The Swiftships 35 m Patrol Boat is an aluminum patrol vessel designed and built by Swiftships for global security forces, including the Iraqi Navy. Built in Morgan City, Louisiana, the Iraqi Patrol Boat utilizes Michigan Wheel custom propellers to reach its top speed of 33 knots.
Swiftships was looking for a way to increase propulsive efficiency, and Michigan Wheel provided the answer through fully custom designed propellers. Michigan Wheel teamed up with Maritime Research Associates, LLC and MTU America to perform computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis on the patrol boat's wake, or region of fluid disturbed by the hull. This analysis provides the necessary information to design a propeller with variable pitch, camber, and chord distribution along the length of its blades to provide maximum thrust and efficiency for the given environment.
This wake-adapted propeller design requires detail oriented, high tolerance manufacturing. Through high quality casting and precision CNC machining, Michigan Wheel manufactures propellers that meet Swiftships' and the Iraqi Navy's performance needs.
Custom propellers greatly improve the performance of the Iraqi Patrol Boat. Significan fuel savings are estimated when calculating fuel costs per year per vessel compared to commercial-off-the-shelf technology. Flank speed is estimated to increase by over 1 knot. Noise and vibration causing pressure pulses are estimated to decrease in amplitude by 20%-30% at flank speed. Design and manufacturing costs are easily offset by the performance gains attained by the Iraqi Patrol Boat through Michigan Wheel custom propellers.