The installation of gas turbines in high-speed marine vessels is relatively new in the merchant marine sector. The main objective of this paper is to present the engineering considerations that were taken into account during the design, testing and classification of the propulsion machinery of DESTRIERO, a high-speed, aluminum hull craft. This Blue Ribbon record-holding vessel will be the basis for, the discussion which will highlight the value of a detailed technical assessment of a vessel’s propulsion system early in the design process.
The DESTRIERO is a 67.7 meter aluminum monohull designed to cross the Atlantic ocean without refueling at a speed in excess of 50 knots in a sea state 4. During trial runs the vessel exceeded 65 knots. In August 1992 during its eastbound transit, the vessel earned the current non-stop Atlantic crossing speed record of 53.09 knots. The propulsion system is provided by three General Electric (GE) LM1600 gas turbines, each developing 20,740 IGHP (ISO base rating). The gas turbines drive three KaMeWa waterjets through a Renk Tacke reduction gearbox. Reverse thrust and steering are accomplished through the two outer jets. Each turbine and its auxiliaries are packaged in MTU modules, which are flexibly mounted to the ship’s structure.