© Mike Jackson
Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1997 by Frisian Shipyard Welgelegen, The Netherlands (Yard No 505) as a Ro/Ro Cargo Ship/Vehicles Carrier
- Length: 125.5 m (overall) 118 m (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth: 18.8 m
- Depth: 12.65 m
- Draught: 6.20 m
- Height Main Deck: 4.8m
- Deck Area: 9890m
- Tonnage: 11,591 gross/3829 net/ 4443 deadweight
- Engines: 2 x 4T 12-cylinder Wärtsilä NSD Vasa 12V32 diesel
- Power: 9000 kW/HP
- Speed: 20 knots
- Capacity: Car decks (6 + Tank Top) 1220 cars
- Call Sign: CQQD
- IMO Number: 9131943
- MMSI Number: 255801550
- DNV GL ID Number: 19193
- Port of Registry: Norway (1997-2005), Madeira/Portugal
- Sister Ships : Autoprestige, Autopride, Autoprogress.
May 22nd 1996: Keel laid.
February 5th 1997: Launched.
“Cars are stowed on six decks (fixed and hoistable) with access to the main deck (No.2) arranged over a stern ramp/door and a quarter ramp/door on the starboard side. The stern ramp/door, hydraulically operated and weathertight in the closed position, has an overall length of just under 16m (including end flaps).
It offers a driveway width of 7m at the shore end, opening out to 8.5m at the threshold of the 5.6m high clear opening in the stern. Raising and lowering of the ramp is effected by hydraulic cylinders on each side of the opening; two icebreaking/push-out mechanisms are fitted to initially launch the ramp.
The starboard quarter ramp/door is adjustable in height at its hinge end to allow decks 2 to 4 to be accessed; it is hydraulically operated and secured to ensure weather-tightness in the closed position. A clear opening 3.5m wide x 9.8m high is provided in the hull for vehicles transiting the 16.3m long ramp (including end flaps) whose driveway width reduces from 4.8m at the shore end to 3.5m at the ship’s threshold.
Raising and lowering of the quarter ramp is performed by a jigger winch and a double-drum winch connected to the ramps via wire ropes. The winch drum effects the tilting movement and the jigger winch lifts the ramp’s hinged end to suit the different heights of decks 2 to 4.”
© Manuel Hernández Lafuente (left) © Derek Sands (right)
2015: Owner & Manager; United European Car Carriers, Oslo, Norway. Registered Owner; UECC, IOM Ltd. Madeira. Registered Manager; UECC UNIPESSOAL LDA, Madeira.
© Jörn Prestien
© Juergen Braker
January 19th 2016: “Early on Tuesday morning the 1997-built Madeira-flagged car-carrier AUTOPREMIER came into Ramsgate from Zeebrugge, the first car-carrier in the port for 22 years. It is expected that this will be the first call in a regular service. About 1000 new cars were quickly discharged over the former ferry linkspan in Port Ramsgate [the new outer harbour] & temporarily parked up in the docks. The AUTOPREMIER returned to Zeebrugge at just after 10.00.……” Mike Jackson
© Mike Jackson
© Nick Widdows
All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Juergen Braker, Mike Jackson, Manuel Hernández Lafuente, Jörn Prestien, Derek Sands and Nick Widdows for their assistance in producing this feature.