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Thursday, January 14, 2021 

A new double-ended ferry (DEF) a so-called 'Floating Bridge' between Christian Island in Lake Hurons Georgian Bay, Ontario, and the mainland, is under construction at Fraser Shipyard for Beausoleil First Nation (BFN) .

The new DEF will use Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) for its propulsion. The ferry has a diesel-electric power plant, which means the VSPs are directly driven by an e-motor. The ferry design and VSP configuration take into account the most effective way to operate a vessel under many different environmental conditions – namely cold, icy conditions.

The project scope includes two size-18 VSP units, reinforced for operation in icy water during the late autumn and early spring, and the Voith electronic control system, which is used for safe navigation of the ferry. A third VSP unit will be held by BFN in case of a grounding, accident or maintenance issue. The ferry has been designed so that a VSP can be exchanged while the vessel is still afloat, which saves cost and time during the exchange procedure.

Christian Island is located in Canada in Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay. Beausoleil First Nation (BFN) will be the owner and operator of the new ferry.

“To meet the needs of BFN, Voith worked very closely with the shipyard and designer during the project phase,” said Ivo Beu, Director of Sales, Marine Business Americas, Voith Turbo. "Together with our Research and Development department, we supported the optimisation of the hull form in many ways to have an efficient overall concept which will meet BFN’s needs for decades to come."

The DEF will be constructed at Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wisconsin, on Lake Superior, and then will be transported to the Georgian Bay community on Lake Huron after commissioning.

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