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MS Loppøy fitted with Servogear Ecoflow Propulsor


Text by Katina Read, published by Maritime Journal October 01th.

The latest fast ferry from Norway’s Brødrene Aa has been delivered to its new owners, Boreal Transport Nord, after extensive sea trials.

The 26m carbon fibre catamaran MS Loppøy (BN 275) will operate on the sparsely populated western part of Loppa in Finnmark, Norway and as such will fulfil several functions. She is able to take 97 passengers and two cars and is also equipped with a crane to handle goods for the local communities.

In order to handle the rough weather conditions that sometimes occur in the area, the foredeck is fully covered and parts of the outer deck are fitted with heating wires to prevent icing up during the winter.

The vessel – which is 8m in breadth - is certified for operations in 2.5m significant wave heights. She is powered by twin Scania D116 072M diesel engines, each rated at 588kW @ 2100rpm and is also equipped with a complete Servogear Ecoflow Propulsor system, including a HD220 gearbox with a reduction ratio of 2,952:1 and built-in PTO for auxiliary equipment.

The controllable pitch propellers have a propeller diameter of 1000mm and a propeller shaft diameter of 90mm with propeller rotation inwards over the top and the propeller tunnel is designed for optimum water flow to the propellers.

As part of the package, Servogear also supplied effect rudders with an asymmetric airfoil design and single leg shaft brackets designed to reduce drag.
“The system makes a difference when it comes to efficiency,” explained Torleif Stokke, Servogear MD. “It’s very fuel efficient which adds value to the owner and operator. It’s also got good speed capabilities and will maintain speed over different loads.

“There’s no existing system which does the same thing.”

He added: “Servogear has more than 40 years of history and we’ve been developing the idea of the Ecoflow Propulsor system continuously. The efficient rudder creates thrust and doesn’t overload the engine. The whole concept is that all the parts fit together and adds to its efficiency.We work together with the ship designer to optimise the design of the vessel.”

The catamaran is constructed from carbon sandwich and is designed to have a service speed of 26 knots. “This is a really great vessel. It is a bit smaller than the vessel it will be replacing, MS Renøy,” said Steinar Mathiesen, Boreal chairman.

“However, it is also lighter, cheaper to operate and more modern than MS Renøy. “The new MS Løppøy is a better fit for Loppa then Renøy.”

He added: “Despite having less horsepower, MS Loppøy will keep a normal cruising speed of 26 knots. It is also quieter than the vessel it is replacing and I think the seats and information systems onboard will appeal.”

The vessel will cover a new route structure and Mr Mathiesen believes that while her predecessor was never full, this restructuring together with the new vessel will appeal more to passengers. She is a sister ship to the carbon fibre Barents Nord’s MS Nefelin, which is also fitted with a Servogear Ecoflow Propulsor and operates around Alta, Finnmark transporting commuters and equipment.

Brødrene Aa is also currently building another sister vessel, MS Melkøy (BN 282), which is due to be delivered by the end of the year to Boreal Transport to cover the Sørøysund pool.