Honfleur, the new Brittany Ferries' LNG (liquefied natural gas) powered ferry has reached the second milestone in it's construction.
Keel laying is when the first section of hull is lowered onto the slipway and joined to form the complete hull. The better the design of the hull, the more efficiently the ship will glide through the sea. Fuel consumption will be lower and the quality of ride will be much better for the passengers and freight onboard.
"Technology has transformed the way we design hulls. Over the last 20 to 30 years we’ve reduced wave resistance by between a third and a half."
said Heike Billerbeck, head of ship theory and hydrodynamics at FSG, the German shipyard at which Brittany Ferries' Honfleur is being built.
The team at FSG have been using computational fluid dynamic software and digital modelling to visualise the size and angle of the waves the ship will create. The smaller the waves, the less energy is wasted.
"Passengers will never see Honfleur’s hull, but they will certainly feel its benefit. Think of your car. It has been designed to slip through the air as cleanly as possible to maximise its fuel efficiency. The hull of a ship is just the same. It’s just a question of hydrodynamics rather than aerodynamics."
said Brice Robinson, Brittany Ferries naval architect.
The keel laying moment is recognised with a traditional coin-laying ceremony in which coins are placed in Honfleur's keel as a token of good fortune.
This tradition is from Roman times when coins were placed in the mouths of soldiers killed in war in order to pay the mythological ferryman, Charon.
Honfleur's finished hull will be launched into the Baltic Sea in December.