Damen Shipyards has signed a contract with the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications & Transport of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar for the supply of five inshore ferries to carry tourists visiting Pemba Island and others nearby in the Zanzibar Archipelago.
Delivery is scheduled for July 2020, when they will begin contributing to the economic development of the semi-autonomous region.
The contract is for three vessels of the Damen Ferry 804 design and two of the Damen Ferry 1204 design, together with a spare parts package for the first year of operation and on-site training in operating and maintaining the vessels.
Eight metres and twelve metres in length respectively, they are new variants in Damen’s small ferry range, capable of carrying 30 and 70 people on benches on an open, self-draining deck with full-length awnings.
The hulls are welded aluminium. As part of the brief to deliver easy to maintain vessels, the propulsion systems are single waterjets powered by four-stroke, four-cylinder diesel engines with enclosed cooling systems giving an operational speed of around five knots for both types.
Intended to be capable of fulfilling duties additional to that of transporting tourists and their luggage, Damen has included benches and both types feature bow ramps to allow easy unloading/disembarkation directly on to the sand beaches that are common around the islands.
This procedure is further facilitated by the waterjet propulsion systems that, with stainless steel pumps, are well suited for operations in water with high concentrations of sand and silt.
The ferries are being built at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld in the Netherlands, to international standards of both construction and safety. “We are very pleased to be continuing our strong relationship with the government of Zanzibar,” says Paul van der Werf, Damen Area Service Director Africa. “We recently delivered a new Damen Double Hull Oil Tanker 3500, together with a long-term service agreement and training package, and we are confident that these new inshore ferries will provide years of service supporting the local tourism industry. We have designed them to be ideal for light passenger traffic in warm, protected waters anywhere in the world, particularly in remote locations where support may not be immediately available.”