Are Ferries Really What They Seem?
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Are Ferries Really What They Seem?


Are Ferries Really What They Seem?

Today one cannot ignore the polarisation of the ferry industry into two distinct camps, namely high speed and conventional. Interestingly, both categories have seen improvements in terms of speed and deadweight, while each attempts to emulate the advantages of the other. Conventional ferries try to achieve better speeds and fast ferry builders to develop designs, which are capable of carrying trucks and coping with heavy weather.

Moreover, terminology in the marine industry has become ‘fudged’ and it is now difficult to differentiate between a fast ferry - aluminium or high tensile steel monohull, catamaran, hydrofoil, SES, hovercraft etc. - and a ferry that goes fast! - Attica’s Superfast vessels providing us with a ‘classic’ example. Trade growth exceeding that of passenger traffic and the bias towards driver accompanied freight as opposed to trailer traffic, fuelled by ‘flag of convenience’ trucks and drivers, has resulted in a focus on Ro-Pax vessel designs. Quite when a Ro-Pax becomes a ferry is a discussion yet to be held.Many ferry designs are drawn up for specific trades and possess unique characteristics peculiar to that trade and try as some will, they are never totally satisfactory in any other trade.

Ferry Intelligence Report Issue 5, December 2000  

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