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Passenger Ferries

A Sustainable 85' Passenger Ferry Catamaran Proposal

A 85' passenger ferry catamaran for Developing countries built in locally grown lumber and plywood.


I had an inquiry recently that did not go forward but got me thinking.  The job was to design a passenger ferry for Lake Tanganyika.  All parties assumed it would be aluminum or fiberglass, and built in Europe.

I wondered why it could not be built locally in Africa with local plywood and epoxy?  That would be less expensive and very long lived.

My first USCG  certified catamaran design was built of plywood/epoxy in 1984 and still operates every day in Kona, Hawaii.

That operation would not only remove the large dollar cash transfer from developing countries to industrialized ones, but it would create a local skill- set that would allow future vessels to be built the same way.

Only the epoxy, sheathing fiberglass and machinery would need to be imported.

The design could and would conform to classing society rules and thus could be easily insured. In appearance and function, it would be identical to a plastic or metal one built here.

I see my role as not only designing the vessels, but also assisting in design of the process to build them.

 I am by now, expert in both fiberglass and                         plywood/epoxy construction vessel design and construction.

Furthermore, I do considerable US Coast Guard certified vessel design.  This design could take advantage of my experience.

I do come from a long line of advocates.  My parents were in Africa in the 50s with the Near East Foundation and the Koinonia Foundation, and later in the 70s with the Peace Corps.  My daughter is presently in the Peace Corps in Azerbaijan.



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Length overall: 84'-11" (25.91 m)
Beam: 42'-0" (12.8 m)
Draft: 3'-4" (1.01 m)
Weight: 59,140 lb (26,825 kg)
Displacement: 91,196 lb (41,366 kg)
Power: Man 12V-1360 hp



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Kurt Hughes Sailing Designs 1997 - 2013