Economics of Fast Ships , Fast Ferries, the conventional, and the Hydro Lance ship ocean vessel operations.

HYDRO LANCE CORPORATION

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ECONOMIES OF OPERATION
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VESSEL OPERATION ECONOMIES
 
Engine maintenance and fuel consumption is based on hours of operation, not distance of travel.  We will talk more about speed and time later. Any two identical engines will consume a predictable amount of fuel at the rated rotational speed and horsepower of each engine.   If each of those engines is placed in a different vessel (ship #1 and ship #2) of identical GWT (Gross Weight Tons), then each will consume the same amount of fuel for each hour of operation. 
 
However, if ship #2 traveled at twice the speed of the first ship, then ship #2 has twice the operational efficiencies of ship #1.  The only way this could be possible is if ship #2 has a moving resistance in water that is half of ship #1's moving resistance.  This can be observed by comparing a barge and a frigate having the same GWT and horsepower.  The barge is analogous to moving a "barn door" through the water, while the 8:1 aspect ratio and streamline bow, of the frigate, allows for lower moving resistance and thus, higher speeds for the same amount of engine running time.  Accordingly, boat #2 will travel twice the distance between engine overhaul requirements, both a cost savings and a down time (a period of no revenue) savings. Therefore, the frigate completes twice the miles traveled for the same amount of fuel and maintenance spent by the barge.
 
If the same comparison could be made of two, 175 GWT, 200 passenger ferry boats, having identical differences of hull design (boat #1 and boat #2), then the operational costs of boat #2 would be half of boat #1.   The feature of "twice-the-speed", when considering revenue, is of greater value than the operational savings.  Boat #2 would be capable of completing twice as many route trips as boat #1 in the same amount of time, thus twice the gross revenue at half of the operating costs, as twice the miles were traveled.  If boat #2 were placed on the same route of boat #1, then boat #1 would be non-competitive and soon obsoleted.
 
Diesel engine fuel consumption is approximately .29 pounds per hour, per horsepower,  of operational time.   A modern 250 passenger, 200 GWT monohull ferry will utilize approximately 5,920 horsepower to travel at a speed of 24 knots in a Beaufort sea state 4 (higher Beaufort sea states demands that these planing hulls slow down to avoid hull stress and 'slamming').   Considering that there is approximately seven pounds to the U.S. gallon of diesel, then that ferry would consume approximately 245 gallons per hour of fuel...and would have traveled 24 nautical miles in one hour.  At the approximate cost of $1.10 per gallon, the cost of fuel would be $269.50 per hour of operation.
 
The new high-tech world has ushered in
catamaran designs for ferry operation.  The objective is speed and greater stability (for passenger comfort).  Greater speeds means more operational trips, which equates to increased passenger revenue.  That increase offsets losses due to increased fuel costs.  Bazon, Incat, Austral Ships and Wave Master are among the leaders of this catamaran industry.   They have delivered into service approximately 60 new state-of-the-art catamaran vessels during the past two years:

The Abraham Class Catamaran
 
This new twin hull vessel is 411 feet long with a beam of 61.3 feet.   The draft is 37 feet and totals a weight of 475 (DWT) tons.  Each will carry 135 cars on one deck and 109 on the second.  Up to 600 passengers will occupy the upper decks, three and four. The water-jet drive is powered by 33,900 KW of total diesel horsepower for a loaded speed of 39 knots in a sea state of Beaufort Number 5 (the vessel must slow down in greater
Beaufort sea states to avoid dangerous 'tunnel slamming'). Accordingly, this vessel will consume 9,831 pounds of fuel for each hour of operation...or 1,404 gallons of diesel fuel  per hour.  Translated to cost, that consumption is approximately $1,544 per hour of operation, during which time the boat will have traveled 39 nautical miles.
 
Compare that to the first monohull example at $269.50 per hour of operation for a distance of 24 nautical miles.  The speed and size offsets the added fuel cost with more route trips (revenue) in the same amount of time.   
 
The Mestral Class Catamaran
 
This catamaran is smaller, having a length of 312 feet and a beam of 48 feet.  The boat has a draft of 29.2 feet and weighs in at 175 DWT (Dead Weight Tons).   Water-jets drive the vessel with 20,000 (gas turbine) horsepower for a loaded cruising speed of 32 knots (speed must be reduced in sea states above Beaufort Number 4 to avoid tunnel slamming).  Turbines consume approximately .34 pounds per horsepower, per hour of JP-4 fuel (more expensive per gallon).   Accordingly, the operational cost equates to approximately $1,263 per hour, in which time the boat travels 32 nautical miles.

The B60-MD Class Catamaran
 
Similar and modified from the (above) Abraham class catamaran vessel, the B60-MD, now in planning stages, can carry more coaches and travel at a higher speed and feature a draft of only 7 feet.  The vessel will be powered by four new Caterpillar engines (now in development), each having 42,000 horsepower, or a total of 168,000 horsepower for a loaded speed of 53 knots in a maximum sea state of 5 (higher sea states will demand a slower speed to avoid tunnel slamming).  The fuel cost to operate this 474 DWT vessel computes to $7,656 per hour for a distance traveled of 53 nautical miles.
 
State-of-the-art engineering has also evolved to the newest class of marine design; Hydro Lance, which utilizes the H.A.R.T.H. (High Aspect Ratio Twin Hull) technology.   Speed, stability and sea keeping capabilities significantly exceed both state-of-the-art mono-hulls and catamarans.  Operational efficiencies are twice that of either the best of mono-hull or catamaran design.
 
Hydro Lance Nirvana Class (Image Click Here)
 
The geometry of this twin hull, designed for 170-230 DWT vessels, is significantly different from the catamaran.  Compared to the Mestral Class catamaran above, which has a draft of 29.2 feet (depth from the waters surface to the bottom of the hull), the Hydro Lance Nirvana Class has only three feet of draft (the displacement lost in depth is made up for in hull length).  Where the bows of the catamaran have a bow entry ratio of approximately 8:1, the bow entry ratio of the Hydro Lance is many times higher.  The Catamaran has a deep draft; the Hydro Lance has a shallow draft and limited free-board.  The Hydro Lance has wetted surface drag reduction; the catamaran has none.  The result is a total reduction in the resistance to forward vessel movement by over 75%. 
  
Accordingly, the Hydro Lance would require only 5,000 total horsepower to travel at the example speeds of the Mestral Class catamaran.  Therefore, the cost of fuel could be compared at $228 per hour for the example speed of 32 nautical miles in one hour.  However, since speed is so very sensitive to trip time and increased revenues, this vessel would be equipped for 60-90 knots of cruising speed.  Two 5,400 horsepower gas turbines ($682 per hour of JP-4 fuel) would provide an 82 knot cruising speed in a Beaufort sea state 6 (greater Beaufort sea states would require a modest change of course heading). Unlike the mono-hull or catamaran, the Beaufort 6 sea state rating of the Nirvana class, does not slow down the Hydro Lance.  Travel route schedules can be kept routine, regardless of weather, short of a hurricane, which the greater Hydro Lance speeds can outrun or circumvent.   These speed differences also translate to the distances traveled between engine overhauls and down-time.   Underway, in the sea state 6 condition, pitch and roll is limited to a maximum of +5 degrees (and negligible heave), which can occur  in a worse-case beam sea.  This feature translates to the maximum of passenger comfort.
 
Comparing the Nirvana class to the mono-hull and the Mestral class vessels, the state-of-the-art 200 ton mono-hull ferry (250 passengers) consumes $269 per hour of fuel to travel 24 nautical miles in a sea state of Beaufort 4.  The 175 ton Mestral class (250 passengers) catamaran consumes $1,263 per hour of fuel to travel 32 nautical miles in a sea state of Beaufort 4.  The 175 ton Nirvana class Hydro Lance vessel (250 passengers) consumes $682 per hour of fuel to travel 82 nautical miles in a sea state of Beaufort 6.  In this sea state, the other vessels would be forced to travel, at reduced speeds, of approximately 8-12 MPH.
 
Each Hydro Lance ferry could complete over three trips for every one trip that the mono-hull completes and over two trips for every one trip that the Mestral class catamaran completes.  In sea states of Beaufort 5, the disparity is even greater.
 
Accordingly, in calm waters, and all three vessels charging a $58 fare for a one-way, 130 mile trip, the Nirvana class Hydro Lance would generate a gross revenue of $43,500 in the same time that the mono-hull would generate $14,500 and that the catamaran would  generate $29,000.  In that same period of time, the Hydro Lance would spend $3,244 for fuel, the monohull would spend $1,457 for fuel and the catamaran would spend $5,131 for fuel.
 
Operating Comparison Summary (Below)
130 Mile (One Way) Ferry Route Comparison
Profit Contribution Difference
 
All 250 Passenger Ferries
Projected Profit Proforma
(80% Occupancy)
 
......Vessel Type ................. 5.4 Hours.......Gross Revenue....Total Fuel Cost....Profit Contribution/Trip
 
Nirvana Class Hydro Lance
(200 Passenger Load) .............3 Trips...................$34,800...............$3,244....................
.$32,056
Mestral Class Catamaran
(200 Passenger Load).............2 Trips ...................$23,300...............$5,131.....................$18,169
Monohull Ferry
(200 Passenger Load)..............1 Trip.....................$11,600...............$1,457....................$10,143
 
Profit By Passenger Hour
250 Passenger Ferries
80% Average Occupancy Per 320 day Year
 
Vessel Type............Revenue............Fuel Cost.........Expense...............Passenger Hour Profit
Mono-hull................. $10.74.................$ 1.34................$3.94........................$  5.46
CAT.......................... $14.50.................$ 3.20...............$4.42........................$  6.88
Hydro Lance..............$38.66.................$11.26...............$4.15........................$23.25
 
Engine overhaul is expensive for ferry operations.  The most significant cost is the lost revenues due to down time during these maintenance periods. The operating time of diesel and gas-turbine engines approximates 10,000 hours between overhauls. At this time of overhaul, there is usually one to two months required to complete.  During this time the owner will usually complete any other boat maintenance required.   While this is a common requirement to all vessel types, there are important differences.
 
During 10,000 hours, the example monohull vessel will have traveled 240,000 nautical miles, the catamaran will have traveled 320,000 nautical miles and the Hydro Lance will have traveled 820,000 miles.   Based on 12 hours of engine operation per day, each vessel will require an overhaul of the engines every 25 months.
 
The Hydro Lance vessel is anticipated for integration into the NASA developed S.C.O.R.E. program (now RPI) rotary diesel engine and the Opus rotary external combustion engine.  Engine overhaul for these power plants is extended to approximately 15,000 hours.  These relatively light weight prime movers may also afford some appreciation of fuel economies.  Given the example above, these power systems would extend the time of overhaul to approximately 37 months. 
 
Both the Catamaran and the Hydro Lance have a capital cost which is approximately 30-40% higher than the cost of the mono-hull designs.  In each case, the return on investment favors the higher capital cost for the benefit of speed.
 
CAPITAL COSTS vs. ROI
One 320 day Year, 80% Occupancy*
Equalized Ferry Comparison
($000)
 
.....Vessel..............Capital Cost**......  Gross Rev.........Fuel..........Crew/Other........Operating Profit.........ROI
Monohull
250 Passenger....$  9,600................$  7,424........$   932...........$3,400...............$  3,092.............37/Mo.
Catamaran
250 Passenger....$12,867................$11,136........$2,463............$3,400..............$  5,273.............29/Mo
Hydro Lance
250 Passenger....$14,385................$29,696........$8,649............$3,400..............$17,647..............10/Mo
 
*    Based on 130 mile (one-way) ferry route at a $58 fare per person, 80% occupancy, 13 hour day.
**  Price of construction varies with shipyard and location.
 
Compare the gross revenue advantage that the difference of speed contributes to each hour of operation. The figures below reflect a comparison of the Nirvana Class and the average U.S. domestic fares of existing operations.   Figures expressed reflect an 80% occupancy rate.
 
Gross Revenue Passenger Hour
U.S. Domestic Market*
 
Averaged existing* ferry operations:................$10.31 per passenger hour
Nirvana Class (exampled above):...................$30.93 per passenger hour
 
*"Passenger Ferry Market" fare survey on file.
 

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