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19 May 2016

Three New Feeder Types to Challenge Modern Operational Circumstances

Article from Handy Shipping Guide

Whilst the world’s container shipping lines have been obsessing of late over ever larger vessels, Danish naval architect company KNUD E. HANSEN has recently been developing a number of pioneering container feeder vessel ideas. The three new ship designs were conceived with the idea of solving problems at specific locations, the first being a 2,000 TEU box vessel to call at small, narrow, up-river ports, for example the Port of Bangkok, Thailand.

Navigating such harbours requires a vessel to have a shallow draught, in the case of Bangkok, not more than 8.2 metres and to fulfil this, the vessel requires a relatively small diameter propeller. To cater for this without a loss of power, KNUD E. HANSEN’s designers presented a special propeller arrangement employing a directly driven main propeller with a diameter of 5.8 m and a counter-rotating Azipod with a 4.7 metre propeller. Jesper Kanstrup, Senior Naval Architect at KNUD E. HANSEN explained:

“The dual arrangement makes up for the relative small diameter of the propellers. The total propeller disk area of the two propellers corresponds to the area of a single propeller with a diameter of approx. 7.4 metres and further, the counter-rotating propeller will recover some of the swirl energy produced by the main propeller, which increases the overall efficiency.”

For the second design (watch the video below) draught was not such an important factor. The 3,800 TEU ship sees it fitted out with a larger diameter, slower-turning propeller, much cheaper than the dual prop arrangement. Unlike most feeder vessels, the deckhouse of this vessel is positioned slightly forward of amidships to maximize the number of container slots on deck and considering the IMO requirements to the line of vision from the bridge. The added number of slots can be utilised in real-life loading conditions because the vessel is wider and has a higher stability than most feeder vessels of this size. Kanstrup explains:

“This prepares the vessel for LNG and dual-fuel propulsion, attributes that are becoming increasingly sought after. Here, we have a square block below the deckhouse, in which we can either have HFO tanks or LNG tanks. What’s more, the vessel can be built with HFO tanks and easily retrofitted for LNG the day the infrastructure for LNG is sufficiently developed if a dual-fuel engine is installed in the first place.”

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