesel-electric configuration.

“This is a strategically important contract for Brunvoll as it confirms our position as an integrated system supplier of propulsion, manoeuvring and control systems to the cruise segment,” says Geir-Arne Kaspersen, Vice President Sales of Brunvoll Volda.

Mr Wim Knoester, Director Sales and Marketing at Damen Marine Components, added “We are glad that Damen Marine Components is part of the INFINITY-class project. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with our partners Brunvoll Volda and to completing the initial agreement of ten vessels.”

Sunstone Ships specialises in the commercial management of passenger ships and is responsible for the buying, selling and chartering of its managed fleet. In line with its focus on the small ship / expedition cruise segment the Infinity class is 104 metres long, has a beam of 18 metres wide and a draught of 5.3 metres. They can accommodate up to 200 passengers and 115 crew members, and are built to Ice Class 1A, Polar Code 6 and Safe Return to Port specifications. Additional features include Ulstein’s patented X-BOW® design, dynamic positioning and zero speed stabilisers.

Of the five vessels already ordered, the first, named Greg Mortimer, was delivered in September 2019 and is chartered to Aurora Cruises Australia. The next four vessels; the Ocean Victory, the Ocean Explorer, the Ocean Odyssey and the Ocean Discoverer are scheduled for delivery in, respectively, September 2020, February 2021, March 2022 and September 2022. SunStone is also in negotiations for another five vessels of the same class due to extensive interest from the cruise industry.