Belle martinique and Diamant, Dynamic dalian builders deliver again.

Although located in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean, the island of La Martinique is politically part of France and is one of that country’s 18 regions. The French influence extends beyond just the language and politics with the locals following many of the trends that have originated from Europe.

Any visitor to the many ports and harbours in France and Corsica couldn’t help but notice the plethora of simple but rugged tourist boats that are streaming in and out every day in an endless stream. Built by a small team of French expats in the northern Chinese city of Dalian, these boats have built a formidable following in France and it is no surprise that they have been selected by operators in La Martinique.

Belle Martinique and Diamant are the first two vessels in a four vessel order from ODC Marine for operation around the Caribbean island. The 19.2-metre-long aluminium monohull passenger shuttles are approved to French maritime standards with the 4.7-metre beam design capable of transporting 98 passengers in addition to the skipper and two crew members.

An efficient and reliable propulsion package is needed given the high utilisation that these boats will be experiencing with any unscheduled downtime likely to cause a major disruption to operations. Consequently, a pair of Cummins QSL9 diesel engines has been selected. The 305kW engines are driven through ZF 325-1A gearboxes and result in the boats reaching a top speed of 22 knots. At their more sedate cruising speed of 18 knots, the engines consume approximately 100 litres/hour.

Passenger comfort has been of great importance with this design and soundproofing has been extensive. At the 18 knot cruising speed the noise level in the wheelhouse measures 72 decibels whilst in the passenger compartment it measures 80dB, 10dB below market standards. The two other vessels in the order are 21.5 metres long and are certified for 150 passengers each.

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