Wight Shipyard Co, Europe’s leading high speed craft and aluminium ship builder, has chosen Sika’s ‘direct glazing’ system for the construction of two new MBNA Thames Clippers at the company’s Cowes based yard on the Isle of Wight. The two latest additions to London’s river bus transport network have increased capacity on the River Thames and made it the biggest fast passenger fleet operating solely in English waters.
The MBNA Thames Clippers fleet enjoys a high profile in London’s transport network and as such the new vessels are among the most advanced harbour fast ferries in the world. Each boast several design features including roof windows that maximise opportunities to enjoy London’s iconic skyline.
Sika UK’s Gareth Ross comments, “The two new craft, Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper, required a strong and watertight window construction that would endure many years of service in all weather conditions.”
Pioneered by Sika AG, the ‘direct glazing’ technique in marine applications offers greater structural stability for windows on vessels of all sizes which in turn improves frame stability and thermal insulation properties making it ideal for water borne vessels such as the Thames Clippers.
Roy Whitewood, Wight Shipyard’s Senior Consultant on the Thames Clipper new build project, said, “We are a long-term user of Sika products as they are a trusted and proven brand. The training and support offered to the highly skilled team that worked on this project by Sika and its UK distributor Marine & Industrial was a key factor in our decision to use the direct glazing system for these two new vessels.”
Gareth Ross said, “Sika products are known for undergoing the most rigorous research and testing and our glazing products are no exception. The direct glazing system offers significantly higher protection against the elements than framed windows with the added advantage of eliminating trim, frame and screws for a tidier and flush fit. It is low in weight, which reduces running costs and improves speed – a significant advantage for boats such as the Mercury and Jupiter Clipper.”
Fitted with mineral glass, the new Thames Clippers required a purpose designed adhesive with the right combination of application properties and performance characteristics. As a fast- curing, elastic polyurethane, suitable for all types of mineral glass, Sikaflex®-296 was used to achieve the best results.
About Sika Ltd
Sika Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sika AG, a global company based in Switzerland specialising in the manufacture and supply of chemical based products for construction and industry. A world-leader in its field Sika has subsidiaries in more than 70 countries, generates annual sales of CHF 4.6 billion and is committed to providing quality, service, safety and environmental care.
In the UK, Sika provides market-leading solutions for flooring, sealing and bonding applications, waterproofing, roofing, structural sealing and strengthening and many other construction applications.
Sika UK’s head office is based in Welwyn Garden City at Watchmead, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL7 1BQ. Call 01707 363866, or visit www.sika.co.uk
About Wight Shipyard Co
Wight Shipyard Co(WSC)is Europe’s leading high speed craft and aluminium ship builder based on Britain’s Isle of Wight. WSC brings to the ferry and aluminium vessel industry the experience and dedication of a team of handpicked craftspeople from across the world of fast ferry construction. With this fine pedigree ferry owners and operators have the most progressive solutions and highest quality skills available. Purpose-built, fuel-efficient and with the most comfortable passenger accommodation, WSC fast ferries deliver high performance cutting edge designs right across the ferry world. In partnership with its customers and marine authorities WSC passionately seeks to redefine how fast ferries are built through innovative design and quality construction.