Thanks to propulsion retrofits from SCHOTTEL, two vessels in Finland’s ferry network are ready for further decades of safe and reliable operation.
With its 187,888 lakes, Finland has rightly earned its nickname of “the land of a thousand lakes”. If that was not enough, the northern European country also has 1,250 kilometres of Baltic coast and nearly 800 islands larger than a square kilometre in size. FinFerries is a state-owned company and one of the operators responsible for ensuring that all this water remains passable – with an extensive network of over 40 routes across Finland from the coastal areas to the Lakeland district in the east. A good number of these ferries operate around the clock on an as-needed basis. In the winter, to prevent ice from forming, they stay on the move constantly between the points they serve. To offer that kind of service, extreme dependability is a must. In fact, a boost in propeller system reliability was one of the motivators for a recent retrofit on two vessels. One of them serves the Hanhivirta route in Lakeland and the other the Mossala route in the Archipelago Sea.
While the two ferries do share a number of similarities – for example, both are double-end-ed and can hold either 14 cars or up to 60 tons of payload – they were originally equipped with various propeller systems manufactured in different years. For the retrofit, however, the customer requested a tailored concept to allow the same propeller assembly to be used in both ferries without having to alter the steelwork. At the same time, the solution had to be quick and easy to install in order to meet a tight retrofit deadline.
“Our solution was to employ our SRP 150 Rudderpropeller in both ferries. In the Hanhivirta ferry, it could be installed in the existing well. For the Mossala ferry, we had to come up with an adapter ring because its well was considerably larger,” explains Michael Heibel, Service Project Manager at SCHOTTEL. To prepare for the installation at the FinFerries site, a team of engineers from the company attended a one- week training session at the SCHOTTEL Academy in Spay, Germany.
The advantage of this retrofit for the customer is a higher degree of standardization in its fleet – which reduces costs for spare parts and increases availability. In addition to the two SRP 150s for the Hanhivirta and the Mossala vessels, FinFerries also ordered a separate unit as a spare. This allows for quick replacement in case of an outage and ensures 24/7 service.
The idea of a same ruderpropeller model for different types of ferries was not exactly new – SCHOTTEL had previously employed a comparable concept in 2015 for the state-owned ferry company operating between the Åland Islands, an autonomous province belonging to Finland. “The success there very likely helped FinFerries to decide in our favour,” says Michael Heibel. The retrofit project with the Hanhivirta and the Mossala ferries is the first between SCHOTTEL and FinFerries – and the service expert is confident about a follow-up order.
Vessels like those employed by FinFerries have a lifetime of up to fifty years and longer. However, when spare parts are needed, there’s no time to wait. From its warehouse in Spay, Germany, SCHOTTEL can get spare parts dispatched to any customer worldwide within 24 hours of order placement. As an OEM, SCHOTTEL guarantees the availability of spare parts for the coming decades.
Today’s tugboats need to be equipped with particularly effective propulsion systems in order to offer reliable towing services. The long-term availability of all propulsion components plays an important and vital role in successful operation of the vessel
The order from the American transport company Odyssea Marine posed an unusual challenge, even for the experienced retrofit specialists at SCHOTTEL. This was because one of the company’s offshore supply vessels had to be converted in a very short time and prepared for an important charter contract
Jan Helge Telseth, Managing Director at SCHOTTEL Nordic, joined the company three years ago after having held various positions at both large international companies and mid-size specialty businesses. The most important thing, he says, is making life easier for customers.