On time, on finish, on performance

New construction techniques, developed by Wight Shipyard, were used to achieve weight savings for Ultramar's new ferries.

Two 37m fast ferries, designed by Incat Crowther and built in 10 months by Wight Shipyard, have been delivered to Mexico’s largest ferry operator in Cancun, Mexico.

Critical issues for the newbuilds were timely delivery and a challenging weight-saving target.   Ultramar’s Mauricio Orozco had placed the order after visiting previous Wight Shipyard builds, stating one of the main reasons for choosing the yard was its reputation for delivering on time, something Ultramar has struggled with in the past.

“WSC has exceeded our expectations in both finish and performance,” said Orozco. “The whole team are a delight to work with. They are such a professional team with each manager an expert in their field. There is a need for more vessels and there is no question that WSC will be building them. Previously all our boats were built in the USA”.

The focus has been on efficiency, with the vessels 20,000 kg lighter than comparable models and 3,000 kg lighter than design, the faster, more fuel-efficient vessels are able to achieve service speed of 24 knots @75% MCR.  Weight savings were achieved by using new construction techniques developed by Wight Shipyard and investigation of each of the thousand pieces of equipment to source the lightest most efficient parts and materials.

“Working with Ultramar is a good match for WSC, our standards and attention to detail are of paramount importance to produce not only an on-time build, but one of superior quality. Ultramar provide both commuter and holiday destination vessels and the level of fitout is far higher than normal commuter boats. Stages for lives bands, multi coloured LED lighting above and below the waterline and very powerful sound systems were a first for us,” said Peter Morton, CEO WSC.

The vessels are powered by two MTU 12V4000 M63 engines with output at 2 x 1500 kW (2012 hp) @ 1800 rpm. Gearboxes are two ZF 7600’s with propulsion being supplied by two fixed pitch propellers supplied by Southampton’s CJR Propulsion which also supplied the new curved hydrodynamic-designed rudders.

Both vessels have the capacity to accommodate 459 passengers over 3 decks, including a top deck with seating for 122 passengers. Destined to operate between Cancun and Isla Mujeres primarily, the ferries are also capable of supporting the Playa del Carmen to Cozumel route which requires vessels to have a much higher free board due to sea conditions and specific docking restrictions.

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