Built for TMCA, a marine transportation company operating in the Eastern French island of Guadeloupe, the Iris 6.1 is a ferry known for its singularity. The vessel was built at Aigrefeuille shipbuilding yard owned by Iris Catamarans, located in the La Rochelle province of France. Iris 6.1 operates between the islands of Guadeloupe (Pointe-a-Pitre), Marie-Galante and Les Saintes.
The ferry’s design has purposefully sought to amalgamate the aspects of speed, comfortablility and eco-friendliness without any compromising on the overall shape and the design of the vessel.
Before the start of the actual construction of the vessel, small-sized models of the potential Iris 6.1 were trialled for the vessel’s workability in the Marin labs, located in the Netherlands.
- The main material used to build the ferry is GRP – Glass Reinforced Plastic – while certain parts of the vessel have also been constructed by using aluminium as a building material
- Iris 6.1 has been built in such a way that it can be customised as per the usage requirements. While generally the ferry is used for transporting passengers, it can also be adjusted to accommodate cargo containers
- The vessel’s design is such that it can be disassembled and re-assembled to be utilised at various other locations
- Iris 6.1 has a dead weight tonnage of 51 tonnes with a maximum speed of almost 30 knots when in full capacity. At a lesser passenger capacity, the vessel offers a maximum speed of 34.2 knots
- Lengthwise the vessel measures nearly 40 metres and can accommodate a maximum of 240 passengers
- The vessel is propelled by two diesel engines generating power of over 1,700 kilo watts each
The company has plans to further enhance the design and concept of the Iris 6.1 and come up with an Iris 6.2 model. Iris 6.2 will have an increased DWT of 72 tonnes and a maximum speed generation of over 30 knots. The ferry will have a passenger carrying capacitance of almost 400 persons and will be operated by two diesel engines, generating power over 2,000 kilowatts each.
Through the concept of Iris ferries, a revolutionary pathway in the marine ambit of passenger-ferrying has successfully been proved.
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