Windermere car ferry to be replaced with new electric vessel

Cumbria County Council are seeking to award a tender for the design, build, launch, installation, commissioning, and acceptance of the new ferry, and associated elements.

The land-locked nature of Lake Windermere introduces several requirements and constraints specific to the new ferry.

The new ferry is to have increased car capacity, increased operating capability, improved passenger facilities and is to be fully electrically powered from onboard batteries.

The new ferry is to be a cable ferry; propelled by pulling herself along a pair of steel wire cables installed between the two slipways.

The east slipway is located at Ferry Nab, Bowness-on- Windermere and the west slipway at Far Sawrey and the ferry links the two parts of the B5285 on either side of Lake Windermere.

The procurement process will see shipyards across the country invited to submit their ideas and designs for the new ferry. The aim is to place an order with the successful shipyard in the autumn for delivery of the new ferry in spring 2024.

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€6m project to trial greener, more efficient ship propulsion and steering system underway

A greener, more efficient rudder system, designed at the University of Strathclyde, will be demonstrated as part of a €6 million EU-funded research project.

The GATERS project led by the University of Strathclyde under the Horizon 2020 Fund, will see the ‘gate rudder’ – a novel propulsion and steering system – retro-fitted to a commercial vessel as part of a trial.

Unlike a traditional rudder which sits behind a ship’s propellers to steer the vessel, the U-shaped gate rudder – essentially two separate rudders – sits astride the propeller which, as a result, acts like a nozzle around the propeller and generates additional thrust.
Both rudders can be independently controlled to provide steering better as well as helping vessels move sideways – called crabbing – when docking, for example.

In early trials, the gate rudder has shown ‘remarkable’ fuel-saving potential of 15% in calm waters, while this can be as high as 30% in rough seas and improved maneuverability.

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