Elizabeth River Ferries Achieve Fuel Savings with Volvo Penta Engines

By The Maritime Executive 11-21-2019 10:57:17

“We estimate we have saved nearly 3,500 gallons of fuel per year with the Volvo Penta engines.” That’s what Deon Glover, chief operating officer of Norfolk by Boat, had to say about his fleet of Volvo Penta-powered passenger ferries.

Norfolk by Boat operates three aluminum ferries on behalf of Hampton Roads Transit on the Elizabeth River. The picturesque vessels, with their trademark stern paddlewheels, carry up to 150 passengers at a time between downtown Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia. During the peak summer season, they operate every 30 minutes with 15-minute crossing times for 15-19 hours per day. 

In 2014, the company repowered one of its ferries with a Volvo Penta 13-liter 400 hp engine. Based on the engine’s superior performance, fuel economy, reduced emissions and low noise levels, they decided to specify the same D13-400 engines in two new ferries, which were built in 2016 and 2017.

Norfolk by Boat couldn’t be more pleased with the engines’ speed, power and reliability, not to mention the extraordinary level of technical support they get from the Volvo Penta engineering and service team.

“Our ferries are constantly shifting in and out of gear, pulling in and out of docks, fighting the tide and wind all day long,” said Glover. “We needed something very reliable. I’m telling you these engines offer every aspect of reliability.”

While the annual 3,500 gallons of fuel savings is impressive, so is the customer service from Volvo Penta, which has its U.S. headquarters in Chesapeake, Virginia, just a 20-minute drive from the Elizabeth River docks. “The customer service is just mind blowing,” said Glover.

“We take great pride in our reputation for engineering excellence and customer satisfaction,” said Ron Huibers, president and CEO of Volvo Penta of the Americas. “It’s especially rewarding when we’re working with a local boat operator right here in our home region.”

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.