Meridian: Electric Manapōuri ferry can survive floating log collision

by Peter Newport - Mar 18, 2024

Many Crux readers have questioned the ability of Meridian's planned $3 million Lake Manapōuri ferry to handle a collision with floating logs.

The all electric, zero emissions ferry is to be used to take workers and contractors to the Manapōuri power station at West Arm.

On social media boaties familiar with Lake Manapōuri have pointed out that after rain or a storm big logs and even trees can be washed down into the lake. At night, or in windy conditions, the floating timber can be hard to see.

Crux readers wondered how the electric hydrofoil would cope with such a collision. Would it flip the ferry or even sink it?

In a response to Crux today Meridian's Tania Palmer, the general manager generation, says, "Meridian sought specialist input from marine architects throughout this project, and to select an option that would be fit for operating on Lake Manapōuri".

"The safety of our crew and passengers is our highest priority, and we identified the presence of logs in Lake Manapōuri as a potential risk early in the procurement process. To reduce the probability of a log strike, we’ll be installing special detection technology on the vessel, which can identify objects in the water and provide the skipper with a warning if the boat is on a collision course.

"In the unlikely event of a strike, Candela has carried out exercises to ensure the boat will always remain watertight and that any sudden stop won’t cause injuries to passengers.

"Another risk for a foiling ferry is large waves hitting the hull when in foiling mode. The Candela P-12 has been designed to meet the expected wave height in the lake of one metre, with occasional waves of two metres. If, in an extreme case, waves are higher than that, the boat will drop down to a lower speed hull until it reaches a more sheltered part of the lake."

The Candela P-12 is expected to start operations on Lake Manapōuri in 2025.

Here's the company's video profile of the vessel - and website.


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