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New Waterjets from Wärtsilä

Posted on July 3, 2006

Wärtsilä Corporation has introduced a new compact, high-performance waterjet that is optimized for fast vessels. The new Wärtsilä LJX waterjet offers, in comparison with other waterjets available today, a 25% reduction in mounting flange diameter, a 10% overall weight reduction and a 35% increase in cavitation margin. The LJX waterjet allows further innovation in fast vessel design allowing an optimum number of waterjets to be chosen for a given propulsion power requirement without requiring an excessive transom width in high-speed vessels.

The mechanical design of the Wärtsilä LJX waterjet is similar to the current Lips Jets series with all main parts of the stator and the steering assembly fabricated from stainless steel plates. This approach allows Wärtsilä to achieve minimum weight with maximum design flexibility. It is thus possible to have not only common steering/reversing and booster jets, but also jets for fast crash stop and reversing, jets with nozzle closing devices, and jets with inboard hydraulic systems. The oil-lubricated thrust bearing remains inboard in the jet room with a water-lubricated marine bearing supporting the shaft in the stator bowl; a design choice that is made for reasons of easy maintenance, access and reliability.

The first Wärtsilä LJX waterjets are being delivered for two Incat 112m high-speed wave-piercing catamarans for Japanese customers. The catamarans will be delivered in 2007 from Incat's Hobart, Tasmania, shipyard. With a load-carrying capacity of 1500 tonnes, these will be the largest catamarans to be powered by diesel engines. They will each have capacity for more than 800 lane metres of trucks and other heavy vehicles, together with 150 cars, or, if trucks are not carried, for more than 400 cars alone. They will also be able to carry up to 1000 passengers.

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