RoPax Color Hybrid

Another “first of it’s kind” newbuilt vessel is presently doing sea trial in the fjords around Aalesund. The RoPax Color Hybrid, built by Ulstein, is getting ready to enter service on the Sandefjord - Stromstad route on 26. July:

She was named Skipsrevyen’s “Ship of the Year 2019” at this years Nor-Shipping:

This one is also able to operate on batteries for up to one hour at 12 kts. This will be used while entering and leaving ports. She will have her batteries charged from hydro electric sources at Sandefjord, or by excess power drawn from the shaft generators while sailing .

Welcome back!

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From today: (Google translated)

I wonder how that will fly. I’m guessing it won’t be very popular.

Yeah, floor windows on bridge wings are pretty common.

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Floor window makes lots of sense to me. That’s not the same as a glass floor, where you’re apparently standing on nothing.

Never worked with an enclosed bridge wing but seems like it’d be a little weird. I always feel different stepping away from the instruments and being outside.

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What about people with vertigo?
I can’t walk on a glass floor, be it above the Niagara Falls, in a superstore or on a ship.

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Floor windows were common on AHTS to allow a view of the winches from the bridge, until overtaken by CCTV. On ships with enclosed bridge wings, especially cruise ships, ferries etc. it is also common:

Above: (QM2) The port bridge wing. The window cut
into the floor allows the officers to see the relative position
of the ship’s side and the pier when the ship is docking.

The reporter that wrote “glass floor” may not have been fully briefed.

There is a lot more interesting things to comment on this ferry, full of new and exciting inventions and solutions.
It is not intended to operate on battery power only except when entering and leaving Sandefjord to reduce local pollution. (I don’t know why not at Stromstad) (??)

Initially charging of batteries will be in Sandefjord and by conventional shore connection cable, but contact free charging will be installed later.

Batteries can also be charged from the on board diesel generators while under way, using surplus power. Likewise battery power can be used to take consumption peaks and to minimise fuel consumption, both in port and while under way.

I found out what this “bridge wing with glass floor” is all about.
The Norwegian text actually said that the glass window on the bridge wing was “for the passengers”, but I thought that to be the normal uninformed journalist mistake and altered it in the GT translation to “Bridge staff”, which made more sense to me.

It shows up that there are “Bridge wings” arranged on either side of the panorama saloon aft for the passengers to be able to get a better look around, incl. a glass floor for them to look directly down onto the sea.

This from an article in Maritimt Magasin in May:

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I would not have any problem with a floor window, but with a whole floor.
Holding firmly the bridge’s handrails with both hands, I could certainly traverse a glass floor… and loose its advantages.

In tidal ports, the docks may be very high; I have no problems to look at the water below.
My brain probably decides: No fear, you could swim!

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Are the floor windows on the bridge wings not to see the dock just under a fully closed bridge?

Big ferries and cruise-ships, in her regular ports, often have a mark with the ship’s name painted on the dock, where the ship’s bridge exactly must be when moored.

All the bridges that have enclosed wings in my experience have controls at the wings. In two cases there were displays also located there. One was a cruise ship of 143,000 GT berthing in ports where it was a stretch to think of a vessel one third the size entering the same port a few years ago. The other was in the oil patch where there was a compact display for the DP2 and manoeuvring controls.

On Offshore vessels it started with a portable joystick that could be moved to the wings, plugged in and placed in a “rack” on either side. Soon replace with full array of controls and displays on each wing. Some have gone back to joysticks only, but now fixed in place.