MANNS HARBOR – The NCDOT Ferry Division is expecting
considerable fuel and maintenance savings as a result of a $950,487 Ferry Boat
Discretionary Program grant from the Federal Highway Administration to upgrade
the existing propulsion engines on its seven 150-foot Hatteras Class ferries.
The new engines will replace 20-year-old eight-cylinder
diesel engines with 470-horsepower six-cylinder diesel engines. The Ferry
Division expects fuel savings of 10 to 15 percent with the lower weight for the
vessels, and an overall cost savings of about 20 percent compared to the
current operating expenses. Existing shaft, propellers and reduction gears can
be used with the new engines to provide installation cost savings as well. The
new engines can also be monitored remotely to allow ferry staff to track
performance and fuel consumption numbers.
The engine replacements are expected to begin this fall,
after the summer tourist season.
The Division’s Hatteras class ferries are the Kinnekeet,
Frisco, Chicamacomico, Cape Point, Ocracoke, Roanoke and Thomas A. Baum.
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