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Significant Small Ships of 2013

"Calais Majest'in: Futuristic tram-inspired design for French city shuttle boat"


"Urban passenger shuttle boats are undergoing significant transformations in design, the most notable being a push for the boat to blend in with its surroundings.


For instance, some designers have raised the point that a number of city dwellers have little interest in marine technical features and would prefer a waterborne, short-hop solution that is styled more in the aesthetics of cars, trams / trains or buses. In terms of these vessels' potential appearances, the shuttle boat Calais Majest'in, which was delivered in May 2013, provides an interesting glimpse of how design trand may evolve...



Sterling Design International drew up the blueprint for the 19.7m loa aluminium vessel, which has been certified to local waterway regulations, and which is intended to undertake a 4km route during day hours in the city of Calais, between the Calais Citadelle and the Pont de Coulogne. This journey is estimated to take roughly 35 minutes each way.


Building was completed by compatriot French company Alumarine Shipyard, and the resultant vessel can be configured in two modes; the transport version, which sees the cabin open up to accommodate up to 70 passengers, for the vessel's aforementioned day route; and the restaurant version, for night cruises, evening receptions and corporate events, which would see catering equipment installed on board, granting an internal capacity for up to 44 guests.


The vessel's 92 kW Iveco engine gives Calais Majest'in an average speed of 6.5 knots.


The shuttle boat has been fitted with boarding ramps on the bow, for easy and safe passenger access - another benefit for those city travellers who may otherwise be wary of boarding river boats. Sterling has also simplified the vessel's berthing facilities, in order to drastically cut the amount of fuel typically consumed when the pilot is attempting to manoeuvre the vessel into place.


As a further boost to efficient manoeuvrability, Calais Majest'in has been kitted, out with a joystick-operated hydraulic bow thruster, for quick and easy docking, as well as to avoid any other small craft that may be travelling on the waterway at the same time.


Significant Small Ships - 2013 edition

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