The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The potential for the use of a novel craft, PACSCAT (partial air cushion supported catamaran), in inland European waterways

Clements, R.J., Wilson, P.A., Lewthwaite, J.C., Molland, A.F. and Ivanov, P. (2005) The potential for the use of a novel craft, PACSCAT (partial air cushion supported catamaran), in inland European waterways In Proceedings of FAST 2005. The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology., pp. 1-7.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


A new type of high-speed cargo vessel could soon be taking some of the burden from our roads. The Partial Air Cushioned Supported Catamaran, or PACSCAT, is being developed with the aid of funding from the EU Growth programme. With rapid growth in freight logistics markets throughout Europe, and an already congested landbased infrastructure, expansion of waterborne modes is considered essential. It is expected that PACSCAT vessels will play a major role in achieving this goal. The high speed, low wash, variable draught vessel is designed for operations on the Rhine and Danube rivers. At a design speed of around 20kt (37 km/ hr), the vessel will be capable of making the 2,200 km trip from Constanza to Passau in three days as opposed to the current journey time of seven days by barge, thus competing directly with road transport. The payload capacity will be in the order of 2000 t, which is equivalent to around 45 truckloads. The vessel draught can be adjusted from 2.5m to as low as 1.5m in order to cope with shallow conditions and air draught can be similarly altered to allow for bridge height limitations. The air cushion is contained between the sidehulls and end seals, and is generated by installed lift fans. This reduces the propulsion power requirements and the wash generated, which is especially important in operations along waterways. It will be designed to operate utilising existing berthing/loading facilities. This paper reports the results of the current EU funded project which is developing the concept for operations on inland European waterways. However, the concept is equally applicable to short sea operations, possibly with a river transit as part of the route to avoid unnecessary transhipment of cargo between seagoing and river craft. A number of military applications are also under investigation.

PDF Clements+Wilson+Lewthwaite+Molland+Ivanov.pdf - Version of Record
Download (568kB)

More information

Published date: 27 June 2005
Venue - Dates: FAST 2005 [Eighth International Conference on Fast Sea Transportation], 2005-06-27 - 2005-06-30
Keywords: partial air cushion, support, vehicle
Organisations: Fluid Structure Interactions Group


Local EPrints ID: 23190
ISBN: 5883030459
PURE UUID: 42a6a13c-3ff9-4489-9677-5468e0524abc
ORCID for P.A. Wilson: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Mar 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:18

Export record

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.