Incat Crowther’s Innovative Propeller Tunnel Delivers Efficiency Gain

Incat Crowther is pleased to announce the launch of the 30m Passenger ferry Isle of la Digue. Built by Richardson Devine Marine, Isle of La Digue is the latest Incat Crowther-designed vessel for the Seychelles operator Inter-Island Express.

Requiring a very shallow draft to afford access to the operator’s confined harbour berth, Isle of La Digue is the first vessel to feature Incat Crowther’s innovative new generation propeller tunnel.The tunnel significantly reduces propeller draft and yet offers a flat transom which can integrate with standard fixed or active interceptor systems.

Incat Crowther’s unique tunnel design was extensively modelled with in-house CFD software prior to being used on an active project.


During sea trials, the Isle of La Digue demonstrated a six percent fuel saving over the standard hull. The vessel achieved the speed of 32 knots at maximum deadweight, and a very low fuel burn at its operational cruising speed of 28 knots.

In addition, attention has been paid to highly-loaded areas of the vessel’s structure, providing a robust and durable vessel capable of operating safely over the long term on this very demanding run.The structure has been optimized to the route’s specific sea conditions, using Incat Crowther’s in-house FEA systems.

The vessel’s 290 passengers are accommodated in three classes.Turnaround time including baggage handling has been optimized with four access locations on the port side. Luggage is directly loaded to the enlarged luggage room via the aft-most ramp. Economy passengers are loaded via the next two gates, with those destined for the upper deck afforded a clear path to the aft stairs. At midships, a boarding location is reserved for business class passengers, who feed directly into a dedicated staircase to the business class cabin.

Multiple features have been implemented to enhance passenger comfort, including the latest generation centre bow, an active ‘high throw’ interceptor ride control system, large viewing windows and integrated blinds in the business class cabin to reduce heat and glare.

For more information on this vessel, click here.


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