Watch: The Fastest Ship In The World That Beats Metro Trains In Terms Of Top Speed

We know that ships are slow. But there is one fast ship. Faster than a metro train.

The Francisco, a 99 m catamaran, is the world’s fastest ship, hitting a speed of 58.1 knots or 107.6 kilometres an hour, surpassing the speed of Singapore’s metro, which is 100 km per hour.

The high-speed ferry was built by a specialist shipbuilding company “Incat” for its operator Buquebus, an Argentine company that operates ferry services from Buenos Aires.

Launched in November 2012, its sea trials commenced in March 2013.

Francisco Papa christened the energy-efficient ship in June 2013 in honour of Pope Francis.

How can it sail so fast while carrying thousands of passengers and cars?

The vessel’s high speed can be attributed to the wave-piercing catamaran design, lightweight, marine-grade solid aluminium use, and the power produced by the two gas turbines.

Catamarans are ships having two hulls and a deck structure between them. They have minimal buoyancy at the bow, which allows them to slice through waves instead of going over them. This increases their speed.

The area of the hull in contact with water is also less compared to the conventional hull ferry. Hence the hull resistance is significantly lower, which means the catamaran requires less power to perform at the same speed and carrying capacity as a conventional monohull ferry.

Another advantage of the Catamaran design ferry is its edge over motion sickness due to its shape, which reduces the likelihood of slamming and rolling.

Francisco has a capacity for 1,000 persons and 150 cars, a 1,100 square meter duty-free shop, passenger accommodation for the economy, tourist, business, and first-class, and an exclusive VIP lounge.

Francisco is also the world’s first RORO ferry, which uses LNG as its primary fuel for driving its two gas turbine engines for high-speed propulsion.

This ship does not have a conventional propeller and rudder; it is fitted with a waterjet propulsion system.

Waterjets work by pumping a lot of water through a closed duct. The acceleration of this water creates a forward thrust for propulsion.

A waterjet is essentially a pump inside a very short pipe. Pumps work differently than propellers; they don’t show the same limits. Pump efficiencies of around 90% or more are regularly attainable. In contrast, conventional propellers stop at 60%-72% efficiency.

The vessel has four marine evacuation stations, each capable of serving 256 persons, and nine life rafts, each with a carrying capacity of 128 people.

This is undoubtedly the fastest ship in the world……of course, a few speed boats could surpass 58 knots, but nothing could carry 1000 passengers and 150 cars with an enormous duty-free shop on board.

Thus, Francisco is the world’s fastest, environmentally cleanest, most efficient high-speed ferry.

What is the top speed of your ship? Let us know in the comments.

Disclaimer: The author’s views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used in the article, have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendations on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

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About Author

Zahra is an alumna of Miranda House, University of Delhi. She is an avid writer, possessing immaculate research and editing skills. Author of several academic papers, she has also worked as a freelance writer, producing many technical, creative and marketing pieces. A true aesthete at heart, she loves books a little more than anything else.

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