The last newbuild order of 2016 for the Damen Shipyards Group was signed on the 31 December with VLOOT dab of Belgium. The vessel will be a 25-metre ferry especially designed to carry vehicles and passengers across the canal linking Ghent and Terneuzen.
Even though the journey time each way for the ferry will be little more than five minutes, the complex route and the minimal room for manoeuvre of the busy waterway means that she will be fitted with twin Voith Schneider propellers (cycloidal drives) to give her the agility required for safe and timely passages. Power will be provided by twin diesel engines delivered via reduction gearboxes, and shaft generators will supply electrical power for onboard systems. An emergency generator rated at 14.5 kVA will also be installed.
VLOOT dab is a highly experienced, government-owned vessel operator, supplying and operating over forty five vessels for the public sector - government, education and research agencies - along the coast of Flushing, in the Scheldt area and on the Ghent-Terneuzen canal. The range of vessels is highly diverse, including tugs, work boats, patrol boats, hydrographic research vessels and a variety of ferries. VLOOT dab and Damen have a record of working together in the past. Damen vessels in the fleet include a 2706 Stan Patrol, SPN-09, two multi-function Shoalbusters; the Zeeschelde andZeetijger, and the Simon Stevin, a 36m research vessel.
The new ferry will be named Cyriel Buysse and is scheduled for delivery in March 2018. The build will take place at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld in cooperation with Damen Shipyards Gorinchem.