The lithium-ion-battery-powered Enhydra features QuickShift MGX-5114SC reduction gears from Twin Disc.
Passenger Vessels

Twin Disc Gears Chosen For Innovative Excursion Vessel

Twin Disc is helping shipbuilders put the latest energy-efficient hybrid technology to work for excursion vessels.

For its new 600-passenger excursion vessel, Enhydra, launched in September, San Francisco-based Red and White Fleet chose a BAE Systems HybriDrive.

The first aluminum hulled, lithium-ion battery plug-in hybrid vessel built in the U.S., the Enhydra was designed by Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand. The 128- by 30-foot aluminum monohull vessel is the largest lithium-ion battery, electric hybrid-powered vessel in North America built under Coast Guard’s Subchapter K certification.

It was built by All American Marine Inc., Bellingham, Wash., which used aluminum for the hull instead of the originally planned steel.

Builders faced the challenge of integrating both the craft’s Cummins 410 hp. engines and the advanced 80-kwh. battery-powered propulsion solution into a traditional marine power train.

Twin Disc distributor Mill Log Marine provided the solution with QuickShift MGX-5114SC reduction gears and an EC300 Power Commander electronic propulsion control that meets Subchapter K requirements. The combination delivered the efficiency needed to complement the hybrid vessel’s sustainable fuel consumption, lessened impact on marine life and quiet operation.

“Enhydra is just another example of how Mill Log Marine and Twin Disc strive to solve our customers’ needs in marine drivetrain applications,” said Bob Shamek, Mill Log Marine key account executive. “On Enhydra, the gears have remote electric motor driven oil pumps. This allows the gear to stay engaged when the motors are operating at low speed and through zero shaft speed when changing rotation from forward to reverse.”

The QuickShift MGX-5114SC offers a smooth, steep power curve with fast shifting, precise slow speed control and quiet operation. The 3:1 gear features an SAE J617 No. 1 vertical offset, aluminum housing and minimal external plumbing. It boasts an electric GP-valve with manual override.

The Twin Disc EC300 Power Commander electronic propulsion control provides drive motor speed and rotational control, along with fault monitoring. Dual CAN bus wiring provides redundant control communications from the pilot stations to the controllers in the engine room. A monitor at Enhydra’s helm provides a graphical readout for control system fault codes, as required under Subchapter K regulations.

Since 1946, Kent, Wash.-based Mill Log has sold and serviced power transmission equipment for the marine, oil, natural gas, construction, mining, logging, and agriculture industries.

Red and White Fleet is the oldest sightseeing and charter tour company in the San Francisco Bay area. Founded in 1892, the business has been working on providing feasible hybrid power for its fleet in recent years.

Caption for photo: The lithium-ion-battery-powered Enhydra features QuickShift MGX-5114SC reduction gears from Twin Disc.