Marine Jet Power (MJP) is collaborating with Derecktor Shipyards, Mamaroneck, N.Y., to provide the next generation of hybrid ferries to Chatham Area Transit (CAT), Savannah, Ga. 

Chatham Area Transit is a transportation service provider, connecting residents and visitors to various destinations in the Savannah area, including workplaces, schools, hotels, shops, restaurants, and healthcare facilities throughout the City of Savannah, unincorporated Chatham County, parts of Garden City, Ga., and Port Wentworth, Ga.

The two, 65' aluminum passenger ferries will feature dual MJP Ultrajet 305 waterjets with permanent magnet traction motors from BAE Systems for the electric propulsion designed to ensure eco-friendly and efficient operation.

Additionally, the HybriGen Power system by BAE allows for the elimination of large diesel propulsion motors, reducing maintenance, space requirements, and environmental impact. The Energy Storage System (ESS) will be provided by Xalt Energy with a capacity of 308 kWh’s. The propulsion package will give the ferries a running speed of 11 knots 

The ferries, operating on short, continuous routes between three local landings (City Hall Landing, Trade Center Landing, and Waving Girl Landing), will feature state-of-the-art technology to meet the evolving needs of the community. The new ferries will also feature twin 6.7L Cummins integrated starter generators and BAE HDS 200 ISG. 

MJP waterjets are well-suited for integration into hybrid propulsion systems, as seen in this project, MJP officials said. The use of a serial hybrid system from BAE Systems is designed to allow for greater flexibility in power management, enhancing overall efficiency and environmental sustainability, in addition to the other benefits of waterjets including shallow draft capabilities, high maneuverability and enhanced fuel efficiency. 

“The unique advantages of waterjet propulsion, such as shallow draft, maneuverability, safety and capability with hybrid systems, make them an excellent choice for the specific operational requirements of the Chatham Area Transit Ferries,” Kevin Kirby, president and regional director of Marine Jet Power Americas, said in a prepared statement announcing the newbuilds.