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Determination of Technical and Operational Characteristics of Ships - IW between Finland - Russia

UDC 629.544, 629.542.2, 656.025.4


Considering that most of the ships operating on the lines connecting Russia and Finland were built over thirty years ago, the designing and construction of new cargo ships optimised for operation on the considered lines will be on the agenda in the near future. To assess the technical and operational characteristics of new generation ships, it is necessary to obtain data on the organisation of existing cargo ships operation.

Keywords: the inland waterways of Russia and Finland, organisation of transportation, a concept design for a vessel.


The solution of the problem of designing and building cost-effective new generation vessels requires a preliminary study of a number of issues including the following:

  • calculation of the designed ship construction and operation cost;

  • analysis of the actual ships and determination of the advanced ship dimensions.

The analysis was performed and its results are provided below in this report.

Ships of new projects are built quite rarely, therefore, from the point of view of industry; they are products of pieces and small batch production. Differences in the cost of equipment installed on the ship and technological features of the production of various shipbuilding enterprises lead to the fact that the cost of building ships with similar ship service characteristics, but built at different yards can vary significantly. For example, the cost of build- ing a tanker of RST27 project at the Okskaya shipyard in 2012 amounted to 590.7 million rubles, and the cost of building a tanker for the same project at the Kherson Shipyard a year later was only 532.8 million rubles. It is also known that the cost of building the first ship of the series can be 20 . 25 % higher than the cost of subsequent ships of the series.

As a rule the cost of building a ship is finally determined upon agreement and a trade secret is considered. In the course of the work published data were collected and analysed on the contract value of inland and mixed river-sea ships for various purposes built over the past fifteen years in Russia and neighbouring states. The data obtained were considered as the contract price of the ship construction, excluding customs duties, as well as leasing payments and loan payments. In cases where the ship construction cost was indicated in rubles or dollars, it was converted into euros in accordance with the exchange rate of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation for the year of construction.

The purpose of this phase of work was to determine the main characteristics of the new generation ships designed to operate on the line Saimaa Water System - Inland Waterways of Russia.

Access to the Saimaa water system is through a system of locks (the Saimaa Canal), and as a result the maximum dimensions of ships allowed in- to the system are limited in length to 82.5 meters, in width to 12.6 meters and in draft - to 4.35 meters. After the proposed modernisation of the locks, the restrictions in the ship length will be 93.2 meters and in draft of 4.45 meters.

The waterways of the European Russia are connected into a single deep-sea system, which ensures guaranteed path depths up to four meters. Taking into account the required under keel clearance, the design draft of ships designed to operate on the considered lines shall not exceed 3.70 m.

In order to assess possible solutions regarding the placement of premises for various purposes during the design of new generation ships, data were collected on the layout of modern dry cargo ships having dimensions close to those acceptable for the reconstructed Saimaa Canal.

A detailed analysis of design data on the hull weight of modern dry cargo ships and the weight of ship equipment was made by A. Egorov [1]. The author has proposed dependencies for the article-by-article calculation of the load of the designed ship as a first approximation at the initial design stage; as well as a structural analysis of the metal consumption of the hull structures was conducted.

In order to assess the ship maintenance cost, all operating expenses were divided into two categories:

  • variable costs, including the cost of fuel and lubricating oil, and de- pending on the main engine power, the power of a constantly used diesel generator (100 kW was calculated), as well as the ratio of the movement time and downtime. Thus, variable costs directly depend on the considered line length and the time of the ship stay in ports;

  • fixed costs, including salaries and crew nutrition, management, costs of inter-cruise and inter-navigation repairs, procurement of supplies, ship insurance and depreciation, as well as port charges.

The collected data on the organisation of transportation, ship weight and construction cost, as well as the cost of ship maintenance in operation, allow to solve the problem of determining the characteristics of a ship optimised for operation on the considered line. As the objective function when choosing the optimal ship, the transportation cost per ton, euroIt on the considered line was adopted. In this respect ships having the maximum permissible length (93.2 m) and width (12.5 m) for the reconstructed Saimaa Canal were considered. Draft was limited to 3.7 m, characteristic of the inland waterways of Russia.

The block coefficient and the speed were used as variable parameters. Then displacement, required power of the main engines, hold dimensions, as well as weight of the hull, equipment, engines and stocks were determined.

Upon determination of the main technical characteristics, ship construction costs and operation costs including the salary, repair costs, consumables costs, insurance, depreciation, fuel and port charges.

The volume of cargo transported per navigation was determined in relation to the characteristic route, taking into account the ship speed and carrying capacity.

Figure 1 show the calculation results for the case of transporting timber cargo with a density of 0.43 tIm3 on the Mondoma-Lappeenranta line at a de- sign speed of 10 knots.

As follows from the results obtained, the optimal value of the block coefficient is 0.88. An increase in the block coefficient in excess of 0.91 or its de- crease to values less than 0.82 leads to a noticeable increase in the transportation costs. Figure 1 also shows the results of comparing the transportation costs of one ton of timber cargo by ships that do not have an ice class and ships with Ice 2 class of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping [2]. It should be noted that this comparison is somewhat conditional since in both cases the navigation period was limited in accordance with the practice of navigation on the inland waterways of the North-Western region of Russia and amounted to 200 days a year. As follows from the results obtained, the transportation cost when transition to ships with the ice class Ice 2 increases by about 1.5 %.

Figure 1. The transportation cost of one ton of cargo along the Mondoma - Lappeenranta line, depending on the block coefficient and the ice class Figure 1 compares the transportation cost of one ton of timber cargo along the Mondoma-Lappeenranta line by the ship with the traditional aft superstructure and the ship with a restricted air draft and bow superstructure. A ship with a restricted air draft is heavier, but when moving without deck cargo it has the ability to pass the Neva bridges without loss of time. As follows from the results obtained, a ship with a restricted air draft is more effective from a commercial point of view, but this gain is small and in practice the situation may be different. Further research is needed to decide which option should be preferred.

The conclusion that it is advisable to increase the block coefficient of inland and mixed navigation ships intended for the general cargo delivery corresponds to modern approaches to the design of ships of this class [3, 4, 5].

Figure 2 shows the transportation cost of one 20-foot container with an average weight of 16 tons along the Lappeenranta-Moscow line. The design ship speed was assumed to be 12 knots, but it was believed that the average ship speed on the line increases by only 40 % compared to the base speed of 10 knots and is 10.8 knots. This decrease in average speed was envisaged in order to take into account the downtime of ships when moving along inland waterways. As follows from figure 2 the optimal value of the block coefficient of the ship in this case is 0.76. An increase in the block coefficient compared with this value leads to a sharp increase in fuel costs, and a decrease leads to a decrease in the number of containers taken for transportation.

Figure 2. The transportation cost of one container on the Lappeenranta - Moscow line, depending on the block coefficient

Currently, a concept design for a vessel for the transportation of container cargoes along the Lappeenranta-Moscow line is being developed.

This work was carried out in the framework of the project "Future Potential of Inland Waterways, INFUTURE". Research Group

Yury Yatsuk, PhD, Head of the Department of Shipbuilding, Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping

Anastasiya Vasilieva, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Shipbuilding, Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping

Konstantin Ushakov, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Shipbuilding, Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping


  1. Ship deployment in the directions St. Petersburg - Torovo, Torovo - St. Petersburg. Access mode: Egorov A. G. Line-by-line determination of the weight load of dry car- go mixed river sea vessels of a new generation at the initial design stage. II Збipник нayкових npaць HYK, No. 3, 2013, P. 4 8.

  2. Russian Maritime Register of Shipping. Rules. Access Mode:

  3. The register book of the Russian River Register. Access mode: https://www.rivreg. ru/activities/class/regbook/

  4. Egorov G.V., Egorov A. G. Basic decisions for a new generation of superabundant mixed river-sea and inland cargo ships. // Sudostroyeniye, No.4, 2018, 9 15 P.

  5. Egorov G.V., Egorov A. G. Forecast of the composition of the fleet of mixed river-sea ships until 2025 with the definition of the most popular types of ships // KGNTs Works, No. S2, 2018, 169 178 P.


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