Hybrid-powered cargo catamaran to receive autonomous navigation system
One of the very few commercial vessels equipped with a fully-functioning autonomous navigation system will soon become an unique hybrid-powered cargo catamaran.
A 63-foot, battery-hybrid catamaran designed for transporting local goods across Long Island Sound is the 2019-built Captain Ben Moore. The $2.8 million, six-deadweight-tonne ship supplies high-value products to Fairfield County, Connecticut from farmers and producers on Long Island.
Each journey through Long Island Sound removes many nine-hour truck trips along the Connecticut coastline. To reduce the use of its diesel engines, the vessel will refuel at either end of the voyage.
“Part of our transportation goals are to develop autonomous, hybrid catamarans to move farm products across Long Island Sound. The Sea Machines SM300 autonomous navigation system will help us achieve many of our goals because it enables shipping movements to be completed very reliably and efficiently. Shifting cargo from streets and highways also alleviates the growing congestion, lower emissions and reestablishes our waterways as a viable and cost-efficient alternative to land-based transport,” commented Bob Kunkel, the president of First Harvest Navigation.
The Ben Moore will soon be equipped with a Sea Machines SM300 autonomous navigation suite, in addition to its hybrid-powered architecture. It gives the operator specialized tools for remote control, obstacle detection and collision avoidance in daily manned operations.
Maritime Business World