Maasbracht/Roermond (NL) – The famous 250 kilometer long Canal du Midi connects the French towns of Bezier and Toulouse. Whereas in the past this canal was exclusively used for transport shipping, nowadays, it is home to many recreational vessels. The French water sports company, Locaboat, rents out a considerable number of yachts that sail the canal. “Locaboat wants to rejuvenate her fleet,” stated Jac Linssen of Linssen’s Shipyard. “In renewing her vessels, Locaboat is looking for new concepts.” The existing boats run on conventional diesel engines. “At their request we developed a new yacht called the “Penichette Evolution”, with a special and brand-new system of propulsion which we have developed in-house.”
Linssen Yachts has named this unique propulsion configuration ‘LIPPCON’ (Linssen Integrated Propulsion and Power Configuration). It consists of a diesel generator with a capacity of 17.5 kW/21.6 KVA and a fuel consumption of only between 1.3 to 6.5 litres per hour. The engine runs at a constant speed of 1500 rpm, generating a 400 V 50 Hz alternating current to power Kolmer’s electric motors. These motors power the propeller shaft as well as the 400 V electric motors of the bow and stern thrusters. The boat can be completely handled through one simple yet state-of-the-art joystick. The main motor, bow and stern thrusters and rudder are all controlled by a PLC. “Anyone can navigate this boat,” Jac Linssen points out. “An amateur can manoeuvre it like a seasoned sailor. This is imperative in the Canal du Midi as it contains many bends and locks.” With a regular propulsion system this would not be possible. Linssen built two prototypes of this model and to date, has sold eighteen boats. As the result, they have since built their own original boat, the Dutch Sturdy 310 (see picture). Ten meters long and three meters wide, this ship is priced at €225,000 (excluding VAT) for the basic model.
The development of the propulsion by Dinnissen Propulsion Technique from Roermond (NL) also played an important role. The founder and owner of this company is engineer Marc Dinnissen. “Yacht building cannot be compared to shipbuilding for professional and industrial shipping,” according to Dinnissen. “It requires completely different applications and finances, that necessitate a different approach. Also, during the process one has to take the architectural aspect into consideration as well as the shipbuilders’ perspective.” Dinnissen continues, “As to this last aspect, we connected with LIPPCON Propulsion through our electrical engineer, who did a great job. The series of yachts with LIPPCON propulsion constituted a challenge in which we invested a lot of time. The strength of this concept is that standard industrial components have been used. This is important in case of required replacements, as many spare parts are interchangeable. The same goes for the vessel’s generator, a diesel-electrical motor, often called the “whisper diesel”. As it is a small vessel, we are able to deliver a generator that supplies enough power for the main motor, thanks to the frequency converter that comes with it. The complete system produces a nearly maintenance-free boat.”
In the design of the LIPPCON motor, type 160L-6 has been used. Since its beginning in 1994, ADR has been a dealer of Kolmer. “The market in electrical motors is enormous, but I always remained loyal to Kolmer. When we began, we could get motors in consignment and only had to pay when they were sold. Kolmer is a company we like to do business with,” concludes the representative of ADR.