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Abu Dhabi’s visitors and residents looking to escape congested traffic now have a more scenic way of getting around the United Arab Emirates’ capital.
2015 saw the launch of the city’s first private passenger ferry service operating on a daily schedule. Manufactured by Eaton Marine, the service’s custom-designed catamarans feature Divinycell composite cores for top performance and faster construction.
In 2014, Eaton Marine was commissioned to build 3 high-speed ferries for use in the UAE. The boats needed to be built to RINA class and offer passengers the chance to experience the beauty of Abu Dhabi from the water.
The design concept was done by Sheikh Mohammed bin Suroor Al Nahyan, with the view to open the hundreds of kilometers of scenic waterways that had only been accessible by private watercraft. Now, a ferry network of 100km has been setup in order to link the main tourist attractions of the capital in a unique and exciting way.
According to DIAB, these 16m catamarans are fitted with 40 business class seats, on board toilets, full audio and visual entertainment and, of course, air conditioning to provide comfort even during the Middle East’s harsh summer months.
The hull form was designed with both efficient performance and high-speed stability to further ensure passenger comfort while travelling at speeds of up to 35 knots. Boat docking is made very simple with the use of a single mouse controller electronically controlling both port and starboard waterjets independently, for forwards, backwards, rotation and even sideways boat maneuvering.
DIAB says the the key to ferries efficiency is the use of its Divinycell core used throughout the infused fibreglass composite structure of the vessel. Working closely with DIAB, a standard order of core sheets was created for each boat, ranging from MX7-7 3mm up to H80 25m. The foam used in the boats is GPC1 Grooved Perforated Core foam, which helps ensure full wet-out when infusing large flat areas as well as some of the thicker fibreglass laminate found closer to the waterline and other key structural areas.
Large flat areas such as the main deck level and most of the hull sides were constructed using a mixture of densities of PSC Plain Sheet Core, which was very quick and easy to layup prior to the infusion process. In more complicated areas such as extreme curves visible on the roof and most of the rounded corners of the boat, GSC30 grid-scored Divinycell was used due to the formable and flexible properties of this type of core finishing.
In all, DIAB says that infusion and Divinycell core allowed Eaton Marine to produce these boats quickly and in a way that outperforms aluminum and traditional hand-laminated fibreglass in terms of weight and fuel consumption.
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