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Thursday, June 27, 2019 

UK builder Wight Shipyard Co (WSC) has completed an order, placed by Ultramar, the largest ferry operator in Mexico, for two 37m fast ferries which will be transported to Cancun Mexico at the beginning of July.

“Working with Ultramar is a good match for WSC, our standards and attention to detail are of paramount importance to produce not only an on-time build, but one of superior quality. Ultramar provide both commuter and holiday destination vessels and the level of fitout is far higher than normal commuter boats. Stages for live bands, multi coloured LED lighting above and below the waterline and very powerful sound systems were a first for us,” said Peter Morton, CEO WSC.

The customer required timely delivery, and imposed a weight saving target. Fuel costs are high in Mexico and are of paramount importance to Ultramar. The vessels were designed by Incat Crowther. Ultramar said that one of the main reasons for choosing WSC was the yard's reputation for delivering on time, as Ultramar had a 10-month delivery schedule.

According to WSC, the 459-passenger capacity vessels come in 20,000 kg lighter than comparable models and 3,000 kg lighter than design specification. This has been achieved by using lightweight materials and new construction techniques developed by WSC, involving close investigation of each of the thousand pieces of equipment used in the construction and sourcing the lightest, most efficient parts and materials.

Because the focus has been on efficiency, Ultramar specified propulsion plant which could achieve the 24 knot service speed at lower MCR. This is achieved from two MTU 12V4000 M63 engines each rated 1500 kW (2012 hp) at 1800 rpm, driving CJR Propulsion FP propellers through ZF 7600 reduction gearboxes.

“WSC has exceeded our expectations in both finish and performance,” said Mauricio Orozco of Ultramar. “The whole team are a delight to work with. They are such a professional team with each manager an expert in their field. There is a need for more vessels and there is no question that WSC will be building them. Previously all our boats were built in the USA”.

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