Maritime Technology Management
Your company currently runs a twin screw Ro/Pax ship that is fitted with four medium speed diesel engines having a combined maximum continuous power rating (MCR) of 24MW. The machinery arrangement is such that on the port side, two engines are coupled through clutches into a reduction gearbox and from there on to a single shaft line: a similar arrangement exists on the starboard side. All engines have the same power capability and each shaft is fitted with controllable pitch propeller. The ship speed associated with the absorption of the full continuous service power rating (CSR) is 20 knots.
Currently the ship has operated successfully for the last 5 years by making one return trip per day at 20 knots over the 120 nm passage between the two ports that she serves. This arrangement also provides an easy turn-around time at each terminal: indeed, separate studies have shown the minimum turn-around time could safely be reduced to around 1.5 hours. The board of directors of the company, for various financial and operational reasons, want to know whether this ship would be suitable for a duty between the same two ports, where she undertook the same voyage profile during the day but at night made a slower voyage back to her home port. If a suitable arrangement was seen to yield a significant potential financial benefit, the board are prepared to sanction the installation of additional sleeper seats, other necessary facilities and some cabins for passengers who elect to pay a premium on the normal fare.
Examine the feasibility of this idea from the technical and operational perspectives. Your answer should also embrace the attractiveness of the concept to the fare paying passengers and, in doing so, answer the following questions:
1. Is the idea feasible for this ship?
2. Are there any technical, operational or maintenance benefits?
3. Might there be any fuel cost savings and if so of what order?
4. Are there any disadvantages to the idea?
Make any necessary cost projection you deem appropriate and for this purpose obtain or derive data, stating the sources from which this comes.