DIAB Divinycell core environmental friendly vessel

Brødrene Aa delivers its latest environmental friendly vessel

For well over 36 years Brødrene Aa (Hyen, Norway) has been using advanced sandwich composite construction to produce fast ferries and other commercial craft that offer substantial reductions in fuel consumption and emissions when compared with more traditional commercial craft, thereby minimizing their environmental footprint.

A few months ago its latest vessel, MS Sognekongen, was delivered to Fjord 1 Fylkesbaatane where it will be operating in the fjords of Western Norway, taking tourists on eco-friendly sightseeing trips. At 37.5 meters (123 ft.), this catamaran is the largest carbon sandwich composite vessel ever built by the company.

Brødrene Aa is very much at the forefront of marine composite technology. It has pioneered the use of carbon/vinylester skins and Diab sandwich cores using an infusion process that  allows the hulls, up to 40 meters (131 ft.), to be produced in ‘one shot’ in around an hour.

This combination of carbon fiber and vacuum infusion results in a structural weight reduction of more than 40% when compared with ‘ordinary grp/hand lay-up’. At the same time the overall strength of the vessel is markedly improved due to the optimization of the Diab core and the carbon fiber skins by using resin infusion technology.

The substantial reduction in weight results in boats that offer excellent acceleration and high cruising speeds. At the same time, operating costs are much lower as Brødrene Aa vessels require less engine power and use less fuel than their heavier rivals. Brødrene Aa also maintains that using advanced materials adds less than 10% to the final cost of the vessel; a cost that can be quickly recovered in less than a year due to lower operating costs. The number of CFRP vessels built by Brødrene Aa now numbers 25.

Brødrene Aa vessels also have a proven reputation for offering rugged reliability throughout their long service life. Many of the vessels produced by the company for ferry work are in continuous operation for up to 22 hours a day and can make as many as 200 stops during this period.

This legendary reliability is clearly shown by a ferry that was built by Brødrene Aa using Diab cores in 1976. When it was sold to new owners some 30 years later for the same price as her original cost, she had travelled the equivalent of 76 times around the world, her original engines had seen over 83,000 hours running time and she had made over 500,000 landings!


Louise Eriksson Jacka
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